Eastern Great Plains

Wheat, corn, and soy now dominate the gently rolling plains and deep black soils where tallgrass prairie once brushed the bellies of buffalo. America’s westward expansion planted the nation’s granary here. Agriculture converted the blanket of bluestem grasses and wildflowers that extended from east Texas to the Canadian border. Efforts to preserve remaining fragments of this prairie often allow wildfires to burn and cattle to graze, mimicking natural  patterns that maintain the grasslands’ open character.

Location
Extending from south-central Alberta east and south through Saskatchewan, Manitoba, then south along western Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, western Indiana, northern Missouri, eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and east-central Texas.

Climate
Climate is mild and continental. Average annual temperatures range from 4.9ºC, (41ºF) with annual precipitation 476mm (19 inches) at Fargo, ND to 15.5ºC, (60ºF) and 1016mm (40 inches) at Tulsa, OK.

Features
Gentle rolling plains and flat glacial plains with deep, rich black soils.  Large river floodplains drain vast landscapes from the west and north. Tallgrass prairie and northern variants, to the shallow limestone-rich Flint Hills, on south throughout the east Texas plains grasslands. 

History and Trends
This area formed the heart of America’s breadbasket, with nearly the entire landscape devoted to intensive agriculture. 

Eastern Great Plains Ecoregions

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