HPPR Economy and Enterprise

forefugees.com

The exclusion of Planned Parenthood has left gaps in health care for women, especially low-income women.  Republican leaders pressured Texas state health officials to begin enforcing a provision to keep out Planned Parenthood, as well as any clinic, with organizational ties to abortion providers from the Women’s Health Program in 2011.  The program provides cancer screening, well-woman exams and contraception for low-income women.  

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.

visitamarillotx.com

The Wright Amendment expired in October, meaning that Southwest Airlines doesn’t have to make stops in cities like Amarillo.  The airline can fly non-stop from destinations to hubs anywhere in the United States.

JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

From the corners of Oklahoma, across the border into Texas; to the nation’s capital and even the U.S. Supreme Court, StateImpact Oklahoma team traveled about 10,000 miles in 2013, talking with Oklahomans about government policy and how it’s affecting their lives. 

Stephen Spillman / The Texas Tribune

The only livestock Mike Skinner has these days are birds in a cage.  Skinner sold the family farm last spring.  Land he was once farmed, as did his brother, his parents, and his grandparents reported the Texas Tribune

Iowa Public Television

If it seems like Congress just can’t get the farm bill done, well… that’s because it can’t.

All year long, Washington lawmakers have been saying they want to pass a full five-year farm bill. But even though leaders of the House-Senate conference committee say they are close, they have acknowledged it just won’t get done this year. They’re pushing it off until January.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.

For a long time, American bread makers have been in a bind. Many consumers like the texture and taste of white bread, but want the nutritional benefits of whole grains.

KERA

While the individual mandate requires ever American to have health insurance, there is a big exception to the Affordable Care Act that more and more people are taking advantage of.

abbott-insurance.com

Texans are no longer pay the highest homeowner rates in the nation.  They’re third highest.  KUT News reported rates are higher because figures not include the cost of windstorm insurance.

When the people from the drug company came out to visit Tyler Karney at Ordway Feedyard here on Colorado’s eastern plains, he was a little skeptical.

They said their product, Zilmax, could put another 30 pounds on an animal in the last days before slaughter. Then he started blending it into the feed for the 6,500 head of Holsteins at this huge feedlot.

Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Fracking requires water, and temporary water lines snake across a lot of northwest Oklahoma to feed the beasts pulling oil and gas from the Mississippi Lime Shale.  It’s one of the state’s most productive plays, but landowners are irritated with the lines on their property that block gates, mailboxes, driveways, show up without warning, and can’t be driven over because the stiff plastic pipe catches and drags according to State Impact Oklahoma. 

commons.wikimedia.org

Downtown Amarillo revitalization leaders recently heard consultant recommendations for parking reported The Amarillo Globe-News.

Vilsack to China: Get up to speed on GMOs

Dec 18, 2013
commons.wikimedia.org

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week to ask Chinese regulators to get on the same page as the U.S. when it comes to evaluating genetically modified crops.

2012 Drought Pinches Popcorn Sellers

Dec 16, 2013
Quentin Hope

U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory. Crops not irrigated were decimated and low supplies continue to force local candy shops and giant movie theater chains alike to pay high prices for the golden grain, biting into their profit margin.

pioneer.com

With rootworms building resistance to genetically modified corn that makes its own pesticide, seed companies are working on new crops that target the insects’ genes. But some worry about unintended consequences when the technology moves from the lab to the field.

www2.dupont.com

If it seems like Congress just can’t get the farm bill done, well… that’s because it can’t. The massive food and agriculture package used to be relatively easy thanks to bipartisan and urban-rural alliances. But this year, progress was a slow slog. A nine-month extension passed in January bought some time. This summer, the Senate passed its bill, but the House didn’t. Then it sent two bills to the conference committee, one for agriculture and the other for food stamps. Just before Thanksgiving, Iowa Republican Steve King, a conference committee member, remained optimistic.

EPA prepares for an earful on Renewable Fuel Standard

Dec 11, 2013
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Both supporters and opponents of ethanol have had a lot to say since the EPA announced a proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard, the rules that force oil companies to buy and use certain levels of ethanol. But they’re just warming up. The agency’s first hearing on the proposal is Thursday in Arlington, Va., and advocates from both sides will line up for a chance to give regulators a piece of their minds.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

For decades, housing developments in the suburbs have come complete with golf courses, tennis courts, strip malls and swimming pools. But make way for the new subdivision amenity: the specialty farm.

A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.

Drones Used To Diagnose Diseased Wheat Fields

Dec 10, 2013
Kay Ledbetter / Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Dr. Charlie Rush is a plant pathologist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo.  He’s partnered with Ian Johnson, a Montana State University-Bozeman graduate student, who’s using his work in the university’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program to help conduct research using a helicopter drone according to AgriLife.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Colorado could be the next battleground state in the debate over labeling rules for genetically-modified foods. Activists are trying to get the issue in front of voters in 2014.

The Rules are Ready for Hemp Farming in Colorado

Dec 6, 2013
Hemp Industries Association

Colorado is getting ready for the legal sale of recreational marijuana the first of the year, and also preparing for the second part of Amendment 64— the legal growth and production of hemp. 

Christopher Guinn / Dodge City Daily Globe

Veterans in southwest Kansas won’t be driving to Fort Dodge for clinic appointments next year, they’ll be going to the Summerlon development in northeast Dodge City according to a recent article in the Dodge City Daily Globe

yoncatarim.com

The Southwest Research and Extension Center in Garden City, Kansas, completed a five year study on the impact of water application on alfalfa reported Mary Lou Peter for Farm Talk.

netexas.bucknerconnect.com

The percentage of children living in poverty has risen 47 percent since 2000 , despite an improving Texas economy reported the Texas Tribune.  

whyilovewesttexas.com

Drive across the high plains this time of year, and you see it-- pyramids of white, red, yellow that resemble a sandpainting.  Some area farmers, like Mitchell Baalman of Hoxie, Kansas, are putting their money on milo reported Dan Charles for NPR’s The Salt.

New Proposal Has Texas Power Companies Paying Twice

Dec 2, 2013
greatamericanthings.net

The Public Utility Commission of Texas is proposing a change in the running of the state’s electricity market according to State Impact Texas.

Power companies get paid when they produce electricity, but the new proposal adds a second payment for owning or building power plants.  The goal is to encourage the building of new power plants.  New plants would help avoid power shortages that have caused rolling blackouts.

Morland, Kansas Gets Its Grocery Store Back

Dec 1, 2013
getruralkansas.org

The grocery store in Morland, Kansas, reopened November 2 according to the Wichita Eagle.  

Canned pumpkins aren’t grown for their looks.

Nov 27, 2013

This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.

Pumpkin patches are popular destinations for families seeking fall fun and you’ll find roadside farm stands all over the country. But pumpkins are big business in Illinois, where farmers feed canning factories hungry for a special kind of pumpkin that looks nothing like those you see on Halloween.

Why Are Things Different for Rural Businesses?

Nov 24, 2013
myruraltv.com

Running a business in a rural setting is a horse of a different color said a recent article in Dodge City Daily Globe. Rural businesses have different circumstances than in urban areas, said Wendy Veatch, the director of outreach programming at Wichita State University's Center of Entrepreneurship.

Meet the Wildcatters Behind the National Fracking Boom

Nov 22, 2013
cpr.org

Fracking has revolutionized the oil and gas industry.  It has shifted the position of the Untied States from being energy dependent on other countries to becoming energy independent according to Gregory Zuckerman of the Wall Street Journal.  Zuckerman’s new book, “The Frackers, The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters,” introduces readers to the men behind the new technology. 

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