The Climate. — It is not the soil alone that has made Iowa rich and prosperous: the climate must also be taken into account. Millions of acres of fertile land are scarcely better than a desert of sand if climatic conditions are not favorable to the growth of plant and animal life. The director of the Iowa Weather and Crop Service says: "Situated near the geographical center of the United States, too far inland to receive the equalizing thermal effects of winds blowing directly from the oceans, the climate of Iowa is strictly continental in type. This implies a very wide range in temperature, winters of considerable severity, summers of almost tropical heat, and a large percentage of sunshine as compared with insular regions. As there are no mountain ranges, nor considerable differences in the altitude of the several sections, the climate of the state is quite homogeneous.… In fact, it is the best watered and most productive mid-continent region known on earth. Its worst drouths and seasons of floods have never been famine breeders." A complete failure of crops has never been known in Iowa.
QUESTIONS ON THE TEXT.
1. What is the area of Iowa in square miles? In acres?
2. Why were the prairies avoided by the earliest settlers?