Sample Essay on Economic Effects of the Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, also recognized as the “Dirty Thirties” was a period of severe dust storms that affected agriculture and ecology in the US and along the Canadian prairies during the 1930s. This phenomenon was causes by severe drought and failure to utilize the best methods of dry land farming that make it easy to control wind erosion. During this period, the American economy was severely affected and millions were affected.
The regions where the Dust Bowl occurred were thought to be unsuitable for European-style kind of farming. Comprehending the challenge that comes with cultivating marginal arid land, the United States government was keen to utilize these areas for the good of its citizens. The favorable areas for agriculture led to condition for vast erosion under certain environmental circumstances.
Extensive erosion led to elimination of native grasses and many fields were left bare. When the severe drought of the 1930s hit the nation it led to increased soil erosion and massive and uncontrollable dust storms hit many parts of the nation leading to the Dust Bowl period. Many families were forced to leave their homes and belongings behind seeking employment in other areas as the drought and the dust storms affected their day to day operations.
This phenomenon also led to the greatest migration in the history of America. Above all, the Dust Bowl had long-term effects on the economy of America and surrounding nations. In many regions, over 75% of the topsoil had been blown away by the end of 1930s and this meant a greater decline in the agricultural land values. Evidently, the per-acre value of the farming land declined by 28% and the full agricultural value of the land could not recover from the effect of Dust Bowl.
Many farmers could not adapt to these farming challenges and some could not switch to new farming methods that could guarantee more benefits and revenues. The topsoil had been reduced and those who did not switch to new farming methods could gather more output like before. Shifting to animal rearing and hay farming offered a better way of earning more produce. For some farmers, they felt that wheat and other crop farming was the best way to earning good income and new means of farming will not help them improve their living standard in one way or another.
Many farmers were ignorant on the benefits of changing land use. They felt that they were being subjected to unnecessary changes that they could not bear. Others said that they could not get enough funds and credit due to high rate of bank failure especially on the plane plates. Alternatively, for farmers to get capital, they had to shift crop, a move that many objected. The dust Bowl had great influence on art and many photographers and authors documented this crisis. Luckily, the Franklin Roosevelt government was there to aid, the government recognized the Dust Bowl as a sever challenge for the nation and the soil conservation services initiative was founded. Windbreaks were also planted and new ways to rebuild topsoil were introduced among others.
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