The Midwest


The Midwest Region could be called the “Land of Farms.” It is one of the most important farming areas in the United States. Along with farming, the region has a huge manufacturing industry. The Midwest Region’s climate and natural resources are important to its economy.

The region’s climate makes it perfect for farming. The Central and Great Plains have hot summers. This gives farmers long growing seasons. The eastern part of the region has a lot of rainfall. In the Great Plains, however, there is less rainfall. The amount of rain affects the type of crops that will grow. Farmers in the Great Plains use irrigation to water their crops. They bring in water from nearby rivers, lakes, and wells. The Midwest also has fertile, deep soil. This soil has valuable nutrients for the crops. So, imagine seeing miles of fertile, open land. Early pioneers, immigrants, and migrants did! They started the farms we have today.

The Midwest Region has three main areas or belts. These belts contain certain types of crops. The areas are the Corn Belt, the Wheat Belt, and the Dairy Belt. You will find the Corn Belt in the eastern part of the region. Iowa and Illinois are the leading corn crop producers. Corn is also grown in western Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska. The long summers in the Central Plains are good for corn crops. Once the corn is harvested, it is used for different products. Corn syrup is used in ice cream. Glue, soap, and paint also use corn. This means that corn is a raw material. The most important use for corn is food. We eat corn that is frozen and in cans. Corn on the cob is a favorite summertime food.

The Wheat Belt is found in the Great Plains. Kansas and North Dakota produce the most wheat in the region. Wheat crops do well in this area of the region. They do not need a lot of water to survive. The wheat is ground into flour. The flour is then used in products like pasta, cakes, and bread. Other crops in this belt are sunflowers, oats, and barley.

The last area is the Dairy Belt. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are the region’s dairy states. In fact, Wisconsin is known for its cheese, milk, and butter. These states have shorter summers than other states in the region. Short summers mean shorter growing seasons. Grass grows quickly in the Dairy Belt. The tall grass is used to feed cattle. Once the grass has grown, it is cut. Farmers let the cut grass dry into hay. The hay becomes food for the cattle. They produce the milk we need for dairy products.

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