Dust Bowl

Events

World War I

1914 - 1918

The war drove up prices of wheat. Many people moved to the plains and began poor farming techniques while growing wheat. This would become a major issue when the drought begins.

Drought Begins

1931

This was the 1st year of severe drought in the plains. Topsoil was removed from the farms and many crops were ruined.

Franklin Roosevelt

1933

FDR takes office. He puts into place the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act and Farm Credit Act. This helps keep thousands of farmers from losing their land to foreclosure.

New Deal

1934

The New Deal is signed. This helps farmers stay afloat and provides feeding grounds for livestock.

Drought Relief Service (DRS)

1935

This policy allows the government to buy cattle from farmers at 50% above market value. Farmers begin to get paid for using soil-conserving techniques.

Black Sunday

April 14, 1935

The worst storm of the Dust Bowl Era hits. The days starts out warm with clear skies but due to a cold front from Canada a storm is kicked up. 300,000 tons of topsoil is displaced. Many people thought it was Armageddon.

Shelter Belt

1937

FDR tries to implement the "Shelter Belt" program which would have put a 100 mile wide belt of trees from the Canadian border to Texas. The hope was to prevent soil from eroding. Unfortunately, there was limited funding and the project was unsuccessful.

Turn Around

1938

Things start to look up as 65% less dust storm activity is recorded.

End of Drought

1939

This was the last year of the drought. The new farming techniques allowed farming to start to make a comeback.