Scientific farming methods and new farm machinery had dramatically increased crop yields. American farmers were producing more food. Meanwhile,they faced new competition from farmers in Australia, Latin America, and Europe. As a result, a worldwide surplus of agricultural products drove prices and profits down. Unable to sell their crops, many farmers couldn't pay off their loans and therefore had to sell their jobs.
Roosevelt immediately began a program of government reform that he called the New Deal. Large public works projects helped to provide jobs for the unemployed. New government agencies gave financial help to businesses and farms. Large amounts of public money were spent on welfare and relief programs. This eventually reformed the American economic system.