Farmers cleared more land for farming in the late 1920s before the Dust Bowl due to increasing demand and rising wheat prices in Europe during World War I. With the onset of the Great Depression, wheat prices dropped, which further forced farmers to clear even more grassland.


The Dust Bowl, also known as “The Dirty Thirties,” was an environmental disaster in the United States that began in 1930. Crops failed due to drought in 1931 and the over-plowed fields were left exposed due to which massive dust storm occurred, causing economic devastation that massively affected the Southern Plains.

An estimated 35 million acres of cultivated land became useless for farming and another 125 million acres were rapidly losing topsoil. Population declined in the worst-hit counties and the agricultural value of the land failed to recover. However, the normal rainfall pattern returned by the end of 1939 marking the end of the Dust Bowl years.

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