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Regions of the United States Chapter Seven

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1 Regions of the United States Chapter Seven
The Midwest Section Three

2 An Agricultural Economy
Most of the Midwest is flat and has fertile soil. Glaciers helped deposit rich soil long ago. Humus- A dark colored organic material. Winters are very cold, but summers are long and hot. Most places receive at least 20 inches of precipitation annually.

3 Regional Variations The Midwest has many variations of climate and soil. Growing Season- the average number of days between the last frost of spring and the first frost of fall. The growing season in Kansas is twice as long as the growing season in North Dakota. Eastern Ohio gets twice as much rain as central South Dakota. Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa are better for growing corn and soybeans, and raising hogs. In the drier Great Plains states, farmers grow wheat, oats and sunflowers. In Wisconsin, the soil and weather conditions favor the growth of hay and the raising of dairy cattle.

4 The Nation’s Breadbasket
Favorable natural conditions have made Midwestern farms the most productive in the world. This region is known as America’s Breadbasket. It accounts for Americans being the best fed nation on earth. It also helps contribute to our nation’s wealth, since much of the food we produce is exported around the world.

5 The Changing American Farms
In the past, most farms were small and family owned. Today, farming has become big business involving fewer people and more machinery.

6 Farming Technology In 1884, Cyrus McCormick invented a mechanical reaper. This machine allowed farmers to harvest vast amounts of wheat in much less time than it took by hand. As a result, less workers were needed as farms became mechanized. The number of farms has decreased each year, but the size and output of farms has increased. Large commercial farms use machinery, technology, and research to keep ahead.

7 Linking Farms to Cities
Agriculture dominates the economy of the Midwest. Large Midwestern cities like Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Omaha are home to large companies whose names appear on flour bags and feed sacks. Grain Elevator- tall building equipped with machinery for loading, cleaning, mixing, and storing grain. Chicago Mercantile Exchange- the world’s busiest market for eggs, hogs, cattle, and other farm products. Chicago Board of Trade- the largest grain exchange, where buyers and sellers deal for grain.

8 Linking Industries to Resources
The Midwest is also rich in mineral resources. Minnesota leads the states in iron ore production. Illinois and Indiana have sizable deposits of coal. Ohio and Indiana have steel mills due to large deposits of minerals. Detroit is the home to our nation’s automobile industry in part because of its location near the steel making centers.

9 Linking Transportation to Industry
Many Midwestern cities such as Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, and Omaha are located on the shores of the Great Lakes or along major rivers. Water and rail transportation aided the growth of heavy industry. Over 400 million tons of goods travel through the Mississippi River system each year. Thousands of railway cars pull into Chicago each year, bringing grain and livestock from farms farther west.

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