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

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

When immigrants and refugees come to Nebraska, often their biggest hurdle is communicating. To help these immigrants acclimate to their new home, a literacy nonprofit is partnering with more companies to provide on-site instruction in English reading, speaking, and writing.


Before Po Shin and his mother immigrated to Lincoln, he lived in a poor village in southeastern Asia with no running water or electricity. Each day's ration of food was foraged by fishing and hunting in the nearby jungle.

From Texas Standard:

If you were to walk south on Congress Avenue in Austin, you'd notice at least six construction cranes. You can see a similar scene in cities all across the Lone Star State. Day and night, construction crews are busy at work, and business is good –  or it would be if there were enough workers to get the jobs done.  

This week, the Associated General Contractors of America released a report with data from 2,500 contractors. It confirms what we've been hearing: There is a labor shortage.

USGS / Wikimedia Commons

The Amarillo airport will soon receive millions in grants.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Federal Aviation Administration is set to bestow $7.3 million on the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, part of a plan to dole out over $3 billion to airports nationwide.

The Amarillo grants will go toward rehabilitating runways and restoring runway and taxiway lighting.

John Peterson farms corn and soybeans in Jackson, Minnesota, and came to the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, in late August to see what’s new and to learn about the most current technologies.

Back in 2012, one of the major employers in Montrose, Colorado, a sawmill, was in receivership and on the brink of collapse. At the time, local media reported that the cost of logging timber had become prohibitively expensive, and the log yard was nearly empty.  

These days, logs are stacked high next to a humming mill. Production is up 20 percent from even just 2016.

The Erica Chang / Wikimedia Commons

A plan to install parking meters in downtown Amarillo looks to be moving ahead.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, city officials have now approved an agreement with a company responsible for developing a comprehensive parking plan for the city center.

Public Domain

America’s largest oil company is seeking proposals to expand renewable energy operations in the Lone Star State.

As Bloomberg reports, Exxon Mobil Corp. has sent out a request for proposals, asking Texas solar and wind companies to pitch contracts to the energy giant. Exxon is seeking contracts with terms of either 12, 15, or 20 years.

Public Domain via Maxpixel

The Lone Star State is still on top, when it comes to wind energy production, reports The Houston Chronicle.

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that Texas added more than 2,300 megawatts of total installed wind power last year, which brought the yearly total up to nearly 23,000 megawatts of power derived from wind.

That 23,000 megawatts dwarfs the nation’s second-largest producer, Oklahoma, which pumped out 850 megawatts.

Public Domain via Pixabay

This fall, grocery and convenience stores across the state of Oklahoma will begin selling wine and cold, strong beer. The move comes in the wake of voter approval of State Question 792, which loosened the state’s stringent liquor laws.

And now, as the president of the Oklahoma Beer Alliance tells KFOR, the modernization of Oklahoma’s beer and wine laws is “giving an extra boost to the already growing Oklahoma beer industry.”

The unemployment rate is down to 3.4 percent in Kansas.

 

MTA / Flickr Creative Commons

The job numbers for July are in, and the news continues to be good for Texas and Oklahoma.

The Lone Star State added jobs for the 25th consecutive month, reports The Houston Chronicle, as employment continues to grow at a healthy pace.

The Texas Tribune

Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to halt the import of gasoline and diesel from the United States and other countries by 2021.

From The Texas Tribune:

From Texas Standard:

In south Texas, cotton farmers are beginning to reap what they've sown. The harvest season starts in the Rio Grande Valley, and slowly creeps north throughout the fall. Whether it's drought, hail, flood, or pests, there's plenty that can go wrong while growing cotton. But farmers aren't clear of the hazards once they get the crop out of the ground. They still have to avoid cotton contamination. That's something that Jimmy Roppolo knows quite a bit about. He's the general manager of United Ag Cooperative in El Campo, where they're starting to gin this season's cotton.

Michael / Flickr Creative Commons

Amarillo has finalized plans to begin offering direct flights to Austin.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the non-stop flights from Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will begin next month. The service is being offered through Via Airlines.

