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The Agricultural Climate in Kennewick
The city of Kennewick is the largest of the three cities in the Tri-Cities area, and was established just over a hundred years ago. The city is naturally extremely arid, a fact that almost caused the city to become a ghost town. Thankfully, this problem was alleviated by the irrigation canal that was built by the Northern Pacific Railroad. The canal brings fresh water into Kennewick.
Agriculture in Full Bloom
The land in and around Kennewick is no longer completely arid, but is now semi-arid. However, the soil is still extremely fertile. Thanks to the naturally fertile soil and the water drawn from the Columbia River, agriculture is now booming in this city. Amongst other things, wheat, grapes, strawberries, potatoes and alfalfa now flourish in the area, as well as plants native to the area.
The Grapes Did It
Of course, there was no agriculture to speak of in Kennewick before the existence of the canal. After the canal was first built, agriculture started to become more prominent in the city. It was at the beginning of 1973 that Kennewick first became well-known world wide for its agriculture – and it was grapes that accomplished this. The main grape producer was then, and still is, a company by the same of Concord Grapes. In fact, Kennewick is still today the center of the state’s grape industry.
The city of Kennewick now has many agriculture plants all along the length of the Lake Wallula banks. An area of around 20,500 acres of sagebrush in the Kennewick Highlands has been irrigated in order to convert the land into farms. These farms produce mostly beans, alfalfa and corn. Kennewick has thousands of acres of irrigated land, as well as plenty of dry farming going on in the area! Agriculture is most definitely one of the main things that make the economy of Kennewick so strong!
Ample Water Supply
The canals that now supply water to the area are also used by Richland and White Bluffs. Thanks to these canals, orchards and vineyards are among the crops that flourished the most in the area. Also thanks to the irrigation system, there is no longer a need for farmers to resort to dry land farming. Although dry land farming has been known to be successful and is still frequently used by some farmers, it is certainly not the preferred method for many.
Many people are under the impression that the term “agriculture” refers to the farming of food crops only. However, the term actually refers to the farming (or “raising”) of plants and animals. Animals that can be used for food or other commercial purposes are the animals that are referred to here. In the city of Kennewick you will find many livestock ranches and farms, and also plenty of horse farms and ranches. Of course, there are plentiful farms that produce only feed for the animals that are raised on these farms.
Kennewick spans across over 22.93 square miles of land. The area covered is mostly along the southern shores of the Columbia River. In the past, the city of Kennewick was primarily an agriculture region. However, nowadays the city is equally known for both its agriculture and its nuclear power plants.
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