Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Botanical Gazette, Vol. 100, No. 3 (Mar., 1939), pp. 576-591. Copyright 1939 The University of Chicago Press. Used by permission.


A comprehensive research on 135 large tracts of prairie was completed in 1933 after five years of study. These tracts were distributed over an area of 60,000 square miles, including the eastern one-third of Nebraska, the western one-third of Iowa, and adjacent areas in the four neighboring states (2). This investigation furnished the background for an understanding of the profound changes which have occurred during the several years of the great drought, which first became pronounced in 1934. The response of prairie to the drought of that year has been discussed (3). Likewise, a detailed account of the destruction caused by the drought years of 1934 and 1935 and resultant changes and shifting of populations in both true and mixed prairies have been recorded (1).