Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rain hampers the local corn harvest; what are the implications?

This morning I talked with teacher Margaret Nance about her farm in Dixie. She said the August rains - ordinarily expected in September - were stopping the harvest. The harvester machines cannot work the fields when there is too much mud. She added that the farmers are under contract to deliver their crops at a certain time.

So I asked geography students to write a brief answer to the query "Rain hampers the local corn harvest; what are the implications?"

First, students wanted to know the definition of "implication." It is something that is not stated directly but something that is suggested.

The implications? The price of corn may rise. Many students smartly pointed out that supply and demand might cause the price increase.
Other students said that supplies of Ethanol, a fuel made from corn, might be affected. A few students pointed out that prices of beef and soft drinks and even ice cream might rise because these products are based partly on corn.

All things considered, it gave students a chance to use a higher level of thinking and their background in current events.

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