The Dust Bowl

The dust bowl was a severe series of storms that blew over the mid-west during the 1930’s. It lasted eight years and had a great impact on the entire country. It made simple tasks such as breathing, eating, and taking a walking very difficult. It destroyed crops, and made manypeople sick. The southern plains were impacted the most. The northern plains were also affected, but not as severely.

The dust bowl was caused by poor agricultural practices and years of droughts. Plains and grasslands had been deeply plowed and planted for wheat. During the drought, farmers kept plowing and planting but nothing would grow. The ground cover that held the soil in place was gone. The Plain’s winds whipped across the fields raising huge clouds of dust to the sky. The dust would then cover houses and farms.

Timeline of The Dust Bowl
Severe droughts hit the midwestern and southern plains. When the crops died, the dust storms began. The dust began to blow and cover the land.


The number of dust storms increase. There are 14 reported this year.


Many people move to California, where they look for jobs. There is a problem, they have to compete with the migrant workers for the jobs. The Emergency Farm Mortgage Act is passed to help farmers facing foreclosure.8b27316r.jpg


The great dust storms spread. It is the worst drought in U.S. history. The drought covered 75% of the country and severely affected 27 states.

The “black blizzard” occurs, which is the worst storm of the dust bowl, which causes extreme damage. Many of the cows in the dustbowl area cannot be sold because they were unfit for human consumption, which cripples the economy even more. Congress then declares soil erosion “a national menace”.


The soil conservation service publishes a law that allows farmers to set up their own districts to enforce soil conservation practices for five years. The SCS recognized that new farming methods must be accepted and used.


President Roosevelt addresses the nation stating, “ I see one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished... the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." He then called for a project that would involve planting trees across the great plains, to protect the land from erosion.


The extensive work continued on re-plowing the land and planting trees, which resulted in a 65% reduction in soil blowing. Sadly, the drought still continued.


In the fall, the rain came, which ended the massive drought. During the next few years, with WWII, the country ended its depression and the plains became full of golden wheat once again.

Works Cited