HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Agriculture:
crop production
crop irrigation
livestock production
dairy production
research & development

Energy
oil & gas production
wind energy
biofuels production
food processing
manufacturing

Transportation & telecommunications
rail service
air service
highways
internet service

Economic indicators & conditions:
workforce demographics
employment rates
land values
tax collections

Entrepreneurship:
small business development
technology application
innovation

Gas prices continue to steadily increase

Jan 5, 2017
AAA

According to AAA, the national average gas price as of Tuesday was $2.34 per gallon, the highest New Year fuel prices since 2014. 

KHI News Service becoming part of KCUR public radio

Jan 5, 2017
Flickr

The Kansas Health Institute News Service, the nonprofit news reporting service of the Kansas Health Institute (KHI), has become part of KCUR Public Media, a move that took effect Jan. 1

Flickr

Cattle prices will likely continue to decline in 2017, as cattle inventories across the country will continue to expand.

Eddie Seal / San Antonio Express News

Texas oil production is on an upward trend, reports the San Antonio Express News, and oil and gas producers in the Lone Star State are hoping the upswing will continue into 2017.

According to a recent study, Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid coverage to people living just above the poverty line may be responsible for more disabled people getting jobs.

As Reuters Health reports, prior to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, in 2010, people with disabilities and low income jobs were often unable to afford their expensive medical care. Many opted for unemployment in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage.

Marlith / Wikimedia Commons

Texas companies saw an increase in consumer spending over the month of December.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, economists are attributing the uptick to what they’re calling a “Trump bump.”

They say consumers are relieved that the election has ended, and they’re opening their wallets as a result. Many Texans also feel confident in how President-Elect Donald Trump will handle the economy.

2016's top apps and gadgets

Dec 30, 2016
Nielsen

Here are a few of the top apps and gadgets of 2016.

More urban farms sprouting with USDA's help

Dec 29, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Farming, a largely rural activity, is moving to the cities, as urban farms continue to grow with help from the federal government.

The many steps of the donated clothing process

Dec 28, 2016
Flickr

Amazon is teaming up with Goodwill to make donating as simple as filling up a box.

Creative Commons

Wheat farmers have historically used grain futures to hedge against low grain prices, but many are losing faith in the tactic.

David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

A new law in Oklahoma will allow grocery and convenience stores to sell wine and strong beer starting in October of 2018.

Up to now, only liquor stores were allowed to sell these products. But the fight over the new law isn’t over yet.

As the Fort Smith Times Record reports, Oklahoma’s liquor stores are challenging the new voter-approved guidelines, hoping to put a stop to them. They say the law will put mom-and-pop liquor stores out of business.

morningagclips.com

Many people use the same password, or a variation thereof, to access the myriad of websites or apps that they use on a daily basis, and after every big hack, experts warn people to stop.

With Christmas behind us, some of these scams may not be as much of a concern now, but the Better Business Bureau wants people to stay alert to several scams that are prevalent throughout the year. 

Amy Bickel / The Hutchinson News

Alan Williams of Modoc, Kansas says his wife, Tonja, is like the Willy Wonka of western Kansas.

Ed Schipul / Creative Commons

Oil and gas officials in Oklahoma continue to celebrate OPEC’s decision to reduce its output, reports The Norman Transcript.

As Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association President Mike Terry put it, “The move is good news for Oklahoma, where the oil and natural gas industry is the backbone of the state’s economy.”

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Just weeks after Anheuser-Busch took an automated semi-truck full of beer for a test run on Interstate 25 in Colorado, state officials are planning another test drive – this one, as the Wall Street Journal reports, to test electric-powered trucks and battery charging technology capable of powering electric trucks as they drive.

Kristofer Husted / KBIA/Rural Blog

Hydroponic farming could present an answer for farmers trying to find a way to grow crops in areas decimated by drought. Hydronics are a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.

As The Rural Blog reports, the idea is catching on in places like Egypt that are strapped for H2O. And some farmers in the U.S. are now looking to the technique as a solution for drought-ridden regions.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Despite increasing gas prices, AAA is projecting holiday travel to reach the highest level on record this year.

theogeo / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma cotton is back.

After years of struggling through dry conditions, the fluffy white stuff has returned in force to Oklahoma farmland, reports KFOR.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Shareholders of agricultural seed and chemical giant Monsanto agreed to a merger Tuesday, moving the controversial deal one-step closer to fruition.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Cropland in the Midwest is losing its value as the downturn in the agriculture economy continues, according to a number of surveys by agricultural economists. Record-high crop prices contributed to record-high land values in 2012 and 2013, but now, that party is over.

Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters/CSM

For years, analysts feared the world had reached a peak in the supply of crude oil, and that supplies would begin to diminish rapidly as demand increased, sending prices skyrocketing. This situation is known to analysts as “peak oil.”

Now, as The Christian Science Monitor reports, the opposite phenomenon may be occurring. That is, the world may reach peak demand before it ever gets a chance to hit “peak oil.”

Isabelle Lucy / USA TODAY

  1. An investigation by the USA TODAY Network has found that millions of Americans, many in rural communities, are at risk for drinking water contaminated with lead.

thecommonvision.org

There is a new Rocky Mountain high in Colorado – marijuana sales.

American Wind Energy Association

Colorado could take center stage on the topic of climate change under a Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency.

Ethanol spills on the rise in the Midwest

Dec 13, 2016
Darrell Hoemann / The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

An ethanol spill occurs every two days on average in the Midwest, the worst of which result in contamination of water supplies, major fish kills, loss of life and millions of dollars of damage.

CNBC

Oklahoma oil billionaire and fervent Trump supporter Harold Hamm is tempering some of his optimism about the prospect of an oil boom under Trump.

In a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, Hamm predicted that U.S. oil production would double under Trump, creating thousands of new jobs. In the wake of OPEC’s decision to cut production, Hamm said on Thursday that he believed U.S. fracking operations could double output if they went “flat out.”

Royal Broil / Creative Commons

A new report from the Census Bureau is shining a light on America’s rural-urban divide, the focus of much discussion and attention since the election of Donald Trump.

As US News and World Report notes, the new study offers a numbers-driven, county-level glimpse into the disparity between city and countryside.

Colorado facing tidal wave of senior citizens

Dec 13, 2016
Colorado Department of Local Affairs

To get ahead of Colorado’s aging population, the state of Colorado just released an action plan that lays out a vision for handling the state’s graying demographic through 2030.

Pipeline in West Texas draws a protest of its own

Dec 13, 2016
Forest Guardians / Wikimedia Commons

There’s another pipeline protest and this one is not in North Dakota. It’s in Texas.

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