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korey niebuhr (2 posts)
Member
Oct 18, 2010

How Did The Dust Bowl Start?

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Sam Montana (677 posts  +773 likes)
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Oct 18, 2010

The Dust Bowl started when farmers thought the price of wheat would continue to climb higher and plowed up more and more of the natural grasslands to plant more wheat. Then in 1929 the stock market crashed which started the Great Depression. A record wheat harvest and the Great Depression caused wheat prices to drop starting in 1931.

With wheat prices dropping, there was no need to plant as much wheat which left area of plowed bare ground. Then a terrible drought started. The natural grasses that were already plowed held the top soil in place. Since these grasses were already plowed and the ground was left bare, the drought and winds caused terrible dust storms.

You can read more in the article Facts About the Dust Bowl.
 

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Deborah Livingston (0 posts  +29 likes)
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Oct 18, 2010

This is a great research question for the internet.  There are many great books written about the period that will give you amazing insights into the farmers' abuses to the land and environment.  Plowing up all of the sod across the prairie states, exposing the soil....

Grapes of Wrath is a classic about this period.  And, lately, the History Channel has been running a few documentaries about the Great Dust Bowl.

 

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