The Dust Bowl Essay

1436 Words 6 Pages
In what was one of the most fertile areas of the United States, one of the Nation’s worst agricultural disasters occurred. No rain came so crops did not grow, leaving the soil exposed to the high winds that hit the area in the 1930s. Stretching over a 150,000 square mile area and encompassing parts of five states—these being Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico—the Dust Bowl was a time where over 100 million acres of topsoil were stripped from fertile fields leaving nothing but barren lands and piles of dust everywhere (Ganzel). While things were done to alleviate the problem, one must question whether or not anyone has learned from this disaster. If not, one must look into the possibility that the United States may be struck …show more content…
With many farmers having such high yields, there was an abundance of crops so the prices fell and a farmer had to plant more in order to have enough money to support their families. The Enlarged Homestead Act guaranteed 320 acres of land to farmers who were willing to take land that were considered to be marginal and could not be irrigated well. They plowed up the virgin soil and planted acres and acres of golden wheat, leaving the land vulnerable to the elements after the yearly harvest. The farmers also implemented the use of fossil fuel ran machinery that made it easier to plow up hundreds of acres in a short period of time, which exposed even more soil than what would have been open to the elements had the farming been done by an animal pulled plow. The massive influx of farmers because of that act caused major soil erosion which was made worse by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
From 1931—when the rains stopped—until 1939—when the drought finally ended, the people living there had to deal with constant problems. Animals and humans were sickened by the dust getting into their lungs and many of them even died from dust pneumonia (Surviving the Dust Bowl). In Amarillo, Texas during 1935, dust storms occurred for a total of 908 hours and from January to March that year the city had zero visibility seven times (Worster). One woman said that being caught in the dust storm was comparable to having a shovelful of fine sand flung…