It's not yet as dry and dusty as when Woodie Guthrie first sang "So long, it's been good to know yuh..." But, it's getting there.
While heavy rains are flooding crops across the Midwest and most of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Panhandle has been hit with one of the worst droughts in its history. It's drier now than it was in the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s and to date it's the second driest year on record for the Panhandle.Via::NewsOK,com, In Panhandle, the best crops are Dust Bowl memories.
This too reduces the amount of grain that will be produced by US farmers, just as the Midwest floods have done. One thing Economics professors seldom mention is the possible role of the agricultural losses of the Dust Bowl era (~1930 - 1940) in causing the Great Depression (~1929 - 1939). That economies depend on living systems (like soil) just never seems to be credited.
The truth is, in the face of severe weather extremes, "drought tolerant plants' and government subsidies can do little in the short term.
This 'dust from the past' should remind us of the importance of maintaining basic soil conservation practices. Many of the farming practices that had been in place in response to lessons of the 1930s, are now abandoned. Without those tree lines, we may hear once again Dust Bowl Ballads.
A final thought: should this spread and worsen (which, TeeVee news will be showing the dust clouds 24/7. The term "Climate Change" will be unavoidable.
Image credit::Fair Valley Eagle, Okie Legacy, Great Blow of 1934