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The Dust Bowl
Transcript of The Dust Bowl
How it could have been Prevented
What is the Dust Bowl?
The dust bowl is an area of land in which vegetation has been lost and soil is reduced to dust.
In the 1930s the name ¨Dust Bowl¨ was given to the great plains region which was devastated by drought.
Struck from 1931 to 1939
Soil lacked the stronger root system of grass as an anchor, so the winds easily picked up the loose topsoil and swirled it into dense dust clouds, called “black blizzards.”
Impacts of the Dust bowl
Where was the Dust Bowl
Okies and Hoovervilles
President Herbert Hoover underestimated the seriousness of the crisis and called it “a passing incident in our national lives,”
Shantytowns appeared across the U.S. as unemployed people were evicted from their homes.
Hoover was blamed and the shantytowns became known as Hoovervilles.
More and more farmers gave up or were forced off of their land. So many migrated from Oklahoma that they were dubbed "Okies" in the popular press.
California found themselves overwhelmed by up to 7,000 new migrants a month
Many had become financially indebted after purchasing mechanized farming equipment and suffering crop failures.
In California, migrant workers outnumbered the available jobs and tensions grew between the people.
Roughly 35 million acres of farmland were ruined, and the topsoil covering 100 million acres had blown away.
The great depression caused those who were affected by the dust bowl difficulty to get jobs and homes.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the first of several mortgage and farming relief acts under the New Deal aimed to reduce foreclosures and keep farms afloat during the drought.
Under the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, the government reserved 140 million acres as protected federal lands.
In the early 1930s, the government launched the Civil Conservation Corps(CCC)
The SCS (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service) promoted healthy soil management and farming practices, and paid farmers to put such practices to work on their farms.
In 1938 there was a 65% reduction in soil blowing. Farmers would plow the land into furrows and plant trees.
The dust bowl could have been prevented by controlling erosion. Nearly all farmers used a mold board plow, that kind of plowing also degraded the soil, ridding it of much of the organic matter that can act like glue to hold soil particles together. Trees and Natural Prairie grass helps keep the soil together and full of nutrients. Today, we have adopted Agricultural Practices to prevent soil loss such as conservation tillage.
What caused the Dust bowl?
The Dust Bowl
Caused by over plowing and over grazed by farmers because of gas powered tractors.
Economic depression with extended drought, high temperatures, poor agricultural practices and erosion caused by the wind all contributed to the dust bowl.
The Dust Bowl took place in the Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres that centered on Texas and Oklahoma and sections of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas during the 1930s.
The farmers didn’t know about soil conversion back then, which resulted in them taking off too much sod to plant their crops
Sod is what keeps the soil together and as time went on, the soil was dried up and loose.
The soil start to infest the air, it made the area less habitable and soon enough, livestock started dying, as well as taking the lives of hundreds of human beings. As farmers lost a way of keeping their families well fed, they soon left.
There were 14 dust storms in 1932, with an additional 38 dust storms in 1933. One of the most destructive dust storms is called “Black Sunday”, which occurred in 1935. It hit the Oklahoma Panhandle and Northwestern Oklahoma first, traveling south until it dissipated.
Inventions of the 20th century
The Tractor was becoming more and more popular, farmers were able to farm faster and pull heavier loads with it.
There was the production of Unit machinery such as the Grain combine, mechanized equipment for corn, Mechanized equipment for cotton, and tomato-harvesting equipment.
Automobiles, trucks, and airplanes were improved and gaining popularity which added to the distribution of crops and equipment.