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Old 12-19-2012, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wi
181 posts, read 273,560 times
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You just missed Milwaukee! I recently moved there and I must say it is very underrated. Also I know it would've been quite out of your way but the Upper Peninsula (Door County) of Wisconsin is amazing!
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:21 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,080 posts, read 5,460,584 times
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Quote:
To your point, it'll be interesting to see how the Corn Belt shifts as weather continues to affect avg. temps and water supply. I predict a shift northwest by 100-200 miles. Northwest because to the Northest are mostly forests and lakes that will never be cropland, and there is an abundance of open space to the Northwest. But I know nothing about these types of things.....just curious how GLobal Climate Change will impact thinigs like this (as well as which types of new plants will occupy areas, what temps and weather will be like, etc.). It's starting to dawn on me that "winter" as we knew it in Minnesota may not be a sub-freezing land of ice and snow for 3 months anymore, and winter in Cleveland may not be nearly as snowy or cold as people here expected. Normally I'm pretty stoked to have milder temps but NOT if it means losing the ice and snow, which provide SO MUCH winter activity that without it winters are actually WORSE!
Interesting post.

Michigan is not considered to be in the heart of the corn belt, it is more of a fringe state, with almost all of the corn production happening in the southern 1/3 of the state. Just from my own observations, farmers in Michigan are working to increase corn/soybean production. I have seen a lot of farms removing tree lines to make for larger fields in the last few years. So far I haven't seen any whole stands of woods being cleared, but maybe that is coming. I would say that farming in this state is going to be more sustainable than many areas, especially the plains, moving forward, due to the large supply of water and consistent rainfall.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:38 PM
 
Location: IN
20,868 posts, read 36,017,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Interesting post.

Michigan is not considered to be in the heart of the corn belt, it is more of a fringe state, with almost all of the corn production happening in the southern 1/3 of the state. Just from my own observations, farmers in Michigan are working to increase corn/soybean production. I have seen a lot of farms removing tree lines to make for larger fields in the last few years. So far I haven't seen any whole stands of woods being cleared, but maybe that is coming. I would say that farming in this state is going to be more sustainable than many areas, especially the plains, moving forward, due to the large supply of water and consistent rainfall.
I would think they would not have much latitude to expand northward as soils differ substantially as you move further north in Michigan with growing season differences depending on how far inland away from the Great Lakes you are? At a certain latitude in Michigan (north-central Lower Peninsula) geology and drainage is much poorer with a good amount of lakes, ponds, a forests.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:13 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,080 posts, read 5,460,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I would think they would not have much latitude to expand northward as soils differ substantially as you move further north in Michigan with growing season differences depending on how far inland away from the Great Lakes you are? At a certain latitude in Michigan (north-central Lower Peninsula) geology and drainage is much poorer with a good amount of lakes, ponds, a forests.
I would say that's correct. I think the growing season is long enough, within 20-30 miles of Lake Michigan, all the way up the lower peninsula. The biggest problem with expanding northward would be the soil quality. The northern half of the lower peninsula has sandy soils that are poor for cash crops. The change is pretty obvious when you drive north. When you start seeing big, healthy evergreen trees and fewer deciduous trees, you are usually leaving the prime farmland and entering the "north country". It is not a perfect line across the state, but it generally happens as you go north.

I do think there is room for some expansion in the southern 1/3 of the lower peninsula, just from expanding existing fields and removing tree lines. Whether that is a good thing for the ecosystem is another question, but I am seeing it happen in my area.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:05 PM
 
1,189 posts, read 1,813,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
So, I live near Hartford, CT and did a road trip out to various states in the midwest. I am going to share my impressions and experience in this thread.

Here is a map of exactly where I traveled.



