Tag Archives: California agriculture

Mr. James ADKINS on, ‘The Importance of Irrigation & Water Management in Delaware’

On October 2, 2019 Mr. James ADKINS spoke to us on irrigation practices across the state of Delaware and how they’ve evolved over time.  Mr. ADKINS has a Bachelors degree from the University of Maryland and works at the UD Carvel Research Center and is an Extension Specialist with fruits and vegetables.  He also worked with Mr. KEE- the man who brought PictSweet to Delaware along with mechanized pickling.  Additionally, Mr. ADKINS works with equipment, technology, and irrigation nationally and internally, as well as handling irrigation on Warrington Farm.

The talk began with a brief history on irrigation in relation to the systems used today.  Only 20% of the world’s farmland is irrigated but 40% of the world’s food supply is produced with irrigation.  Mr. ADKINS traces irrigations humble beginnings to the Towers of Babylon in Machu Picchu, originally pumped by slaves.  Irrigation systems requiring man-power could be found in other ancient civilization throughout the world, as well as animal, wind, and water power.

One of the first methods of irrigation Mr. ADKINS discussed was flood irrigation.  Also called gravity/furrow irrigation, it is used when a weir controls the water flow.  This type of irrigations works best on heavy (capable of holding a lot of water), mostly level soil where 3-4inches of water is applied per application- Delaware is not level enough to employ this method.  In California, however, each farm receives this type of water delivery method 4 times per year with a 4 inch application each time.  Siphon tubes are used to run water across a ditch with grated pipe, a system used by 30% of U.S. farms.  A canal manager/operator oversees the transfer of water between farms as farmers upstream receive the water, then that tailwater is re-used on the next farm down. Mr. ADKINS tells us that there are stockholders in canal water- reiterating the points made by Mr. KEE about the complicated water rights in California.  The Homestead Act and combined with the controversy around who owns what means farmers may not even own the water underneath their property.

After WW2 came the advent of the pressurized sprinkler system. With this system came the second method of irrigation, using hand-moved pipe.  This pipe was made from aluminum, originally sourced from scrapyards in Washington and Oregon where airplane manufacture had been done.  This system was often used in the western U.S.  A variation of this system, side-roll wheeled-pipe, could be hooked to 150-200ft risers underground and can be seen in use in Idaho.  This system doesn’t work well with corn.

Another pressurized system, the traveling gun, can be used for corn, soybeans, wheat, and other agronomic crops.  This device has the spraying power of 10-20 fire hose in pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure.  This force is not evenly applied, however, and the machine itself requires lots of power and fuel, meaning it has negative energy efficiency.  This device is often used on sports fields, running 6hours at a time to cover 10acres.  It is a poor choice to give water to newly plant, fragile, and shallow rooted crops.

Frank ZYBACH’s center pivot irrigation, uses an anemometer powered by water.  The crops it is used on are often planted in circles.  Mr. ADKINS showed us examples of it’s use in Nebraska, but it is broadly used, even in largely desert countries like Saudi Arabia.  The system is used in Delaware and works well with furrow planted crops.

The greatest percentage of irrigated land exists in Asia, where 68% of the farmland receives water via surface water irrigation like dams and hydroelectric.  Half of the 60 million acres of U.S. farmland that are irrigated use flood (surface water) irrigation. Mr. ADKINS informed the class that the first source of irrigation is often surface water before acquirers are sourced for water instead- aquifers require more pressure to pump water and therefore more money.  Most of the irrigated farms in Asia are small, encompassing less than 5acres.  90% of India’s freshwater is used for agricultural irrigation compared to 65% of China’s freshwater.

