The Mid-West States

There is a group of States in the north of the country that together are known as the Mid-Western States. The definition tends to vary with some including States as far south as Mississippi but the easiest way to clarify the mid-west is to take the definition used by the census bureau.

The flat endless Kansas plains

This includes the States of Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. None of the States have a coastline but 6 share either a boundary with the great Lakes or Canada. These land locked States share many features and sometimes they can be described in a rather generalized manner.

In terms of the general area, it divides the Appalachian Mountains to the east from the Rockies in the west. This vast region is fairly flat and is the home to the United States cereal production. There are several rivers that flow through it, and over the years the Ohio River, the Upper Mississippi River and the Missouri River have provided fertile food plains for agriculture to thrive. For many years not many people settled in the region due to being able to cross the vast distances. At the start of the 19th, century the United States Government started to encourage more settlers to go and build farms in the area. The best way to cover the large distances was by using the rivers and building canals. As soon as the railways were introduced it accelerated the occupation of the area. Today the railway terminus in Chicago is as busy as it has ever been with many of its lines heading westwards across the mid-west. This coincided with industrialization and both of these factors resulted in Chicago becoming the most influential city in the region. The agriculture drives nearly all the local economies as the area has some of the richest soils in the country. If the towns did not benefit greatly from industrialization then the farming did. Ploughs and combine harvesters are now able to harvest huge areas of land which is perfect for a wide variety of agricultural produce. Wheat, corn and dairy are the regions favorites with the local climates often deciding which practice is more suitable to be farmed.

The soils and climate are perfect for corn production in Iowa

Wheat in Kansas, corn in Iowa and dairy in Michigan reflect the diversity of the region and these areas are among the nation’s leading producers for their agricultural output. This region is the agricultural heartland of the country. Many of the farms are larger than regular in Western Europe. Lon Frahm is a farm that covers over 30,000 acres in Kansas and it grows enough wheat and corn each year to fill 4,500 semi-trailer trucks. The farm has its own Cessna Sky-plane and it needs to fly for over 30 miles before coming to the end of the property’s fields. The property has huge 80 foot steel grain bins and it turns up to 15 million US dollars a year. Although small farms do survive the larger operations benefit from economies of scale and many are now buying out the smaller operators. Thousands of people are employed in agriculture, and the beauty is that people will always need to eat so the industry can be relied upon to keep bringing economic benefit to the mid-west.