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Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act

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Title: Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act  
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Subject: Dust Bowl, United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 74th United States Congress, Index of soil-related articles, Timeline of history of environmentalism
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Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act

Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1936
Other short title(s) Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act
Long title An Act to promote the conservation and profitable use of agricultural land resources by temporary Federal aid to farmers and by providing for a permanent policy of Federal aid to States for such purposes.
Enacted by the  74th United States Congress
Effective February 29, 1936
Public Law 74-461
Stat. 49 Stat. 1148
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 3780 by on
  • Passed the Senate on February 15, 1936 (56-20)
  • Passed the House on February 21, 1936 (267-97)
  • Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 29, 1936

The Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act United States federal law that allowed the government to pay farmers to reduce production so as to "conserve soil" and prevent erosion.

Legislative history

The Act was passed in response to the


Meant to help with some of the problems with the previous Act, most notably its failure to protect sharecroppers and tenant farmers. Landlords were now required to share the payments they received from the government for cutting back production with those who worked on their land.

The Act also gave directives to conserve the soil in the "high plains" - soil that was being raised into huge dust bowls during the 1930s. This period, known as the Dust Bowl, coupled with the economic hardships of the Great Depression, hit farmers particularly hard. The act attempted to correct earlier government policy that encouraged farmers to use their land without concern to the repercussions. The result of these agricultural methods (mostly the way farmers plowed their land) made it vulnerable to the winds. The dry ground, now exposed, rose up to create the "black storms".

The Act both educated farmers on how to use their lands without damaging them, and took immediate action to contain the dust bowl's effects - notably by planting trees and native grass.


Three years after the Act was adopted, soil erosion (soil being raised by winds) had dropped 65%.

See also


Further reading

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