The agricultural Giants: California and Iowa – Guest lecture by Ed Kee

When you think of California, warm sandy beaches are probably the first thought which comes to mind. However, California ranks first in a wide variety of produce for the nation including almonds, walnuts, grapes, lettuce, strawberries and much more. California exports 26% of its agricultural production making it the 10th largest generated economy. This economic stance is only due to the California valley of which most of the produce is made. Many farmers grow crops which generate the most yield relative to water use. As perfectly temperate California can be water usage is a growing concern; farmers have combated this by the use of canal networks and other irrigation systems. Following California in a number of agricultural products and exports is Iowa. When someone thinks of Iowa, more often than not, corn is the first thought coming to mind. Iowa is the number one corn producer in the United States, but it also ranks first in soybean, egg, and pork production. Iowa is the leading producer of eggs providing almost 970 million dozen eggs for the nation. In summary 13% of corn, 12% of soybean and 32% of pork production happens in Iowa. This is all thanks to Iowa’s soil! Much of the farming land is composed of loess which is deposits of silt and clay creating rich soil able to hold moisture; perfect for growing corn and soybeans. If it wasn’t for California and Iowa, populations across the nation would be without these many agricultural commodities.

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