Ken Burns – Dust Bowl Film

Watching the film on the Dust Bowls of the Great Plains of America in the 1920s, one can’t help feel an emotion of sorrow and pity for the farmers.  Although the wheat industry in the mid 1920’s was booming and the Western farmers felt invincible to the Great Depression that would eventually hit their territory as well, I also had sense of frustration for the farmers watching the films.  The frustration is in part from the ignorance and stubbornness of farmers refusing to listen to their own reason and sense that the good seasons of rain for wheat crops would not last forever.  I can understand the technology in weather forecast of the Great Plains was fairly limited in the early 1900s, but I feel that the farmers could have prevented much of their own demise of the falling wheat industry by using some common reason.  Many farmers should have known that a drought would be inevitable and the agriculture of their cash crop wheat, should be harvested for future price declines and droughts.  Droughts that were known to occur in the Great Plains by farmers before the wheat industry boom.  Also, one does not need to be an expert in economics to reason that price is fairly correlated to supply and demand, thus farmers in the wheat industry failed to acknowledge this simple concept.  Although I am not suggesting my judgement as a farmer in the 1920s could prevent any depressed market from happening, but I do think some risk protection in your business has relevance and common sense in any era of time.


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