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Mr. WINGATE. I would plant
The CHAIRMAN. Would you permit the farmer to plant what he wants ?
Mr. WINGATE. You would have that if you have 40 million acres out of production; you would need to plant it to something else.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. Would you let him plant it to wheat?
Mr. WINGATE. Senator, we are assuming we have our basic crops still under control and he couldn't plant it to wheat under the law and I wouldn't say plant it to wheat. But if you get 40 million acres out you will have more commodities, watermelons up and down and fruits and vegetables and everything. If you get that much out you will have other crops you can switch to and get a good price.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it your judgment by cutting out 10 percent you would not need to do anything about diverted acres?
Mr. WINGATE. That would solve your diverted acres.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. At a number of these meetings we have been holding we have heard in many places the suggestion that so long as we have these tremendous surpluses we have to have acreage cuts, along the very same line Senator Ellender asked, we have asked about cross compliance.
We have another thing in here that is very important in our section of the country and that is these reclamation and irrigation projects. Many witnesses indicated we ought to cut those down until this surplus is moved off. Do you have an opinion?
Mr. WINGATE. I certainly do. I think we should slow down on some of that until, I don't say you should come to a dead standstill, but I just want to say that I have five little grandchildren and I can't imagine what they are going to be up against when they get may age. If people don't change their habits in this country and don't change our way of doing things, we will have double the population we have today. I didn't mean it just that way, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. We had a witness in Texas whom we asked about a way to curtail or limit production of poultry. She said kill all the roosters.
Mr. WINGATE. Senator, really and truly I inadvertently made that statement, but I want to tell you what did happen. I heard a man in a high position saying farmers would become antiquated and taking pills. I will be glad I am gone if that time comes.
Senator Young. I wonder if we can go back to the soil bank and diverted acres. If you took 40 million acres out of production as you suggested, could not that 40 million acres be the same as your diverted acres, one and the same?
Mr. WINGATE. That is my point. The question Senator Young asked and Senator Ellender asked is about
my diverted acres. The 40 million is the diverted acres and if it is not it has to be 45 or drop back.
Senator Young. They could be one and the same acres? Mr. WINGATE. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. If it is not equal, if 10 percent does not equal these diverted acres I am speaking of, and it could happen even under the plan you propose for cotton, you want the same acreage as we had last
year. Some have suggested that if we have diverted acres increase it; instead of 17 million acres make it 22.
Mr. WINGATE. That is my idea. The soil bank acreage, if 40 million acres was not enough, take more. That is your diverted acreage you are taking completely out.
The CHAIRMAN. So you would not permit these diverted acres to be planted to any other crop that would compete with other producers of commodities that are in trouble?
Mr. WINGATE. No, sir.
Mr. WINGATE. I am going to give you my answer. If 40 million acres, if you have to have diverted acres after taking out 40 million in soil bank, you haven't got my soil bank plan in operation. My soil bank plan takes out every acre you need for diverted acres. You know that thing was thrown in, Mr. Benson threw it in and he was never any happier than when he had it out of his lap. That was the hottest thing he ever had, that diverted acreage.
Senator Young. Forty million acres you suggest now, is that not far in excess of our diverted acres?
Mr. WINGATE. Yes, sir. It is in excess of our diverted acres.
Senator EASTLAND. Let me see if I understand. Say a farmer takes 40 acres out of cotton and then he has a cotton allotment of 40 acres and he has 60 other acres on his farm. Now what you say is that he must plant his cotton allotment, 40-acre allotment, he must put the 40 acres he takes out of cotton in legumes ?
Mr. WINGATE. That is right.
Senator EASTLAND. Then he can plant what he wants to on the other 60 as long as it is not in a crop that is under control?
Mr. WINGATE. That is exactly right. That is the plan,
Senator EASTLAND. Let me make this statement. You made a statement that I am very much interested in that I think is sound; very sound. You think that the acreage, cotton acreage, should be measured in advance so that there will be no underplanting?
