On September 26th 2018 Ed Kee joined the AGRI130 class to discuss agriculture in Iowa and California. According to Ed “Iowa is an agricultural force in the United States and the World.” He then proceeded to tell us some very interesting facts about Iowa to support his statement. For example, 85% of Iowa’s land mass is for Agriculture. Compare this to the state of Delaware which only has 41% of land mass used for farming. Iowa is only ranked behind California in cash farm receipts and agricultural exports. Almost all (92%) of Iowa’s cash farm income comes from beef, corn, and soybeans. Although Iowa is behind California in cash farm receipts and agricultural exports, Iowa is number one in corn and soybean production. Iowa harvests an average of 13.1 million acres of corn a year and 553.7 bushels of soybeans a year. California is also first in milk and cheese, grapes, tomatoes, and hay, to name a few. Ed went on to describe how the natural environment and climate/weather plays a big role in the success of each of these agricultural giants. Ed gave a fascinating discussion on agricultural industries that may not be as well known to the students at the University of Delaware.
Wednesday, September 26th, Ed Kee spoke to AGRI130 students about agriculture in Iowa and California and why they are considered agricultural giants. In Iowa, 85% of the land mass is used for agricultural purposes. To put in perspective how much land that is, Iowa tills about 30.5 million acres while Delaware tills about 490,000 acres. That amount of land specifically used for agricultural purposes in Iowa is crazy! In addition Iowa is the number one producer in corn, soybean, hog and egg production. Therefore it makes sense that 92% of Iowa’s cash flow comes from the above products plus beef production. A big reason why Iowa is able to produce so much is because of how fertile the land is and how plentiful the rainfall is. On the other side there is California that receives less rainfall than average. However, due to the insufficient rainfall (only 10 inches a year, except on the coast) there is a lack of humidity that makes growing vegetables an easy task and helps decrease disease in crops. This state is a agricultural giant because they rank number one in numerous vegetables (i.e tomatoes), nuts and fruits. The new technology farmers now use to better irrigate their fields is amazing in regards to how much more efficient the process is and the resulting increase in crops per acre.
Overall, Ed Kee’s lecture was extremely informative about how much the U.S. relies on the agriculture industry in both Iowa and California. If one were to fall there would be major ripple effects throughout the industry nationwide and possibly worldwide.