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The dust bowl describes the regional environmental conditions throughout the central parts of the United States and Canada from 1931 until 1939, where soil erosion was rampant and dust storms swept across the landscape. It came from inappropriate farming techniques and resulted in an exodus of many farming families, who were left homeless during a time of general economic hardship. Many stories emanated from this period, the most famous being John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1939).

In the period following World War I, there was a sharp increase in the U.S. population. As a result, there was more demand for food, with the result that large amounts of marginal land were developed for wheat, and also for cotton. Much land in what became known as ...

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