The Dust Bowl began in the early 1930s. After favorable weather conditions throughout the 1920s, unusually dry seasons began in the summer of 1930 throughout the Midwest and the Great Plains.
The Dust Bowl is also commonly referred to as the Dirty Thirties. During the early parts of the century, farmers lacked an understanding of the ecology in the Midwest. They employed deep plowing methods that led to over-cultivation of the land. As a result, the topsoil was eroded and reduced to a fine powder. This, in combination with drought conditions and winds, caused huge dust storms throughout the decade that devastated the agriculture, economy and way of life for millions of Americans.