After Asia, America comes in at a mere 17% with it’s irrigated farmland, followed by Europe at 9%, Africa at 5%m and Oceana at 1%.  The U.S.’s irrigated farm area expanded rapidly from 1950 to 2000, going from 250 acres to 700 acres, or 280% in 50years.  This is staggering, compared to the 10% increase from 2000 to 2010.  Despite the more modern methods of irrigation utilized in the U.S., many aquifers are struggling.  An example would be the large Oklahoma state high plains aquifer that is being depleted faster than it can naturally recharge- the rivers going through aren’t given the chance to percolate. Globally 15-35% of irrigation withdrawals are projected to be unsustainable. In California, irrigation withdrawals were a mere 19% in 2005, with almond trees allowed to die as irrigation water is diverted to the city for people to drink instead.

In Delaware, 30% of the farmland, or 15, 000 acres is irrigated.  In Sussex County Delaware, 50% of the farmland is irrigated.  In the older properties of the county, many wells are hand-dug and only go as deep as 40ft, when modern wells are often much deeper.  Controversy often arises from citizens believing the neighboring farms center-pivot system is pumping out their drinking water, however this is often incorrect as domestic-use wells are deeper than irrigation wells and often tap into different aquifers because the aquifers are ‘stacked’ underground.  Companies like Tidewater and Artesian can capitalize on these water disputes by promising new residents in their brand new developments, ‘fresh, uncontaminated drinking water’.  When consumers buy a property they purchase water allocation rights, meaning the cone of influence to off-set their neighbor can’t exceed a foot of their well water.

Irrigation can also give locales on brink of disaster a second chance.  In Ken BURNS’ documentary, ‘The Dust Bowl’ an Oklahoma city is irrigated after a lack of rainfall due to climactic change and the farmland is able to be recovered.  In Saudi Arabia, 16, 000ft. well are dug to pump acquirers in the desert and increase the countries food security in times of conflict.  Water desalinating technology is another expensive method used to bring water to the desert.

Lastly, Mr. ADKINS discussed ways in which aquifers are made more effective and efficient.  1 million gallons of water usage equals 10 households per year, 1.5 Olympic swimming pools, and 100 acres of corn in 1 day during the pollination stage. Much of the water applied to crops can be lost to the soil and air in a process referred to as evapotranspiration,or ET. Mr. ADKINS showed us an image of an old dike system where the aquifer was lined with concrete to prevent water loss from water seeping through the salt rock.  He shared an interesting anecdote in which, through his travels, he learned that Idaho kids can ride a raft down the river for 20miles to an overpass for recreation.  Certain cultivars, like corn, can use copious amounts of water- anywhere from 20-25inches, or an average of 22 in per year.  Crop coefficients can be measured and estimated based on crop and growth stage charts and taking variables like humidity, rainfall, and wind into consideration.  Increasingly high temperatures can make irrigation even less effective, as water is lost when plants are under heat stress.  In Delaware, the sprinkler, drip, and sub-surface irrigation may require more water usage in sandy soil, but still used less water overall that alternative methods.  In New Castle County, specific methods like drip irrigation can be better for the general soil type.

New irrigation technology was shown briefly at the end of the lecture. The Warrington Pivot works via SmartPhone and can be turned on remotely, creating added convenience and reducing the need for travel for farmers.  When using the corner system and center pivot, zone control can be employed to adjust the water distribution rates for varying soil types on different plots of land- also known as Variable rate irrigation, or VRI, a small system for an area f low variability can cost $25, 000 as opposed to upwards of $30-$40, 000 for a larger, more complex system.  To justify the expense, farmers use a free AGIS soil survey with records dating back to the 1940s to determine the needs of their property.  For additional support, farmers can seek the help of a Natural Resource Conservation Specialist.  Major soil variability will often occur near rivers and swamps, but any equipment for slight variability is usually used as a research tool, instead of a practical farming expense.

As the lecture lasted right up to the end of class, there was little in the way of closing statements or remarks.

