Agriculture

Tom Michael / KRTS

Fronteras: If you're questioned by law enforcement at a traffic stop, what are you required to answer? As demographics change across the nation and in Texas, there’s growing concern about Alzheimer’s disease among Mexican-Americans—a population that continues to age. More minors from south of the border are making the dangerous journey to the U.S. illegally and alone. We visit Joint Base San Antonio Lackland where many of those minors are being housed.

Jason Lewis / U.S. Department of Energy

Fronteras: The Democrat facing newly-nominated Republican Dan Patrick in the Texas lieutenant governor race says Sen. Patrick’s pledge to campaign in the minority community is “insulting.” New EPA rules to cut carbon emissions are expected to be unveiled soon. The new rules are expected to spur the use of a so-called clean coal technology. There are fewer than 100 fluent speakers of Kumeyaay left in Southern California and northern Baja California, where they once dominated. Efforts are now underway to preserve the endangered language.

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

In the last five years the number of olive trees in Texas has increased rapidly, but even with tremendous growth several farmers say it’s not enough to call it the next oil boom.

Jim Henry, a pioneer in farming olives and founder of the Texas Olive Oil Council, said in the mid-1990s there were only a handful of trees, but in 2010 that number jumped to over 800,000. Today, Henry said, there are just over a million olive trees in Texas, which in 2013 produced an estimated 30,000-40,000 gallons of oil.

USDA / CC

The drought that caused several Texas ranchers to sell off their herds in the past three years is also a culprit in the current surge in red meat prices.

According to several economists the prices are setting records. The demand for beef in Asia as well as increased feed prices -- as corn increasingly heads to ethanol refiners -- are also to blame for the current state of high prices.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

After their winter trip south, Mexican free-tailed bats are returning to the Bracken Bat Cave in Central Texas in larger numbers, which is good news for South Texas agriculture.

Millions of Mexican free-tailed bats make their summer home at the Bracken Cave just north of San Antonio, and farmers in South Texas rely on them to swarm across their farmland and eat the insects that can destroy crops.

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