I found Ed Kee’s second lecture to be just as interesting as his first. He again touched on agriculture, but this time, on states I have never visited: Iowa and California. It was interesting to find that they are the two largest agricultural states while they are vastly different. For example, in Iowa there is more rain, rivers, and aquifers, while in comparison, California is quite dry, has lowered water tables, and depends on snowmelt. They also have completely different exports. Iowa, like Delaware, exports mostly corn, soybeans, and meat (in this case beef and pork). California, on the other hand, exports mostly horticulture crops, milk & cream, and almonds. From this, we can really notice how climate and soils affect what can be produced some place, even with the use of fertilizers, chemicals, and GMOs. Technology is a major factor but the climate, soils, and diseases will usually rule what can be planted, produced, and sold.
Iowa and California are two giants, and rightfully so as these two are the top two in Agriculture production and value! In this Guest Lecture I learned an array of new topics and information! Starting first with the Hawkeye state, believe it or not 85% of Iowa’s land mass is used for Agriculture! Iowa’s superb moisture holding soil make it a prime state for growing a lot of corn, although this is the main crop grown, Iowa also produces a lot of soybeans, Pork, and Beef as this is 92% of Iowa’s cash farm income! One of the Most surprising facts I found from this state was that it’s the leading egg producer in the entire nation, producing roughly 968 million dozen eggs! Now on to the Golden state, California is the 3rd largest state in the entire country producing approximately $47 billion in Agriculture sales! While Iowa’s Agriculture production is all about their soil, California’s is all about their water, as it is adjacent to the coast and contains many mountain ranges and springs! California’s most abundant crop next to rice has to be the Tomato, as 95% of our tomatoes come from Cali! California’s farms have a relatively dry climate, although this doesn’t seem like a positive attribute, dry climate equates to less chance of disease for the crops! Although it’s a relatively dry climate towards the center of the state, studies that have been conducted have shown that slowly more and more water has been produced each year! This has helped greatly as the pumping stations found by the mountains have been able to pump out more water effectively and efficiently! So as you can see these two Agricultural Giants have tremendous production and have a lot to offer to the rest of the states in our nation!
I was recently fortunate enough to hear two guest lectures from Mr. Ed Kee. His first lecture taught us students about Delaware Ag and its importance to the food shed. Mr. Kee spoke about many things including that Delaware is located within 8 hours of 1/3 of the population, which puts Delaware at a high advantage even with its small size. Delaware also has 115,000 of land being preserved so it will stay farmland forever; this will allow many businesses to stay in business for many years to come. The agriculture industry has $6-$7 billion dollars of economic activity in Delaware which makes it a large commodity for Delaware as well as the Eastern United States. Mr. Kees second lecture explained Iowa and California Agriculture. I found this lecture very interesting because it put more into perspective about farming in the United States and helped me compare Delawares agriculture practices to those in other states. Iowa has great soil because of the moisture it can hold and its fertility. California agriculture is all about water and farmers grow crops to gain the most profit relative to what they pay for water. After listening to both lectures from Mr. Kee I feel I’ve gained an abundance of knowledge about not only Delaware agriculture but Iowa and California agriculture and thank him very much for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us students.