The Glaciated Region occupies the northeastern corner of Kansas and is roughly bordered by the Kansas River on the south and the Big Blue on the west. Geologists named the area based on a theory that two glaciers once covered the landscape and shaped the terrain. Rocky hills and wide valleys with accompanying floodplains provide a great deal of variation throughout the region.
The scattering of pebbles and boulders found across the region are thought to have been transported by glacial movement. Quartzite boulders, some of them quite large, dot the pastures sporadically.
A fine silt called loess is characteristic of this region. Soils in the Glaciated Region are some of the richest in the state.
A strip of hardwood forest runs along the very eastern edge of the region. Oak and hickory, however, quickly blend into a transition zone of both forest and prairie. Dense stands of tallgrasses, mostly bluestems, dominate in the western part of the region.
As would be expected in a region of diverse vegetation, a wide variety of animals call the Glaciated Region home. Beavers, muskrats, bobcats, and white-tailed deer are common, along with a good mix of migratory birds. Snow geese, in particular, can be found in abundance seasonally.
Some farmers play it safe and irrigate their crops from the abundant streams running across the Glaciated Region, but the area receives enough annual precipitation that many rely solely on rainfall.
Groundwater tends to be concentrated in pockets throughout the region, which means that some wells may have little flow and some quite a bit. The areas of higher flow are primarily located along the Kansas River.
The Glaciated Region usually receives 30 to 35 inches of rainfall annually. Summers can be quite hot and dry, however, and winters can be bitingly cold. The Glaciated Region is not as windy as the rest of the state, but be prepared for some gusty days in spring. This region boasts the longest growing season in Kansas—200 days on average.
The agriculture of the Glaciated Region is more diverse than that of any other part of Kansas. Both beef and dairy cattle graze the areas of rough terrain. Corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, barley, and alfalfa thrive on loess soil wherever the ground is level.
Also of Interest
Many Kansas country families make this area their home; the metropolis of Kansas City in the southeast corner of the region provides access both to day jobs and to potential buyers of home-raised food.