About IATP

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.

Founded in 1986, IATP is rooted in the family farm movement. With offices in Minneapolis and Geneva, IATP works on making domestic and global agricultural policy more sustainable for everyone.

IATP Web sites

About Think Forward

Think Forward is a blog written by staff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy covering sustainability as it intersects with food, rural development, international trade, the environment and public health.

Categories

Archives

RSS feeds

 Subscribe in a reader

« Bringing EBT to Minneapolis farmers markets | Main | Floods, droughts and famines »

August 19, 2010

Kansas: Goodbye wheat, hello corn

Farmers will harvest more corn than wheat this year in Kansas, according to Dan Piller at the Des Moines Register—a trend that's changing the state's traditional ag identity. Even crop-stressing record heat hasn't put a damper on the maize bonanza.

When I lived in Iowa, I always liked watching the crops change as I drove west. The greens of corn and soybeans would give way to golden wheat (and sunflowers, when I was lucky) as the land got drier. It wasn't real diversity, but at least it was different, a recognition that different land calls for different crops. Drought-resistant transgenes and increased irrigation—driven by demand for corn—have changed that. Of course it's not just Kansas; Nebraska and other dry-land regions have also upped their corn production.

Far be it from me to say one monoculture is better than another, but it's yet another sign that we're moving in exactly the wrong direction: toward less diversity, rather than more.

Julia Olmstead

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341e565253ef0133f321be15970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Kansas: Goodbye wheat, hello corn:

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.