Agricultural Giants: Iowa and California

Ed Kee lectured to our class about the “Agricultural Giants”, also known as Iowa and California. Iowa farmers till 30.5 million acres and farmers in California till 25.5 million acres. The top agricultural products grown in both of these states are corn and soybeans. California has a total of $47 billion in Agricultural sales. California ranks first in many different commodities. These commodities range from milk to almonds and grapes. Some farming operations in California have 50,000 acres or more while more average farms have about 330 acres. California alone produces 2/3 of the U.S. fruits and nuts. Tomato processing is also a very big deal in California. Over 95% of our tomato products come from California. Growing a large amount of something comes at a price, which California farmers know. Water in California is a lot more expensive, due to water quality, so some California farmers own water rights which help make their water less expensive. Moving on, Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the world. The economic activity that is generated off of corn in Iowa is $8.8 billion. Iowa harvests 13.1 million acres of corn a year. Iowa also is home of the largest family owned seed company, Stine Seeds. Along with that, pork is also a big deal in Iowa, they raise 20.9 million hogs annually which is the equivalent of 32% of the nations pork production. Just by these statistics we can tell that Iowa and California have tremendous agricultural production. Along with the valuable information on Iowa and California we learned about the Port of Wilmington which is right here in Delaware. This port alone created 5,900 jobs and makes $436 million in annual business revenue. This port made it possible for exports coming out of Iowa and California with products such as cotton, soybeans, horticulture crops, ect. to be delivered right here in Delaware.

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