Starving farm household that appealed for aid during an agricultural depression, Hollandale, Freeborn County, 1929.
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Minnesota farmers delighted in a period of prosperity in the 1910s that continued through human being War I. Motivated by the US government to boost production, farmers took out loans come buy an ext land and also invest in new equipment. Together war-torn nations recovered, the need for united state exports fell, and also land values and also prices for commodities dropped. Farmers discovered it difficult to repay your loans—a situation worsened by the great Depression and the drought years that followed.
The start of human being War i in 1914 sparked an financial boom for farmers in the unified States. Demand for agricultural products soared as the war-ravaged countries of Europe could no longer produce needed supplies. This developed a shortage that drove up price for farm yard commodities. In Minnesota, the season-average price every bushel of corn increased from fifty-nine cents in 1914 come $1.30 in 1919. Wheat prices jumped from $1.05 per bushel to $2.34. The average price that hogs boosted from $7.40 come $16.70 every hundred pounds, and also the price of milk rose from $1.50 come $2.95 per hundred pounds.
To meet the demand, the us government encouraged farmers to create more. In 1916, congress passed the federal Farm Loan Act, producing twelve commonwealth land financial institutions to provide long-term loans for farm yard expansion. Believing the the boom would continue, numerous farmers took advantage of this and also other loan opportunities to invest in land, tractors, and other brand-new labor-saving tools at attention rates varying from 5 come 7 percent. Through 1920, 52.4 percent the the 132,744 Minnesota farms reporting come the farming Census carried mortgage debt, totaling much more than $254 million.
After the US gone into the battle in 1917 and also continuing into the post-war years, 40 million acres of uncultivated floor in the us went under the plow, including 30 million acre in the wheat- and corn-producing states of the Midwest. In Kittson ar alone, wheat acreage increased from 93,000 acres prewar to 146,000 acres. Minnesota farmers had almost 18.5 million acres under growing by 1929. The demand for land inflated the price of farm actual estate, nevertheless of quality. The mean price of Minnesota farm land an ext than doubled in between 1910 and also 1920, indigenous $46 come $109 every acre.
After the end of the war, relief initiatives kept the need for US farming products high. Gun exports of all grains in 1918–1919 totaled 525,461,560 bushels. During that period, the united state shipped more than 2.9 billion pounds the pork, 1.1 exchange rate pounds of beef, and virtually 8.8 million pounds the dairy products to ally countries, various relief programs, and also American Expeditionary pressures overseas.
Farmers continued to develop more, expecting demand and also prices to continue to be stable. As Europe started to recuperate from the war, however, the us farm economy started a long downward tendency that got to a situation during the good Depression. Minnesota farmers" gross cash income fell from $438 million in 1918 to $229 million in 1922. In 1932, it dropped to $155 million.
With hefty debts to pay and improved agriculture practices and equipment making it simpler to work more land, farmers discovered it difficult to alleviate production. The resulting huge surpluses led to farm price to plummet. Indigenous 1919 to 1920, corn tumbled indigenous $1.30 per bushel to forty-seven cents, a drop of more than 63 percent. Wheat prices dropped to $1.65 every bushel. The price of hogs dropped come $12.90 every hundred pounds.
As excess mounted, the federal government advocated lowering production. It also created program designed to help stabilize prices. The goal to be to attain parity – to lug prices ago to prewar levels and also equalize the prices farmers received with the price they paid for goods.
The passage of the Capper-Volstead action on February 18, 1922 legalized the sale of farm assets through farmer-owned cooperatives. Co-ops cut out the middlemen who regularly underpaid farmer for their products. Congress passed the agricultural Appropriations Act later that year, producing the united state Bureau of agricultural Economics for economic research.
Foreign trade restrictions, such together the Fordney–McCumber Tariff (1922) and the Hawley-Smoot Tariff (1930), imposed high taxes on imports in an attempt to safeguard US farms and industry. International trading partners reaction by enhancing import fees on American goods. United state export that farm commodities declined, excess grew, and also prices ongoing to drop. In 1932, Minnesota corn prices fell to twenty-eight cents per bushel, wheat dropped come forty-four cent per bushel, and also the price of hogs dropped 75 percent to $3.20 per hundred pounds.
With less demand for land, genuine estate worths plunged come an typical of $35 per acre by the so late 1930s. Farmer struggled to repay loans because that land that had actually lost the value. Rising home taxes, freight rates, and also labor costs included to the financial hardships facing many farmers. In Minnesota, the typical tax every acre boosted from forty-six cents in 1913 come $1.45 in 1930.
The west-central counties the Minnesota suffered from the serious drought conditions of 1933–1934. A combination of negative farming methods and also drought caused considerable soil erosion. A grasshopper infestation compounded crop losses in countless western counties.
Farmers across the country began to default on their loans. An estimated sixty the every 1,000 farmer in the united state either lost their ranches or filed because that bankruptcy. Native 1926 to 1932, 1,442 ranches totaling 258,587 acre were shed to foreclosure in Minnesota. Marshall County had the highest variety of foreclosures during this duration with 191. It was complied with by Kittson County with 127 and also Pennington County through 123. Indigenous 1922 to 1932, 2,866 Minnesota farmers asserted bankruptcy.
In despite the of the hardships, Minnesota"s rural populace increased during the 1930s. Many who lost farms to foreclosure remained on the building as tenants. Others moved from urban areas to the country.
On July 29, 1932, farmer met in St. Cloud to organize the Minnesota Farmers holiday Association. Members staged a thirty-day win to call a moratorium on foreclosures. The complying with April the state legislature passed a bill advertising a state that emergency for Minnesota farmers and also approving a mortgage moratorium.
Congress passed several farm relief steps in 1933. The an initial Agricultural adjustment Act created the agricultural Adjustment management (AAA) and gave it the power to salary subsidies to farmers that voluntarily reduced production. The commonwealth Emergency Relief plot (FERA), the forerunner that the works Progress administration (WPA), provided relief for both urban and rural occupants through work-related projects.
The Resettlement administration (RA), begun in 1935, relocated 300 households from poor quality floor in northeastern Minnesota to much better farms through programs like the Beltrami Island Project. The RA was changed by the farm Security management in 1937.
The supreme Court ruled in 1936 that the AAA to be unconstitutional and also suspended farm yard subsidies. Congress, in turn, responded through the soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act. In 1938, a second AAA bill passed that controlled crop manufacturing through acreage allotment and also soil conservation.
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By December 1934, 18 percent of Minnesota"s total populace was on some form of relief and had obtained a total of $67,619,854 in benefits. Native 1933 to 1936, rural and also urban inhabitants in seventy-seven Minnesota counties obtained federal help payments. By the late 1930s, the united state farm economic situation finally started to improve.