Mr. Walter Edwin ‘Ed’ KEE on Iowa & California-: Agricultural Giants — Farms, Food, Energy, Water, & the Environment

On September 25, 2019 Mr. Ed KEE returned and spoke to us once again- this time, on the two number one U.S. states in agricultural production and value- Iowa and California.  Mr. KEE also brought props from a nearby grocery store and books that he had written.  The groceries would be used to illustrate the breath and scope of the products coming out of each state and the books would be awarded to the students who volunteered answers or thought-provoking questions.  Mr. KEE brought a lot of his discussion topics back around to the Delaware overview he gave the class last time, to give context to the numbers related to both states outputs. Prof. ISSAACS also corroborated these facts with his own knowledge of agriculture throughout the talk.

The talk began with am overview of the state of Iowa.  The state is flanked by the Missouri and Mississippi rivers with transportation and mills throughout, facilitating the high rate of production, but without the huge population centers nearby like Delaware has.  Iowa also has 85% of it’s land in farms, compared to Delaware’s 41%, with 87, 500 farmers spread across 30.5 billion acres, 5 million of which are dedicated to fruit and vegetable production.  Farm production generates 92% of the state’s farm income, mostly generated through corn, soy beans, pork, and beef.  Iowa usually vies for 1st in soy production with Illinois, but in hog production Iowa reigns supreme, with 11 pork processors across the state, each plant going through 90, 000 hogs a day.  Iowa is also the largest producer of table eggs- Delaware’s Puglisi Egg Farm, by comparison, only outputs 90, 000 dozen eggs per day, according to Prof. ISAACS.

Iowa owes its high production output in no small part to its climate and soil.  Iowa has a mild growing season, with few 90°F days.  The states soil is mainly loess- fine silt & clay particles- deposited via glacier over thousands of years,10-30 thousand yrs. ago.  Those soils have a high cation exchange ranging from 10-15- much higher than Delaware’s soils that stay around 1 or 2.  Mr. KEE said he’d never encountered a Delaware soil with an exchange rate of 3.  Those same soils will only hold around 3-4 inches of water before draining.  By contrast, the impressively healthy soils of Iowa run very deep.  Mr. KEE cited 1880 records from a farmer who reported prairie grass as high as his head while standing up in his wagon- meaning the roots would run at least so deep.  Mr. KEE was then able to confirm by his own first hand account, that Iowa soils do still indeed run quite deep- at least 9ft without hitting a hardpan.  Because of this great soil and climate, Iowa land has a steep price- prime land can be $10, 000 or more, with most acreage ranging from $6, 000-$$7, 500.  By comparison, Delaware prime acreage tends to be around $6, 000 per acre.

A large part of Iowa’s acreage is used to grow corn an soy beans.  But while a large portion of those crops will become animal feed- 40% of the corn produced will go to hogs and cows- an equally large portion will become biofuel.  Along with meat production in Iowa, tractors, animal genetics, and seed are major components, but ethanol is definitely a larger part of the agriculture industry.

After September 11, 2001 and the World Trade Center attack, Iowa corn began being used for 15% of the gas blends used today, in order to decrease the nations dependence on oil.  These events lead to the passing of the 2006 Ethanol Law supporting its production and use.  Mr. KEE and Prof. ISAACS elaborated that while ethanol is not quite as efficient as gasoline alone, it combusts well and stretches oil.  It also has the tendency to gum up engines and eat fuel lines, which lead to the creation of additives to make the biofuel work more efficiently and reduce harmful emissions.  Another biofuel, soy diesel, smells like popcorn and enhances lubrication, but while it canlower carbon footprints and has less btus per gallon than gasoline, it is only really available for alternative markets.  Soy diesel is common in the MidWest, but must be shipped for use here in the East at a higher cost per gallon.  Iowa alone is responsible for 25% of the nations exports in ethanol.

