I ran across this fascinating paper by Richard Sutch on the the relationship between the Dust Bowl and hybrid corn adoption. The discussion is interesting in light of current discussions bout how and whether farmers will be able to adapt to climate change and whether technology development can help mitigate some adverse effects.
Here's a passage from Sutch.
This long quote is from the conclusions and is well worth reading.
The paper has a number of interesting discussions about the role of the USDA, federal research, and strong personalities that pushed along the development of hybrid corn. For more on the history of the development of hybrid corn, see this previous post.