During that time, the Midwest experienced a severe drought that completely dried up the Great Plains. Prior to this time, the area had been put into cultivation and used for annual crops. However, when the drought occurred it was a disaster. There were no longer wind barriers and plants with roots to help hold the top soil. As a result, the soil dried up and took flight. Over 100,000 acres of farmland was affected.
The 2012 drought was considered the worst since the Dust Bowl of 1930. However, we didn’t see the clouds of dirt rolling across the Midwest or acres of farmland completely devastated. Instead, the worst we got was poor yields.
Why the difference?
“…Farmers across this nation learned from the mistakes of the Dust Bowl. Farmers planted tree lines, established sod waterways and filter strips, and reduced tillage or eliminated tillage.
Farmers identified that some soils never should have been in annual crops and returned them to perennial grazing lands.
Farmers installed irrigation systems on other soils. Irrigation encouraged plant growth, which held soils together.
Overall, farmers generally treated the soils better, with long-term sustainability in mind.” (Source: Southeast Farm Press)
The difference is just another example of how farmers are true environmental stewards. They care about the land they farm and want to keep farming it. But in order to do that, the land has to be taken care of. That’s why measures, such as the anti-erosion techniques, are taken to protect the land and keep it productive. We want to keep farming, not just abuse the land and then give it up.
Farmers are the real environmentalists.