Iowa is also home to some pioneers in agriculture. An Iowa company Stine seed, created 40-50years ago, generates 63% of soybean genetics in North & South America.  A man named Harry STINE, who became the richest man in Iowa at one time, created the company.  Another successful man, Norman E. BORLAUG, father of the Green Revolution in the 1960s and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and World Feed Prize in the 1970s, became a plant pathologist and breeder who came up with high-yield crop variations.  These innovators were able to help countries like India and Bangladesh become more self-sufficient as well.  The nations government of the time as well as foreign governments over seas acknowledged these accomplishments.  Mr. KEE showed us a PowerPoint slide of the Premier of Russia visiting an Illinois field in the ’50s of ’60s to learn more about agricultural production at a time when the Soviet Union needed to increase their food production for their citizens.  This government support for its farmers is contrasted by a modern example brought up by classmate, where the current President- whose administration is responsible for aiding farmers as well as securing and reassuring international trade partners- has lessoned the amount of ethanol required in gasoline, which by extension, lessons the demand for corn used to produce it.

Mr. KEE then switched the discussion to the highest-ranking agricultural producer California, whose controversial agricultural legislations revolve mainly around water usage and water rights.

California agriculture is mainly conducted on a prehistoric lakebed and in fertile desert regions that are supplied water via aqueduct and irrigation.  A key location among these zones in the Sierra Madras Valley, facing out towards the Pacific ocean it is surrounded by mountains on three sides.  The snowfall in theses mountains is gathered each winter to re-fill the states reservoirs and supply the extensive irrigation system that consists mainly of two large aqueducts, one state funded and the other federally funded, that are 30ft. deep, 60ft. wide and run for 300 miles.

The usage of this water goes primarily to the farmers for their fields, after which it flows to Hollywood and Los Angeles for drinking water.  In addition to this water, some farmers have water rights for the water under their property- some do not.  Because of the Homestead Act and other laws, some farmers pay the rates they would have paid over 100 years ago, while their neighbors rates may be much more exorbitant- the difference between $10/gal and $200/gal.  The drama surrounding farmers and their properties has been well-documented in books and movies like, ‘East of Eden’ and, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.  With only 4-10in. of rain per year, the snow harvest is integral to the success of each years crop.  Because of the arid climate, diseases and fungi find little success in California.

California grows many varied crops, including lettuce, tomatoes, and enough almonds to cover the state of Delaware!  With so many crops to harvest, California has adopted a reliable way to ensure their product makes it to market.  In the 1960s a Mexican man names Cesar CHAVEZ, a WW2 U.S. Navy veteran began the United Farm Workers Union– if a worker works over 10 hours, they must be paid time and a half.  To avoid the extra expense, farmers will often simply hire more workers.  The rules for paying workers vary from state to state, however.  Another classmate asked if Delaware farmers were exempt from paying minimum wage.  Mr. KEE explained that most workers will not bother to show up if the pay is less than minimum wage, so the market supersedes the written law- farmers can’t afford to be stingy!  Farmers will also work with the government H2A program, which works with people from Haiti & Jamaica to guarantee seasonal labor for farmers.  This labor guarantee helps generate a larger gross domestic product.

Another California product, tomatoes, have been broadly cultivated and marketed across the U.S..- 95% of tomato products in the U.S. come from the state.  Mr. KEE displayed some of the spoils from the aforementioned shopping trip- along with a small package of Iowa bacon were several cans of tomato products, including stewed tomatoes.  A machine harvesting process was created to harvest tomatoes regardless of the weather; with equipment that can travel over the relatively dry California soil to handle special varieties of tomatoes with thicker skin and more uniform shapes to handle the rigor of the mechanized process- this machine would be unreliable driving on the often muddy soils in Delaware.  This invention coincided with the termination of the Bracero Program in 1964- the program allowed Mexican workers to come in to harvest crops during wartime.

Another mechanical harvesting process Mr. KEE encouraged us to look into was almond harvesting, which involves a machine violently shaking almonds from a tree and then raking and vacuuming them up from the ground.

Mr. KEE concluded his talk by mentioning the Port of Wilmington (Delaware)- purported the second largest port following Antwerp, where Chilean fruit and bananas are received.  Mr. KEE lamented about having always wanted to take students to see to port, even though he is now retired, offering up the experience as something for Prof. ISAACS to consider.

