The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that caused major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from the 1930s to the 1940s.
In the late 19th century, farmers in the Great Plains region of North America began to use new farming methods that involved plowing up grasslands and planting crops on them. This practice had been used successfully in other parts of the world, but proved disastrous in North America because it destroyed the protective layer of topsoil that had previously prevented winds from blowing away valuable nutrients.
As farmers continued to plow up more land for crops, they exposed more roots from plants that had been growing there for thousands of years. These roots held onto water that would have otherwise evaporated into the air, leaving less water available for plants after they were gone. Farmers also used large amounts of pesticides on their fields which killed off many insects which would have helped keep down weeds and other pests.
These factors combined with drought conditions led to severe dust storms during which most people could not see more than three feet ahead of them because dust particles were flying through the air at high speeds due to strong winds. These dust storms caused major ecological damage because they killed off many plants and animals while destroying farmlands.