On Wednesday October 3rd the AGRI130 Class had guest speaker James Adkins come in and talk about Agriculture Irrigation. Mr. Adkins opened his lecture by telling the class that 20% of the of the world’s farmland is irrigated and that this produces 40% of the worlds food supply. One reason why irrigated farmlands play such a big role in today’s food supply is due to the fact that the world’s irrigated area almost tripled from 250m in 1950 to 700m acres in 2000. Furthermore, Mr. Adkins went on to say that the state of Delaware alone has around 150,000 acres of irrigation. This accounts for 30% of farmland. James also stated that about half of all the irrigated land in the United States use flood irrigation. Mr. Adkins explained that flood irrigation is a less effective method of irrigation than drip irrigation. Mr. Adkins then explained that a high-yielding corn crop requires anywhere from 20 to 25 inches of water, but do best with 22 inches of water. Overall this was a very interesting topic that I earned a lot of fascinating things about.
Delaware’s former secretary of agriculture Ed Kee visited our class and shared with us some valuable information regarding the work he has done throughout his career. His lecture kept my attention because he was once a student in the same classrooms in Townsend Hall that we are all in and eventually had the ability to share his knowledge from UD with the world in countries such as Ukraine. His words were inspiring and introduced me to a lot of things I was unaware of about Delaware and the world. Kee referred to Delaware as a food shed because we are an eight hour drive from 1/3 of the entire Unites States population. That statistic alone was enough to get me thinking about how important the Delaware agriculture system is and how the work we are doing and the knowledge we are obtaining now is going to have an impact on future generations to come.