Mr. WINGATE. That is right.
Senator EASTLAND. It is true the arid regions in the West have been planting their allotments pretty well?
Mr. WINGATE. Yes, sir.
Senator EASTLAND. Because they have planted their allotments and Georgia has underplanted they have gained a history and have taken cotton acreage away from the State of Georgia.
Mr. WINGATE. That is right.
Senator EASTLAND. When the West gains 1 acre how many acres does it cost the Southeast; it is about 3?
Mr. WINGATE. At least 3; when the West gains 1 it costs them just about 3 down here in Georgia on an average.
I don't want to take up too much time, but I would like to go back here-we have discussed the soil bank business--I would like to go back one more second to our price-support program.
Now, gentlemen, we have surplus of labor a lot of times and I don't believe there is anybody that would advocate flexing labor's wages to balance off things. But that would come nearer balancing and getting cheap prices quicker than the farmer taking a little slide. I am not saying that. I know we don't want to flex wages. I am just showing you this thing is not right down here on us.
Now to back up the 90 percent. I want to use wheat. We all eat bread. And the farmers in 1946 were receiving $2.85 a bushel on an average for wheat and a loaf of bread was 13 cents. That is a pound loaf of bread. That same loaf of bread tody is selling for 19 cents a loaf and wheat is 80 cents a bushel cheaper than it was in 1946.
Do you think if they had given those wheat farmers this year 90 percent support that the bread price would be any different? You wouldn't know it. The very fact that they did not get 90 percent support, it cost the wheatgrowers, Senator Young, over $145 million this year. And next year with your new parity formula in effect and your flexing further down to 76 percent, it is going to cost the wheat producers alone over $390 million. I am going to tell you, gentlemen, that that spells a lot in the pocketbook of the wheat farmers in buying the needs for the families.
Senator Young. I am glad you mentioned the parity formulas. Are you in favor of letting the so-called modernized parity formula go into effect ?
Mr. WINGATE. The modernized parity is not even a 20th cousin to parity. Whoever heard of a 10-year moving average being parity?
Senator YOUNG. I agree.
Senator RUSSELL. I have no questions, but I would like to observe in view of Mr. Wingate's last answer that there are some details on which the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, its president and members do not agree with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir. That is what I meant when I stated a while ago that even in your own organization you did not have agreement and that goes for flexible as well as rigid.
Mr. WINGATE. I am sorry to say we have had an awful split in there, but it is something we have to work out ourselves.
The CHAIRMAN. You better do it soon.
Mr. WINGATE. They are coming closer. I am not joking. We are getting closer together the tighter this thing gets, and I believe we will do something at this convention.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Next is Mr. Boswell Stevens. I know you have a written statement. STATEMENT OF BOSWELL STEVENS, PRESIDENT, MISSISSIPPI
FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, JACKSON, MISS. Mr. STEVENS Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. You are president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau? Mr. STEVENS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you anything new to add to what Mr. Wingate has stated ?
Mr. STEVENS I think so, sir. I think it is a little varied.
Mr. STEVENS. Shall I read the statement and subject myself to questions?
The CHAIRMAN. Do as you please, sir.
Mr. STEVENS. I would like to read it as president of the organization, if you don't mind.
The CHAIRMAN. Do so.
Mr. STEVENS. I am Boswell Stevens, a farmer of Macon, Miss., and president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
We thank you most sincerely for the opportunity to appear before your committee. You were kind to let us appear at this hearing especially as we were not able to be heard at Alexandria, La., on the Oth and 10th of November.
The CHAIRMAN. Why was that?
Mr. STEVENS. We feel, however, that we had a valid reason for requesting this opportunity here rather than at Alexandria. We were in our annual meeting at which time the official voting delegates from each of the 82 county farm bureaus are assembled and our State policies are determined and the recommendations made to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
We believe the policies determined are the thinking of the vast majority of our membership due to the democratic procedure we pursue to determine the majority opinion.
