America's Breadbasket Needs Boron
Some of the most fertile agricultural land in the world can be found in the center of the North American continent. Claiming the title of America’s breadbasket, this region covers more than 125 million acres of arable land.
The midwestern United States are often called the Corn Belt. With some of the best soil conditions and climate for growing corn, this region produces about three-fourths of the U.S.’s corn crop. Despite its position as one of the world’s largest corn producing regions, the central U.S. offers a diversity of agricultural production that includes soybeans, a broad variety of vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, and berries. Soybeans in particular are an important staple for humans and livestock and have become a regular rotation crop with corn in much of the Midwest thanks to their ability to improve soil fertility.
West of the Corn Belt, the Wheat Belt stretches from Kansas through the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This vast area of the Great Plains allows farmers to cultivate wheat in both winter and spring. Wheat, the most important cereal grain in Western diets, grows especially well in the broad, open lands of the Great Plains. In the southern part of this region, the primary crop is winter wheat, which is planted in the fall, is dormant during the winter, completes its growth in spring, and harvested in midsummer. It’s common for farmers to plant a crop of soybeans after harvesting their wheat, a practice known as double-cropping. They can often harvest the soybeans in time to plant the following year’s wheat crop in the fall, maximizing their production.