The Prairie farmers of Canada were struck hardest by the Great Depression. The 30s are known as the ?°Ten Lost Years?± as most farmers were forced into extreme economic hardships.
During the prosperous 20s, many farmers took the advantage and invested in new and expensive machineries, often paying debt on demand loans. While the Depression started with the stock market crash in Oct 1929, many bankers tried to recall all their loans back in order to avoid their loss. As a result, many farmers, with little cash, had to declare bankruptcy and sell their most valuable property C farmland, to pay off their loans. However, more severe natural disasters occurred along with the economic depression, which caused a huge decline in the production of crops in the West, or mainly in the Palliser Triangle. In the period of 1936-1937, the coldest temperature reached to -50oF, causing many livestock to freeze to death in the barns.
In addition, the series of droughts in 1931, 1933-35, and 1938 were unbearable to many farmers; precipitation in Regina fell to an average of less than 11 inches. Moreover, the droughts brought almost total crop failure to the grain belt; livestock had no food to eat and was sold at distressed prices, only sufficient to cover transportation costs. Throughout this period, land erosion and dust storm became another major threat, with high winds removing topsoil year after year.
Consequently, most structures such as farm homes, implements and fences were engulfed by dust storms and were covered by more than a foot of dust. Yet worst of all was the grasshopper infection in 1931; they swarmed all over the Prairies. Many farmers described them as ?°black clouds, and they chewed everything up. They destroyed wheat fields in minutes, they ate the clothing of the lines, the bristles off the brooms, and even the leather off the tractor seats.?± What was left after the grasshoppers were waste lands in resemblance o.