Business Beat

Wednesdays at 5:20pm and Thursdays at 8:21am

A weekly look at business issues important to mid-Missouri.

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Business
5:30 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Business Beat: Propane price spikes, Missouri grapes combat climate change

The barn at Borgic Farms in Nokomis, Ill., where piglets are weaned must be kept warm year-round. In the winter, that means using a bank of propane-fueled heaters.
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

    

Residents across the Midwest are struggling with tight propane supplies, especially in this bitterly cold, snowy winter.

But it's not just homes that lack adequate access to heating energy. Harvest Public Media's Peter Gray reports on the recent fuel shortage, and how it's hitting farms that put bacon and eggs on your plate in the morning.

If you are a fan of wine, particularly European wines, from France, Italy or Germany, you can be proud of the role Missouri plays in creating that wine.

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Business Beat
5:30 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Business Beat: Immigrant, women entrepreneurs in U.S.

Penelope Shihab, a Jordanian entrepreneur, has chosen Columbia to launch her American subsidiary.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Monday’s Morning Edition on NPR featured a story about a Columbia biotech startup. We thought we’d give it an encore run on KBIA in case you missed it. After hearing Shihab’s unique story, I called Laurel Smith-Doer, who’s a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She’s studied immigrant and women entrepreneurs in biotech in the New England area. I asked her what she’s found in her research.

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Business Beat
5:20 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Business Beat: Ag Sec'y Vilsack and cattle-feeding additive

Some 6,500 Holsteins are “finished” at this 2,000-acre Ordway, Colo., feedlot, where the growth promotion drug Zilmax is no longer used because it was pulled from the market by its manufacturer.
Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

There will be no farm bill until Congress returns in the New Year. But it turns out, dairy prices won’t surge on January 1st as some farm bill supporters have suggested. Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week. It’s a trade visit that happens every year, but this time there is added interest for American farmers. China has rejected 5 loads of corn from the U.S. in recent weeks. The corn contained an insect-resistant trait from the seed company, Syngenta, that’s approved in the U.S. but not China.

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Business Beat
5:20 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Business Beat: Moberly's affordable housing, pheasants lose grassland to farms

The city of Moberly made a Yahoo Homes top ten list of the nation’s cheapest markets for family homes. The report says the average listing of a four bedroom, two bathroom house is just under 100 thousand dollars. In comparison, the most expensive place to buy a home in the U.S. is Malibu, California which has an average price of more than 2 million dollars.

Director for the Moberly Chamber of Commerce Debbie Miller says Moberly is an affordable place to live because it is predominantly a rural area; but, the city is in close proximity to larger metro areas.

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Business
7:59 am
Tue November 26, 2013

New railway bridge opens for business, serving Amtrak's Missouri River Runner

An Amtrak train crosses over the new railroad bridge minutes after being opened for rail traffic at Osage City, Mo., on Nov. 25, 2013.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A new railroad bridge over the Osage River between St. Louis and Jefferson City is now open for both passenger and freight train use.

The new bridge cost $28 million, with most of the funds coming from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo says the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

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Business
8:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Missouri businesses to pay more in unemployment taxes

Credit Image by Evan Townsend

Missouri businesses will have to shell out more money for unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down debt the state owes to the federal government.

Missouri began borrowing federal dollars in 2008 to pay for jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund.  Brendan Cossette with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that led to the feds levying a surcharge on Missouri businesses to repay the borrowed money.

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Business
5:10 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Start-up to help international students; price of Ashland impeachment; new Columbia street art

Artist Maura Mudd used 'concrete graphics' to affix her mural design to the ground near Flatbranch Park.
Credit Kyle Winker / KBIA

Missouri's colleges and universities continue to educate an increasing number of international students.

A report from the Institute of International Education says more than 17,300 international students enrolled at a Missouri college of university during the 2012-13 academic year. The Joplin Globe reports that's a 7.7 percent increase over the previous academic year.

The University of Missouri-Columbia has the largest number of international students, with 2,490.

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Business Beat
5:36 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Programmers wanted; frac sand mine sneaks into Mo.

The Summit Proppants mine asked for a permit to mine an area just inside the border of the land it leased.
Credit Courtesy of Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Just like Silicon Valley, there is a shortage of tech talent -- specifically programming talent -- right here in the Midwest. That dearth is the biggest obstacle holding back an emerging field of Midwestern tech startups. KBIA’s Scott Pham reports that one St. Louis native thinks he has an answer.

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Business Beat
5:30 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Record harvest for farm families; small nuclear reactor grant for MU

The Friesens of Henderson, Neb., have 1,100 acres of corn to harvest, part of 97 million acres of corn to be picked across the country.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Coming up we’ll check in with some farm families about their surprising amount corn crop this year.

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Business Beat
4:46 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Guard donkeys; farmers plowing more prairie land

Credit Heather Adams / KBIA

Wild dogs, coyotes, and bobcats are just some of the predators that have always been a threat to ranchers who raise sheep or goats. Traditionally, people think of getting dogs to help protect their flocks and herds. But there is another option and it’s becoming more popular among ranchers. Guard donkeys. KBIA’s Heather Adams has more.

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Business Beat
5:30 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Government shutdown and salmonella outbreak; food stamps for unemployed

This week, we’ll take a look into one state some students at giving food stamps to the unemployed.

An outbreak of salmonella linked to raw chicken is spreading across the country. As Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, the partial government shutdown could make it tougher to track.

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Business Beat
4:34 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Mid-Mo. roundup of government shutdown effects; millet on the menu

Many national parks have been locked up because of the federal government shutdown.
Credit Rusty_1 / Flickr

“30 Rock” fans know the phrase well: Shut it down.

Nearly all of the characters have used it at some point during the TV show’s multi season run. And now it’s echoed in real life as the federal government has gone into shutdown mode. This week we take a look at how the shutdown has affecting mid-Missouri.

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Business Beat
5:30 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Downtown council talks Brookside overflow; booting a farm subsidy from farm bill

A miscalculation by Brookside apartments is costing some Columbia residents up to $35 per week.  The Downtown Leadership Council hosted a public forum Tuesday to discuss parking issues in Columbia. One full time downtown worker says he has to pay for parking daily now because Brookside residents are taking up all the free spots. Council members say Brookside estimated 25 percent of their residents would bring cars to Columbia.

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Business
9:43 am
Mon September 23, 2013

U.S. House vote to cut SNAP funding brings mixed reactions in state

Credit Selbe B / flickr

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and some Missouri social welfare advocates are concerned about the impact of the cut on rural Missourians. SNAP, formerly food stamps, was already expected to receive a fund cut this November.

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Exploding manure pits; startup business competition

The caretakers of this hog barn near Union, Iowa, are worried about a mysterious foam forming on the manure produced by their hogs.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

It’s about that time of year when hog farmers begin the annual process of pumping a year’s worth of manure out of the pits under their barns. The nutrient-rich slurry will fertilize cropland. But there’s an ongoing problem in these pits: a mysterious foam that sometimes forms on the manure. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer explains, no one quite understands why gases get trapped in the pits, but the foam has been causing explosions. That’s right; this is a story about exploding manure pits.

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