There could soon be a different kind of fuel going into trucks and planes, one that could help farmers and create rural jobs.

It’d come from sorghum: a grass grown around the world, but increasingly so in states like Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. 

Updated Aug. 2, 2018 — The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission did not have enough votes Aug. 1 to approve the poultry barns at issue. Another vote is expected Aug. 15, though any decision is expected to be appealed.

mollyktadams / Flickr Creative Commons

The State of Texas is suing the Federal Government, asking them to end the DACA program, which protects immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation.

Now, as The Houston Chronicle reports, a number of prominent businesses have come out in opposition to the lawsuit. The corporations, which include Southwest Airlines, Uber, Verizon and Amazon, say ending DACA would have a negative impact on the Lone Star State, to the tune of $6 billion.

Public Domain via Pexels

The state of Texas has now truly become a global oil superpower.

As CNN Money reports, the Lone Star State has now passed Iran and Iraq to become the third largest producer of crude on the planet. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia now produce more oil than the state of Texas.

GMCN Architects

Tuesday, the Garden City Commission approved an agreement with GC Investments, Inc. for constructing the ‘Sports of the World’ facility.

As the Garden City Telegram reports, the non-binding agreement lays out terms for the first phase of the project and designates the master developer as GC Investments, which is owned by locals, Cecil O’Brate and Amro Samy.

Emergency Grazing Begins In Drought-Stricken Kansas

Jul 18, 2018
USDA

Cattle producers in drought-stricken Kansas counties may now cut hay or graze on land normally set aside for conservation.

When it comes to tariffs, the Texas economy has a lot at stake.

“Texas clearly is the No. 1 exporting state in America, so we really have ostensibly the most to lose,” said Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Moseley said he's worried about the potential effects of tit-for-tat tariffs from China.

Public Domain

The windswept plains of West Texas have some of the highest solar power potential in the United States. Now, the Permian Basin region is taking advantage of that energy in a big way.

Zorin09 / Wikimedia Commons

CNBC has released their scorecard on the economic climate in all 50 states, and Texas took the top spot.

The news network ranked states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, including workforce, quality of life, education, business friendliness and cost of living. Texas ranked number one overall, also ranking first in infrastructure and economy.

CC0 Pubilc Domain

A new initiative would bar oil and gas extraction on more than 80 percent of non-federal land in Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, over four out of five acres of non-federal land in Colorado would be off-limits to new oil and gas drilling if voters approve a proposed ballot measure this fall.

Kansas Wheat Yields Vary As Harvest Wraps Up

Jul 11, 2018
AGRILIFE TODAY / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Wheat harvest is close to wrapping up in Kansas and overall production is down from last year due to dry weather in some areas and hail damage in others. 

In northwest Kansas, as much as 1 million bushels of wheat were lost to hail.

Eric Sperber, manager of Cornerstone Ag LLC in Colby, told Kansas Wheat that the area was hit with another hailstorm on Saturday.

“We have had five hail events since June 19, and fields that were missed from the previous storms got hit this time. Overall, the crop has good quality; unfortunately, we lost fields due to the hail storms."

Kansas is taking the lead on a project aimed at tracking cattle disease with the hopes of protecting the U.S. beef industry.

Public Domain

The Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles will likely soon suffer under the effects of Donald Trump’s various trade wars.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, the trade war will leave no part of Texas untouched. The Lone Star State has a greater number of exports hit by payback tariffs than any other state.

Last September, the ground shifted under the small town of Tonganoxie, Kansas, about 35 miles due west of Kansas City.

When word got out that Tyson Foods, Inc. was ready to announce it would soon break ground just outside town on a $320 million poultry complex — a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill — opponents organized immediately.

Thirty-eight calves, between two and four months old, moo and kick at the dirt floor in a steel barn in Brush, Colorado. One by one, a handler leads them from the pen to a narrow chute, where their legs are restrained and they’re lifted onto a hydraulic table.  

Pages