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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 143: Must. Keep. Growing.

Dec 10, 2019

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Food cannons and goat yoga: Farmers get creative for profits

by Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Sep 16, 2019
In troubled trade times, anything to bring business to the farm.
A farmer in La Union, New Mexico, built a 10-acre corn maze in 2000 as a way to supplement their income.
Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

In the flooded farm belt, a race against the clock for planting

by Renata Sago Jun 7, 2019
Growers are racing to plant corn, soybeans and wheat before it's too late.
Water pools in rain-soaked farm fields on May 29 near Gardner, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Why it's the "nonfarm" payrolls report

by Mitchell Hartman May 1, 2019
The Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report doesn't count jobs down on the farm. We explain why.
Farmworkers pull weeds in a spinach field near El Centro, California, in January.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Farmers have been relying on the high value of their land to get them through years of low commodity prices

by Zoe Sullivan May 18, 2018
Land accounts for 80 percent of farm assets according to the Department of Agriculture. So farmers are using their land as collateral to face low commodity prices, but the amount of production that farmers need to service their debt is…

Farmers eyeing trade tariff threats as crop insurance trims considered by House committee

by Nancy Marshall-Genzer Apr 18, 2018
The House Agriculture Committee considers the Farm Bill today. The bill includes funding for crop insurance, the federal program that protects farmers from swings in crop yields, and prices. If insurance is cut back, that could be a problem should…

Detroit's new urban farms bring change and raise questions

by Paige Pfleger Mar 27, 2018
Since 2016 Detroit has gained more than 22 new large scale gardens and farms. As these new farmers put down roots, some wonder what the future of urban agriculture will look like there.
Paige Pfleger/ for Marketplace
I've always wondered...

I've always wondered: how mint flavoring became associated with clean teeth

by Mitchell Hartman Mar 16, 2018
Listener Grant Cohoe says he's "not a fan of mint" and asks: "Why it is that mint is so ubiquitous in toothpaste, mouthwash and the like?"
Mint flavored toothpaste at the store. 
Mitchell Hartman/Marketplace

Invest in Marketplace today

Ask not what Marketplace can do for you, but what you can do for Marketplace.

Montana inmates learn job and life skills while raising cattle on prison ranch

by Eve Abrams Feb 7, 2018
But food coming from a prison isn't necessarily a selling point.
An inmate attaches milkers to cows' teats.
Eve Abrams/Marketplace

Small farmers say meal kits cut into their CSA businesses

by Sam Harnett Jan 18, 2018
Some small farms that participate in community-supported agriculture say that meal kit companies are cutting into their profits.
Paul Underhill is selling more to restaurants and grocery stores to compensate for lost revenue from CSA boxes.
Sam Harnett/ for Marketplace

As farmworkers grow scarce, wages are on the rise

by Kai Ryssdal Mar 23, 2017
But that's not attracting native-born American laborers to the fields yet, L.A. Times reporter says.
California farmers face such tight labor pools that some are replacing grapes with almonds, which require much less human labor.
John Moore/Getty Images