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Report: Kansas farmers plant same amount of wheat acreage

WICHITA, Kan. | Kansas farmers have seeded an estimated 6.9 million acres into winter wheat, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday.

The state’s winter wheat acreage is equal to the area planted a year earlier, the agency said.

Winter wheat is planted in the fall for harvest the following year. Kansas is the nation’s biggest producer.

Separately, the agency also reported that about 394 million bushels of wheat is now stored in the state, down 13 percent from the amount in storage at this time a year ago.

Lambert Airport plans biometric screening

ST. LOUIS | Passengers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport soon could be able to speed up their check-in process using their fingerprints and the irises in their eyes.

The city Airport Commission on Wednesday endorsed a contract with a New York-based company to bring its CLEAR biometric system to Lambert. The contract must still be approved by the city Board of Estimate and Apportionment.

People willing to pay up to $179 a year to be identified by their fingerprints and irises would go through the screening at a CLEAR kiosk in the terminal and then be escorted to a special line leading to the Transportation Security Administration employee checking documents. They would then go through the normal security screening like all other passengers, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Visa buys financial technology company Plaid for $5.3B

NEW YORK | Visa is purchasing the financial technology company Plaid for $5.3 billion, a major push by the payment processing giant into other types of money transfer systems outside of Visa’s traditional credit and debit card business.

Plaid allows consumers to link their bank accounts to financial services apps like Venmo, PayPal, Betterment and Transferwise. The company is an important but unknown middle man between the banks, which hold consumers’s cash, and the dozens of platforms that vie to be the platform of choice to send that cash. Bankers refer to companies like Plaid as “the plumbing” behind how these apps work.

The Monday announcement is Visa’s first big push into a product that isn’t just credit and debits cards. Visa is the world’s largest payment processing company, but it makes almost entirely all of its money from swipe fees it earns from merchants whenever its cards are accepted.

— From AP reports