Mr. KEE gave the two books to the most vocal students in the class and packed up what I assume was a weeks-worth of breakfast before saying goodbye.






Iowa and California

In this lecture, Ed Kee talked about agriculture in Iowa and California, ranked first and second in cash farm receipts in the United States. I thought it was crazy that 85% of Iowa’s land mass is used for agriculture- that doesn’t leave a lot of space left for house, roads, hospitals, schools, and natural areas for wildlife. Iowa farms 30.5 million acres, which blows Delaware’s’ 490,000 acres out of the water. Of course, Iowa is known for its corn, harvesting 13.1 million acres of it every year. I didn’t realize the Iowa also grows tons of soybeans, pork, and beef. I thought it was really interesting how the silt and clay were deposited by the wind- I usually only hear about sediments being deposited near bodies of water. California, on the other hand, is interesting topography wise because of how sandwiched the agricultural fields are. California is, of course, giant in both size, variety of climate, and economical power. However, California is having a major water crisis, which is hard to not know about due to all the fires that have happened in California over the past years. The aqueduct system in place is very impressive and must be very rigorously managed. I can only imagine how ugly water allocation can get between different farms and between farmers and the public.

Guest Lucture-Iowa and California: Agricultural Giants

Mr. Ed Kee gave my class a lecture about Iowa and California agriculture.  Iowa is an agricultural state which 85%of Iowa’s land mass is used for agriculture. 87,500 farmers in Iowa till 30.5 million acres. Most income of Iowa’s cash farm comes from corn, soybean, pork and beef. Iowa is the number one producer in corn and soybean. Iowa is the number one producer in hog as well. And it the nation’s leading producer of eggs. All those advantages are resulted in the fertile soils and comfort climate for crops in Iowa. Then, Mr. Kee talked to us about California-the nation’s leading state in cash farm receipts with 47 million dollars. And California ranks first in many commodities, such as milk & cream, almonds, grapes and tomatoes. 95% of U.S. tomato products come from California. But there are some issues in California, like the water issue due to the water quality the water cost more. In the meantime, some farm families own water rights dating over 100 years old, so, their water is less expensive.

Iowa and California: Agricultural Giants with Guest Speaker Ed kee

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.

California and Iowa Agriculture: Guest Lecture by Ed Kee

After visiting the University of Delaware for a second lecture on agriculture, Ed Kee focused on topics in Iowa and California. Although vastly different from Delaware, these states supply a large part of their market. Both are  dominating when it comes to production rates, and they are focused on environmental efforts.

Iowa ranks 1st in corn production with 8.5 billon dollars in economic activity. Although most of this crop is used as produce and feed, Iowa is the leader in corn produced for ethanol. Corn ethanol is a better option for gasoline as it is a renewable energy source. The state actual produces 25% of the nations ethanol reserve.

California is one of the largest players in American agriculture. They average 47 billon dollars in sales, which makes them first in the nation. California produces the most milk and cream out of all other commodities. Another interesting note is that almost 95% of the nations tomatoes come from this great state!

Ed Kee presented us with yet another great lecture. It’s interesting to learn about other states agriculture which give us a well-rounded overview of the U.S. agriculture market.

Iowa and California – Agriculture Giants


85% of Iowa’s land mass is used for agriculture! There are 87,500 farmers in Iowa that till 30.5 million acres a year. Compared to Delaware farmers where they till only 490,000 acres. 92% of Iowa’s cash farm income comes from corn, soybean, pork and beef production. Iowa is ranked first in corn, soybean, pork and egg production. For example, Iowa farmers harvest 13.1 million acres of corn, with a state average of 203 bushels per acre.

What makes Iowa so optimal for agriculture?

Iowa has very fertile soil with a high cation exchange capacity of 10-15. Iowa gets 24 to 36 inches of rain a year which is good because Iowa’s soil moisture capacity is also key to its fertility. The soil’s ability to retain the rain eliminates the need for an irrigation system, thus making production costs lower.


