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Monday, November 26, 2012

Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl of the 1930's is probably the biggest natural disaster in the history of the United States in terms of land area and length of time.  It brought huge changes to the business of farming.  Dee Ann Littefield of NRCS wrote an article that appears in No-Till Farmer.  It is a first hand account of what it was  like living in the southern great plains in the 1930's.  As the generation who lived in that time passes on, it is important that we keep the memory of the Dust Bowl alive.  Many younger farmers look at their erosive land with no memory of what it looked like when erosion was not under control.  With bigger machinery there is a temptation to take out conservation practices without replacing them.  We need to keep in mind what could happen to the land if we return to past abuses. 

Ken Burns gave the Dust Bowl serious treatment in his latest film on PBS.   I missed all but one hour of it which was very well done as we have come to expect from Burns.  I am going to need to watch it online or download to Itunes sometime.

Hugh Hammond Bennett, a soil scientist and the founder of Soil Conservation Service is called the Father of Soil Conservation.  Dr. Bennett's life story is very interesting.  His biography is also given in the form of a PBS Special. 

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