In mineral production, Iowa ranks low among the states. Lead and zinc mining formerly were important in the state, but the lead and zinc deposits have been exhausted. The principal minerals produced are crushed stone, cement, sand and gravel, gypsum, coal, lime, and clays. Iowa is the second leading gypsum-producing state. Most of its output, often used in making plaster, comes from Webster and Des Moines counties. Large coal reserves underlie parts of southern Iowa, but production declined once it was no longer used to fuel locomotives and other consumers switched to oil or natural gas or to cleaner-burning coal from other states. Most of the coal mined is used as fuel in electric power plants.
Food processing and the production of industrial machinery, especially farm machinery, are Iowa’s leading industrial activities. In 1996 these two activities accounted for two-fifths of the total income generated by manufacturing in the state. The principal industrial cities are Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Waterloo, but industry is scattered in small centers throughout the state. Sioux City, which is a major center for meatpacking, has huge stockyards. Cedar Rapids is known for its breakfast cereals. Farm machinery is manufactured mainly at Des Moines and Davenport. Household appliances are made at Newton, and ball-point pens are produced at Fort Madison. Davenport also has a large aluminum rolling plant. Other Iowa plants make motor vehicle parts, motor homes, wood products, popcorn and other corn products, rotary pumps, air heating equipment, electronic components, and communication equipment.
Of the electricity generated in Iowa in 2006, 81 percent came from steam-driven power plants burning fossil fuels, mainly coal. Another 11 percent came from the state’s only nuclear power plant, the Duane Arnold Energy Center near Cedar Rapids, which began commercial operation in 1975. A small amount, just 2 percent, came from hydroelectric facilities. Most of the power plants are owned by private utilities. "Indiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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