This statement seems to be verified by the growth of our organization since I became its president in 1950. At that time we had slightly more than 16,000 members. In 1955 we have 46,274 farm families as members of the Mississippi Farm Bureau-a county farm bureau in each of the 82 counties against 54 county farm bureaus in 1950.
From the information and the interest shown it seems safe to assume we will have more than 50,000 members in 1956.
For your information we would like to explain our method of arriving at the opinions of our members. Under our bylaws it becomes the duty of the President to appoint the members of the State resolutions committee. This task has been simplified some by the suggestion of one of the former members of the resolutions committee in that one person is appointed from each of the 20 districts that the farm bureau has divided the State into, based on potential members in such district. Even with this guide, care must be taken that the committee is fairly appointed by interest, not allowing the committee to become overbalanced with representatives from a single segment of our varied agriculture.
There is also appointed, in addition to the 20 representatives from the districts, 5 women on the committee. These 5 usually represent the State and 4 district coordinators between the farm bureau and the home demonstration council. This organization has approximately 25,000 members throughout the width and breadth of the State. We find that we can work very closely together and they are most helpful in legislative matters.
This State resolutions committee meets from 4 to 6 weeks prior to the annual meeting to review county farm bureau recommendations
and to have before it representatives of various organizations and agencies, trying to arrive at the best recommendations to propose to the delegates. After the committee has spent sufficient time in reviewing recommendations and resolutions and hearing testimony, they put into printed form the State's recommendations. These are prepared and sent to the county farm bureaus to be studied by the membership. They can amend, delete, or oppose any section or sections or the suggestions in their entirety.
Their voting delegates are instructed on what position to take on each topic. The last day of the State meeting is the business session. The voting delegates from the 82 counties, who had been selected by the membership
in the counties in proportion to the membership in the county, are approved by the credentials committee and seated.
The resolutions committee has been in session many times to review any change or deletions and additions since sending the proposals to the counties.
On Thursday, November 10—that is why we couldn't be at Alexandria—the delegates determined the 1956 policies of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
Cotton continues to be our No. 1 money crop; therefore, I would like to quote you the opinion of these delegates with comment and briefly refer to other interests of our agricultural economy:
We recognize fully the impact of synthetics, foreign and domestic, and foreign cotton acreage expansion on our long-time historical share of the world cotton market. We are unable to visualize the recapture and maintenance of our share of the total market without meeting price competition.
Price competition can be provided in either of three ways: By the producer, by the Government, or by both in cooperation.
High cotton production costs, brought about by Government action in minimum wages, tariffs, and other concessions to labor and industry, so handicap the United States producer that he is unable to make the necessary price adjustments to meet this competition alone. Since the situation is primarily the result of Government action, particularly the restrictive sales policies of the State Department, Government must assume its share of the pricing necessary to recapture and maintain our share of the world cotton industry.
We insist that the Government develop, announce, and carry out a cotton export sales program to accomplish this end in cooperation with price adjustments by the producer. Any failure of immediate satisfactory administrative action on a cotton export program should be remedied by mandatory legislation by the Congress. Any such announcement, or necessary legislative action, must provide adequate protection for domestic cotton mills through import quotas or tariff regulations.
In order to provide the producer's part of price adjustment in the cotton export market, and to meet the competition of domestic synthetics, we recommend that the basis for application of cotton support prices be changed from seven-eighthinch Middling to 1-inch Middling and price supports be retained at 90 percent of parity through the set-aside or by legislation, and that compensating increases in acreage allotments be made above that provided in the law.
Senator EASTLAND. About what price concession?
Mr. STEVENS. We know what it is. We figured that out, based on present pricing
Senator EASTLAND. It would be about 31/2 cents a pound?
, it might have varied in the last 30 days, I haven't figured it in 30 days, but 30 days ago the difference would be about 2.40. Then you have got your moving parity formula that will become effective the 1st day of January and