Entire families could find themselves homeless. Managing their debts has always been a challenge for American farmers. Tenant farmers and sharecroppers rarely earned enough money to pay off their debts and then buy land of their own. All these consequences led to one outcome: Populist
The Dust Bowl had a negative impact on rural families because most of them could not escape the effects of dust storms. According to Trimarchi, many farmers faced foreclosure on their land because they were not earning enough money on crops to pay back their debts (Trimarchi, 2018). The Dust Bowl also caused soil erosion across the plains which led to crop failure. Farmers were not able to make any profit with their failing crops, this contributed to many farmers losing their land due to foreclosure. According to Ganzel, it was common for families in the Midwest to only eat one-dish meals and most families relied on chicken eggs for food (Ganzel, 2003).
The problems that farmers had with this was a decrease in commodity prices due to overproduction and growing international competition for world markets. This left many farmers stuck in debt which made them increase the production of cotton so they could make more money. They all became a part of the Populist Party which represented small farmers, wage laborers, blacks and poor whites to fight against the greedy railroads, corporate monopolies, and corrupt politics. Industrial workers were working long hours and were paid low wages. Industrial workers responded to this by protesting, creating labor unions and striking.
They were workers that struggled to live with the low wages in which they earned by working at factories. 95% of the population of that time were grouped into this class. Working class people lived in very poor standards were diseases spread easily due to the unsanitary conditions. The people in this lower class lived in houses with many other families; they usually only had one room to themselves or their family. Due to not having the right facilities or not enough money to buy these facilities themselves, their clothes were often dirty, soiled and they reeked of sewerage and unwashed bodies.
This section follows a few settlers who had to live in a place that gives nothing back. This section also talks about the American dream and hope and having to deal with having no money to support their families. Section one ends with wheat prices declining, the stock market crash, and the first dust storm. Section two, “Betrayal”, concentrated on the how the people dealt with what they thought to be betrayal by the banks, the government, and their land. The government gave the people the land they needed to grow their wheat but shortly after both their land and their wheat prices shriveled up.
Groceries stores are constantly throwing out food that looks bad, or have passed the expiration date. But most of the time expiration dates aren’t very accurate. Then grocery retailers end up throwing away food that is perfectly fine. 10 million tons of food is lost yearly because farmers throw away crops that have imperfections or don’t look good. But farmers really don’t have a choice in the matter, the picky consumers of today force farmers to conform.
Climate change is also the problem when harvest time, sometimes they harvest ahead of time to save the crops from devastating storms. During second cropping they encounter insects that destroy the crops and even before they grow. Most farmers are not exempted to overcome all of these problems they face. Sometimes farmers really lose yield despite adequate irrigation, fertilizer and machinery the corn plants would grow smaller and smaller until they dry up and produce poor
Many people lost jobs and had to pay higher taxes on land. Unfair methods of collecting revenue were introduced, leading to deep resentment. No money meant more chances of crop failures as the farmers weren’t able to afford crops of certain quality. Although everyone was impacted, the soldiers were impacted the most. Landowners also lost land due to the zamindari system (introduced by the British), which said that zamindars were the landowners and that they had to collect the rent from peasants.
The industrial production in the United States declined 47% and gross domestic product (GDP) fell 30% (Ohanian, 2017). Life was no longer the “dream” and feeding a family was not an easy thing to do. Most people were forced to flee town centers and locate in rural regions to do farming so that at least they could get food for their families. People lost hope in life and ended up committing suicide. Many did odd jobs like selling of fruits in the streets despite high qualifications for prominent jobs for lack of no jobs and a means to survive and feed a family.
But they could harvest only a half of the cultivation as the drought destroyed the rest. They suffer from the drought, food insecurity and debt as they cannot pay back the loans. The drought has affected 1000 of farmer families by completely disrupting their way of life. And plunging them into debt and uncertainty with livelihood sources fast shrinking and food insecurity rising. These people are in desperate need of assistance.