VERY interesting trip, despite what many people may think. I thought the eastern part of Ohio was nice. We spent the first night in Richmond, IN. Then headed over to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO. It was awesome but we didn't get to go inside the arch, because the wait was way too long, so we said F it. Then, we headed up to Davenport, IA and spend the second night there. The trip up there through Illinois was interesting. It looks like they built the interstate highways literally right through the corn fields. But geez, in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, it seemed like 95% of the land was corn fields and this other mysterious crop that we couldn't figure out what it was. But eventually we figured out that it was soybeans LOL. So basically, most of these states seem almost entirely occupied by corn and soybean fields! The scenery is definitely like nothing I've ever seen before, although it does get bland and boring after a while. 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. If so, wow...that's a LOT of work. Are there any other crops that we didn't see?

We drove briefly through Wisconsin and then ended up in Chicago. It was my first time ever in Chicago. I was impressed with the city (having lived in NYC a few years ago myself). Chicago seems a bit more toned down than Manhattan, and a bit quieter. I felt like I had breathing room and was able to walk around with ease. The "skyscraper" area of the city, however, seemed MUCH smaller than NYC, but it was also much cleaner than NYC. The people were nice though, and we had lunch there. I enjoyed it.

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.

On the fourth day, we spent the night in Streetsboro, OH, and then returned to Connecticut on day 5.

This was an awesome trip, and certainly not one that most people would spend their precious vacation time at. But I feel good about being able to tell people that I've been throughout much of the Midwest, because most people in New England only spend their vacation at the same old places over and over and over and over again: Florida and Cape Cod. Ugh!

Thanks for reading
What you should have done is stay in st.louis longer. St.Louis has one of the largest urban parks in the country with many of the attractions inside the park being free. Also soulard has many good restaurants. Delmar loop would be a good place to go to if you want free attractions and independent stores.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: IN
20,868 posts, read 36,017,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I would say that's correct. I think the growing season is long enough, within 20-30 miles of Lake Michigan, all the way up the lower peninsula. The biggest problem with expanding northward would be the soil quality. The northern half of the lower peninsula has sandy soils that are poor for cash crops. The change is pretty obvious when you drive north. When you start seeing big, healthy evergreen trees and fewer deciduous trees, you are usually leaving the prime farmland and entering the "north country". It is not a perfect line across the state, but it generally happens as you go north.

I do think there is room for some expansion in the southern 1/3 of the lower peninsula, just from expanding existing fields and removing tree lines. Whether that is a good thing for the ecosystem is another question, but I am seeing it happen in my area.
It probably isn't a good thing at all as trees help moderate temperatures, reduce soil erosion, cut heating costs (windbreaks) etc. The farmers are probably just seeing $$$ signs and not really thinking long-term. Also, weather patterns could change and deviate substantially from year to year as extreme weather events are becoming the norm with a warmer climate.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:43 PM
 
5,556 posts, read 6,997,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetcreed View Post
Actually Columbus is the midpoint where the Appalachian foothills end and the flat midwestern (indy looking territory) begins.

The Appalachian foothills end just east of the columbus city limits and extend into the far east exurbs. As you drive through Columbus you notice it gets much more flat the further west you drive. The north, northwest, and some of the northwest sides do have a more hilly terrain, as well.

Columbus does have many West Virginia transplants.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Sector 001
7,242 posts, read 6,487,665 times
Reputation: 8297
driftless area is a very pretty part of the midwest, get up to Wisconsin Dells area... and devil's lake state park in Baraboo, WI... over to La Crosse. Pretty area. Rest stop going west on I-90 just after you cross the Mississippi...

Driftless Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


http://boingboing.net/2012/04/27/the...wisconsin.html

There's a lot of neat geological things in this area if you do a little digging. Old glacial lakes that occupied certain areas, etc. The minnesota river valley was carved by a huge glacial lake that burst during the last ice age... you can see on google maps right where it happened... north and east of Sisseton, SD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacial_River_Warren

Last edited by stockwiz; 12-28-2012 at 07:36 AM..
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,375 posts, read 21,954,803 times
Reputation: 33625
witless area....

witless area U.S.

Spoiler
Go Vikes!
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