Desertification is what happens to land when it becomes dried out and is no longer habitable. During the Dust Bowl, a period of massive dust storms in the 1930s, farmland in the Great Plains became barren through desertification.
The word desertification is made up of the Latin suffix -ficationem meaning "to make, do" tagged to the end of the word desert. The process of desertification is the process of making or turning an area of land into a desert. This usually happens because of a change in the climate or in the ways in which the land was used. Poor agricultural practices can damage land to the point of desertification.