During the 1930’s a massive dust and sand storm hit the western horizon. Families across the nation were struck with the Depression, however, people living in the Southern Great Plains were not only affected by the Depression, but also by the 300 dust storms that destroyed their land. The three main reasons for the cause of the Dust Bowl were: the geography of the Southern Plains, heavy machinery used to farm, and dry climate. The main cause of the Dust Bowl was the geography of the Southern Plains. A sheepherder from texas said: “Grass is what hold the earth together” (Doc B). The grass in the Dust Bowl region was not very tall, however, the grass and its roots were a barrier that kept the sand and soil in place. Wheat farmers plowed the short grass prairie to create wheat farms, therefore leaving the dirt exposed and unprotected when the strong winds struck.
The heavy farm machinery being used destroyed the plains and led to the Dust Bowl. Farmers, like Fred Folkers, purchased a tractor that had the capacity of doing the job of ten horses (Doc C). With the new tractor, Folkers was able to produce a greater deal of goods than before. Unfortunately, Folkers’s tractor also increased the amount of shortgrass destroyed. The number of acres that were harvested between 1899 and 1929 doubled in eight Great Plains states (Doc D). The new heavy machinery that Folkers and other farmers were using crushed the dirt and soil into smaller pieces that could easily blow into the air.