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Old 07-27-2012, 08:54 AM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,369,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
I tip my hat to the Texans who grow all the beef that I eat.
I wouldn't say ALL. The Midwest has a ton of beef cows, as that's where most of their food comes from anyway. The main areas of Nebraska/Kansas/Iowa/S. Dakota/Missouri and Wisconsin actually produce twice as many beef cows as Texas - although Texas alone is the #1 state with 14% of national production.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:06 AM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,369,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archguy View Post
Midwesterners may hate me for saying it, but I always say how glad I am that people are willing to live there and grow things for me to eat!
Why would they hate you for it!? It brings billions into the region every year.


As far as the OP: The area was mostly grassland and prairie, not trees. The grasses have been burnt by natives for thousands of years. The grasses would grow back right away, but it would kill off any trees. This kept a large % of the land in the western Midwest free of trees. The grasses held in all the dirt, and through the constant burnings/etc. the soils became abnormally rich and full of nutrients.

Settlers to the area were in shock when they realized all they had to do was burn the grasses and be left with soil that wasn't loose and 8" deep as with typical topsoil around the country - but black/dense and many many feet deep into the ground. It's a reason Iowa and Illinois are 49th and 50th in the amount of uncultivated land. The soil is a jackpot as far as growing an abnormal yield of crops. Certainly some of the "best" topsoil anywhere on earth.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,762,345 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
We were also wondering if these states used to be composed entirely of forest, and then vast areas of trees were removed in order to have corn and soybean fields.
It would have looked something like this: http://icons-ak.wunderground.com/dat...nMayland/9.jpg
Next time you'll have to explore the plains, the Driftless, Door County, and northern Minnesota/northern Michigan to get the full spectrum of Midwest terrain.

Quote:
Then, we went up into Michigan and spent the third night at Kalamazoo. Nothing to talk about here lol. The next day, we went to Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, OH. Awesome park, and awesome views of Lake Erie.
Cedar Point <3
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:45 PM
 
Location: The Old Dominion
774 posts, read 1,423,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post

As far as the OP: The area was mostly grassland and prairie, not trees. The grasses have been burnt by natives for thousands of years. The grasses would grow back right away, but it would kill off any trees. This kept a large % of the land in the western Midwest free of trees. The grasses held in all the dirt, and through the constant burnings/etc. the soils became abnormally rich and full of nutrients.

Settlers to the area were in shock when they realized all they had to do was burn the grasses and be left with soil that wasn't loose and 8" deep as with typical topsoil around the country - but black/dense and many many feet deep into the ground. It's a reason Iowa and Illinois are 49th and 50th in the amount of uncultivated land. The soil is a jackpot as far as growing an abnormal yield of crops. Certainly some of the "best" topsoil anywhere on earth.
Well, it was until they let it all blow away in the 1930s....

Dust Bowl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl and Black Sunday

nDepth: Surviving the Dust Bowl Storms of the 1930's | Newsok.com

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s

I posted these since no one's heard of the Dust Bowl before
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,227,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
I tip my hat to the Texans who grow all the beef that I eat.
I second that.

I also thank the Midwesterners, Oklahomans, Coloradoans, Floridians, and Kentuckians that also produce a lot of beef.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,420 posts, read 16,956,571 times
Reputation: 9512
Wow that is a LOT of ground to cover in 5 days! How many miles did you clock?

I enjoyed your trip report as well -- very nice and fun to read!
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:15 AM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
189 posts, read 340,894 times
Reputation: 196
I'll echo the words of a few others and say that you should have stopped in either Cleveland or Pittsburgh on your trip. Mostly just because reading "Cleveland wasn't terrible" on these boards fills my heart with joy.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,881,811 times
Reputation: 33476
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archguy View Post
Well, it was until they let it all blow away in the 1930s....

Dust Bowl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl and Black Sunday

nDepth: Surviving the Dust Bowl Storms of the 1930's | Newsok.com

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s

I posted these since no one's heard of the Dust Bowl before
really? you are referencing "the dust bowl"?! until "they" let it blow away? you should consider getting out more or read your own links... The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres..., centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.



Last edited by Ghengis; 07-28-2012 at 03:26 AM..
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:27 AM
 
1,577 posts, read 2,201,059 times
Reputation: 2761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
looks like a good route but you should've spent more time driving the Mississippi Great River Road if you drove that far to get to it.
Agree. Very nice drive along the Mississippi ... very different than the flat farm land further out. Enjoyed reading about your trip.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:48 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,649,157 times
Reputation: 815
I think Iowa is actually a really beautiful state, I was so impressed.
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