California is number one in agriculture sales, with an annual $47 billion dollars. California ranks first in nine different commodities that include- milk/cream, almonds, grapes, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, flowers/foliage, walnuts, and hay. California has 77,500 farms with over 25 million acres. An average farm size is 329 acres but some range to 50,000 acres. California is ranked the 10th largest general economy in the world. This means California generates a larger gross domestic product than countries such as Mexico and Canada.

How does California succeed?

Water and labor. Water is what California agriculture is all about. Water in California is very limited, their water source is from the snow caps of the mountains that flow through aqueducts and run through a filter which then is distributed throughout California. Water and the ideal low humidity in California makes it perfect to grow more fruit and vegetables that everyone eats on a daily basis. Also, 95% of our tomato products come from California. This volume of production is ideal because 26% of its production is exported.

Insight from Mr. ED KEE

Ed Kee: Iowa and California Agriculture

On September 26th, Ed Kee came into the class and gave a lecture on the important key points of agriculture in Iowa and as well California. The main points that caught my attention is how much land is used solely for agriculture in Iowa. And the reasons is that the land is very fertile and holds many nutrients in the ground as well holds the rain water very well. and that their main means of money is very similar to Delaware’s crops. And how California is able to grow so much with little amount of rain. even though they don’t have much humidity which is good for vegetables. Also the way you think of California being a big city that only parties but they also are number one in multiple markets of good. Like Milk and cheeses, almonds, grapes and many more.

Ed Kee Second Lecture

In his second guest lecture Mr. Ed Kee spoke about Iowa and California, the two states that are the leaders of agriculture production and value.  Each of these states have different challenges that they must meet in order to be able to produce their products. California has great difficulty getting the water that they need in order to be able to sustain their crops.  Iowa has an easier time as the soil and climate is perfect for the crops that they produce. Iowa is the leader in the production of pork, eggs, corn, and soybeans. California is the leading producer of many products, such as milk, tomatoes, and grapes.  It was very surprising to me that California is a leading agricultural producer, especially with their water problems. I did not know that they were such a big portion of crop production, especially with the tomato industry, where they produce 95 percent of our tomatoes.  People usually do not think about a leader in agricultural production when they think of California.

California and Iowa Agriculture by Ed Kee

I found Ed Kee’s second lecture to be very informative. I had no idea the magnitude of exports that Iowa and California produce annually. I thought this lecture provided a great overview of each state’s individual Ag industry and helped put into perspective the local industry here in Delaware. It reminded me how interconnected we are in the world, not just across the country. Something surprising I learned was how the tragic event of 9/11 influenced corn production for ethanol. I was just a toddler then, and seeing how quickly the agriculture industry responded to a sudden problem is very interesting. Also, I found it interesting to learn about Stine seeds and the work with soybeans. Soy is one of the main sources of protein that I consume as a vegetarian, so knowing more about the history of the seeds was something I enjoyed. I think the biggest takeaway message from both of Ed Kee’s lectures is just how important the Ag sector is to our country, and the world. It’s somehow connected to everything.

Iowa and California with Ed Kee

For our second lecture, Ed Kee discussed the agriculture industry in Iowa and California. Before this class I didn’t know much about agriculture. All I knew was that California and parts of the Midwest grew a lot of crops. I found it interesting to learn about the soil in Iowa. Ed Kee said that Iowa gets around 24-36 inches of a year. Also it has a nice climate throughout the year. Ed Kee also discussed the importance of the Port of Wilmington in Delaware. In the U.S., It is the number one seaport for imported bananas. One reason is because Delaware is within eight hours of one third of the U.S. population. With railroads and highways, such as I-95, it is easier to get products to many different parts of the country. The port creates 5,900 jobs and creates an annual business revenue of  $436 million. I enjoyed learning about the importance of Iowa’s and California’s agriculture industry.

