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Nature Behind Barbed WireAn Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration$
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Connie Y. Chiang

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842062

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842062.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

Desert Agriculture

Desert Agriculture

(p.93) 4 Desert Agriculture
Nature Behind Barbed Wire

Connie Y. Chiang

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores efforts to develop agricultural programs that would allow the camps to grow or raise most of the food consumed by Japanese Americans. This was a particularly important goal because wartime rationing and military demands limited food supplies. However, it was also quite challenging, as most of the camps were located on arid land with short growing seasons and variable soil quality. Even the most experienced farmers found it difficult to grow crops on marginal land. In addition to weather and soil problems, the WRA encountered labor shortages, resistance from local municipalities, and wartime mandates. While the camps did not produce all of their food, they did develop an extensive agricultural program with significant yields.

Keywords:   War Relocation Authority, Japanese Americans, rationing, agriculture, farming, soil, weather, crops, livestock

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