The Problems and Solutions of Living and Farming on the Plains

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  • The Problems and Solutions of Living and Farming on the Plains
    • Water Shortages
      • Water was scarce on the Great Plains
      • It was difficult for people to keep themselves and their clothes clean
        • Invention of the windmill - 1874
          • Water was scarce on the Great Plains
          • Used to pump water from underground
    • Weather Extremes
      • It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter
        • No solutions
    • Fuel
      • There was no wood to burn for heating and cooking
        • Homesteaders used buffalo dung fuel
    • Dirt and Disease
      • Sod houses were difficult to keep clean
      • They lived with pests such as bed bugs, fleas, mice ans snakes
      • Difficult for people to keep clean especially with water shortages
        • Easy for dirt and disease to develop
          • Sod houses were difficult to keep clean
          • They lived with pests such as bed bugs, fleas, mice ans snakes
    • Building Materials
      • Difficult to stop water leeking in when it rained
      • Blocks of earth (sods) were used to build houses
    • Natural Hazards
      • Dry grass meant it was easy for prairie fires to start
        • Destroyed crops if they got too big
          • Hundred-acre cornfields vanished in a few hours
    • Protecting Crops
      • There was no wood for fencing
      • It was difficult to mark land boundaries which can lead to disputes
      • There was nothing to protect crops from buffalo or straying cattle
        • The invention of barbed wire - 1874
          • It was difficult to mark land boundaries which can lead to disputes
          • There was no wood for fencing
    • Ploughing
      • Grasses had dense, tangled roots
        • Cast iron ploughs needed constant repairs
          • Better farming machinery was developed
          • Using a 'sod-buster' - a strong plough
          • Ploughing land when there had been heavy rain or snow
            • Grasses had dense, tangled roots
              • Cast iron ploughs needed constant repairs
                • Better farming machinery was developed
                • Using a 'sod-buster' - a strong plough
                • Ploughing land when there had been heavy rain or snow
        • The Plains had never been ploughed before
      • Growing Crops
        • The crops that they grew were not suited to the weather conditions on the Great Plains
          • They grew wheat which was more suitable than corn
          • They kept animals rather than just crops
          • Russian immigrants untroduced wheat that grew successfully on the Plains because the conditions were similar to those in Russia

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