When most people hear the term “dust bowl,” they think of the American heartland in the 1930s, when a homesteading wheat bonanza led to the plowing up of the Great Plains’ native grassland, culminating in the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Unfortunately, this phenomenon isn’t just relics of the past.
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Is a new Dust Bowl forming in the US Plains states and Southwest? State officials say “never again,” but agricultural practices in those areas could be creating the right conditions for another 30s-style loss of soil fertility.