Big Ag in Big States, Ed Kee talks about ag in California and Iowa

Ed Kee came back to talk to us about agriculture in Iowa and California. Did you know California and Iowa are the most valuable states in agriculture? Just the state of California its self has one of the top economies in the world. California and Iowa are different in many ways. Iowa, we learned, has some of the best growing conditions in the world. Iowa has very rich soils and almost perfect climate. The soil called “loess” has been blown into Iowa and is light and fluffy. It’s made from wind erosion of silt and clay making very small particles. The great soil and climate means farmers don’t need to irrigate which means crop production is cheaper.

California grows vegetables and lots of them. 95% of U.S.A. tomatoes were grown in California. When you think of California you probably think of the beaches or the desert, you aren’t thinking of rain. Water management is a big part of California agriculture. Because California is so dry they’ve had to build aqua duct bring water from the north part of the state south. Even with water problems California ranks first in milk & cream, almonds, grapes, lettuce, and strawberries just to name a few.

Ed Kee on Iowa and California Agriculture

In order to provide a more comprehensive view on American agriculture, Ed Kee returned to our class to speak on the agriculture industries of Iowa and California. These two states are giants of the industry, as they rank in the top 2 in agricultural exports of the United States.

Iowan agriculture is primarily based on corn, soybeans, pork, and beef production. The fertile loess soils, moderate temperatures, and sufficient rainfall makes Iowa the ideal location for many types of crop production. Iowa continues to be at the forefront of global agriculture. They engage in a variety of innovative industries, such as ethanol production.

California is also a leader in global agriculture, however they operate in different enterprises. Fruit, vegetable, nuts, dairy, and hay production is very active in California. However unlike Iowa, California has to combat the challenges caused by the climate. To overcome drought, they have developed an impressive network of aqueducts to provide all agricultural lands with irrigation water.

By gaining expertise on agriculture across the nation, we can become a much more informed agvocate for agriculture as a whole.

ED KEE~ Second Guest Lecture

Ed Kee gave a guest lecture on how Iowa and California are Agricultural Giants. Mr, Kee explained how Iowa is an ” Agricultural force” in the U.S. and 85% of Iowas land mass is used for agriculture. There are 87,500 farmers in Iowa till 30.5 million acres, Delaware farmers till 490,000 acres. Iowa also is ranked first in corn, soybean, pork and egg production. Iowa has very fertile soil, they also get 24 to 36 inches of rain a year.

Mr. Kee also had talked about how California ranks first in nine different commodities these in which include; milk, almonds, grapes, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, flowers, walnuts and hay. There are 77,500 farms in California with over 25.5 million acres. California is also ranked the 10th largest general economy in the world. California also grows more fruit and vegetables because of low humidity. Also 95% of our tomato products come from California. Water in California is very limited, there water source is from the snow caps of the mountains that flow through aqueducts and run through a filter which then is distributed through out California.

I would like to thank Mr. Kee for yet another great lecture.

Ed Kee’s Second Guest Lecture

Listening to former Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee last Wednesday Sept. 26, I realized that the United States has by far one of the most diverse agriculture industries in the world. This diversity is due to our various climates and soils from coast to coast that allows farmers to grow the crop that will best grow on their farm. As for California and Iowa they have excelled in finding what best grows in their state allowing these two states to hold the top two positions in the U.S. agriculture industry. Iowa is a state that really catches my attention because they grow many commodities that we grow here on the delmarva but they achieve unthinkable yields. Kee taught us that because of their high yields Iowa leads the country in both corn and soybean production, which is an astonishing accomplishment if you ask me. But then I realize that they have a huge advantage compared to little Delaware because they have 30.5 million acres in farmland compared to 450,000 acres here. Then when I look at California the top agriculture state I’m just amazed how they cope with only 10 inches of rain a year by using aqueducts that bring water to their crops. California also amazes me by ranking number 1 in 9 different commodities in the U.S. and being the 10th largest general economy in the world! That means out of all the countries in the world just one state has enough economic activity to rank 10th, it just takes me by surprise. Overall I could talk about these two states for days because the information that Ed Keeps taught me was very interesting.