Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in ECOLOGY, Vol. 21, No.3, July, 1940


The drought of 1934 was not only the most severe on record for the true-prairie association but was also of the earliest inception. On June 8, Kincer ('34) stated that "pastures are the poorest ever known, and the hay crop will be extremely short, regardless of future weather." The stress increased as the summer advanced. Stoddart ('35) tood advantage of these conditions to investigate the relation of osmotic pressure and water content of prairie plants to environmental factors in the vicinity of Lincoln, Nebraska. Simultaneously, Nedrow ('37) was conducting trenching experiments in his study of the efficiency of absorption at different depths by roots of prairie plants. Three of the four prairie grasses studied delayed their development in direct proportion to the depth at which they were watered. Studies of this drought were extended and correlated by Weaver, Stoddart, and Noll ('35), and by Weaver and Albertson ('36). The latter work extended into the mixed prairie where permanent quadrats had been established before the drought. These workers described in detail the drought injury of 1934 and the increase of certain native grasses, native forbs, and ruderals in 1935.