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theory that you can serve both profitably at the same time. If we could persuade the general public to use whole milk we would take the butter out of Government storage and if the general public would use whole milk the people would naturally grow in the girdle, especially around the waistline, and if they used cotton panties every time they increased an inch it would take a million bales of cotton to do so. Then as they grew fatter, skirts longer and bigger, every time they dropped it an inch that is a million bales of cotton. That would eliminate our cotton surplus if the Nation would practice that theory.
For further remarks, Mr. Sawyer will conclude.
STATEMENT OF GORDON SAWYER, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
GEORGIA POULTRY FEDERATION, GAINESVILLE, GA. Mr. SAWYER. I would like to restate the emphasis we would like to place on research. All across the board as far as production and marketing is concerned we feel it is very important and vital to the continuation of our industry.
I would like to also state we are in the same position as Mr. Brown stated concerning any price support—if that is the proper term-program, or control program; we don't think it would work for poultry and traditionally have stated that.
That is all I have.
Next is Mr. George F. Powers and W. F. Hall. We have heard quite a bit on conservation and if you have anything new we would like to obtain it from you. Will you gentlemen be seated there.
Mr. HALL. Mr. Powers had to leave and asked me to present his paper.
The CHAIRMAN. What is Mr. Power's occupation?
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Each of you give your names and occupations, please.
Mr. Hall. As I started to say, Mr. Powers is president of the Georgia Association of Soil Conservation Districts. The CHAIRMAN. And you, Mr. Hall?
STATEMENT OF W. F. HALL, SPARTA, GA. Mr. HALL. I am W. F. Hall, of Sparta, Ga., a farmer, soil conservation district supervisor, and am also privileged to serve on the Georgia State Soil Conservation Committee and as a director of the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts. I am an amateur
Senator RUSSELL. You ought to say you have served as president of the National Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors.
Mr. Hall. I was area vice president, Senator. Never did get all the way to the top. Thank you.
I was State president of our Georgia association for 2 years.
I am an amateur in the strictest sense of the word, like the other 13,000 soil conservation district supervisors, directors, and commissioners all over America.
All Americans should ever be grateful to you gentlemen for spending your vacation time earnestly seeking the answers to the many problems that confront our farmers and ranchers today and in the years ahead.
I read in a newspaper a short while ago that the farmers of America were receiving 40 percent of the farm-produced dollar, so I went to a dry-goods store and bought a cotton shirt for $3.95 and a pair of cotton BVD's, so that I could figure just what the newspaper meant. The shirt weighed 9 ounces or about 20 cents' worth of Middling 35cent cotton. Further figuring showed that allowing 10 percent waste, a 500-pound bale of cotton would produce 800 shirts selling for $3,160, or 1,200 BVD's worth $2,940.
Now you know and I know that there are transportation facilities and cotton mills and salesmen between the farmer and the $3.95 selling price of the shirt, and each of them should be grateful for a bountiful supply of raw cotton to help keep them busy. This same story applies to every other crop produced on the farms of America, but the 110 million Americans who do not live on farms think that the cotton farmer is getting $1.58, 40 percent, of the selling price of the shirt as well as everything else they have to buy.
I believe that there should be an education program in this country telling all people the truth regarding the pitifully small part of the socalled farm dollar that the farmer actually gets, and include the Secretary of Agriculture.
It should also teach them that our Census Bureau predicts a population of 336 million by the year A. D. 2000, 11 years less than I have already lived, and that the time is surely coming when a so-called surplus such as we have today will be recognized as a blessing rather than a curse and a burden. And if we do not hoid sacred and use wisely all of our natural resources, we will destroy ourselves.
Some people say that farmers will not strike, but the records show that 3 million have struck within the last 5 years; not an organized strike, but they are gone just the same, and they are not coming back as long as they can get more for a 49-hour week in town than they can make on a farm toiling 50 to 75 hours per week, exposed to summer heat and winter cold, devastating floods and scorching droughts.
Webster's dictionary says that parity means equality. Th facts about the shirt and the BVD's makes it hard for me to recognize the true meaning of parity in sale of a bale of cotton or any of the other farm products.
In 1953, 1412 percent of our population, the farmers, received 5.5 percent of the Nation's income. It seems to me that if parity was what Webster said it was, that the farmers would have received 90 percent of 14.5 percent of the Nation's income.
I would also like to offer my thinking in regard to diverted acreage as follows. In order that the Congress may assist farmers and ranchers in building up those idle acres under allotments against that time when population or national emergency should demand maximum production, the following thoughts might be considered.
1. ASC might be allowed to share with the farmers the cost of seeding such acres properly to land-building plants, suited to each area involved; for example, grasses in the Dust Bowl area, crimson clover or sericea lespedeza in the Southern States, et cetera.
2. Said acres should be selected and used according to best land-use methods after technical inspection and mutual agreement between owner and technician.
3. Such plants should not compete with similar crops elsewhere in surplus quantities, and if used should be used where produced.
4. Payment to be made after maturity of said plants following inspection and approval by proper designated parties to insure that the spirit of this program be carried out and no abuses allowed.
5. Reseeding plants should be used when suitable and available.
6. After establishment, an annual payment for maintenance and protection.
7. If such a program as suggested above should be adopted by the Congress, each farmer participating should solemnly agree to carry out the spirit of this program so that these idle acres of 1955 may truly become certified checks in our beloved Nation's lockbox and payable on demand when needed.
The CHAIRMAN. Could I ask you to expand a bit on your proposal that if anything is grown on these diverted acres it should be used where produced ?
What do you mean by that?
Mr. HALL. I means I don't think that I, in Hancock County, Ga., having to reduce my cotton acreage, should grow soybeans to help develop a further surplus in the soybean area, for example.
The CHAIRMAN. What I mean is, how do you want them to use soybeans where they are grown?
Mr. HALL. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What would you do with the hogs, sell them abroad or sell them away from here?
Mr. HALL. Use them themselves, or sell them locally.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that, but I may have misunderstood you, sir. I understood you to say that if products of any kind are grown on these diverted acres those products must be used where produced. That is what I thought I heard you say.
Mr. HALL. I said that, yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That is why I asked the question. If you grow soybeans or corn on that, it is true you may use them where produced for feeding hogs or cattle or sheep or goats, but if you take the goats and sheep and sell them you compete with other areas that may be in as bad a way as the crop area where you divert.
Mr. Hall. That is getting away from No. 3 here, that such plants should not compete with similar crops elsewhere in surplus quantities.
Senator EASTLAND. I would like to ask you a question there. stated that a farmer, cotton farmer, should not put his diverted acres that he takes out of cotton into soybeans.
Now soy beans are directly competitive with cottonseed. Soy-bean meal and soy-bean oil are directly competitive with cottonseed mea] and cottonseed oil and are interchangeable. You have a market on that acreage for a protein feed and fats and oils that cottonseeds produces. That is yours. Why do you not have a right to fill that market
by the use of soy beans? If you did not do that you would transfer your market to the Northwest or some other area of the country.
Mr. HALL. I am trying to look at this thing from an American standpoint.
Senator EASTLAND. Yes; but it is your market.
Mr. Hall. I know, but if we don't work with the boys from the soy-bean areas and wheat areas and the corn areas, they are certainly not going to work with us.
Senator EASTLAND. Certainly not, but why should we give them our market?
Mr. Hall. I don't consider that we are giving them our market, Senator. I am speaking of putting diverted acres into land-building crops principally.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hall, that simply points up the problem. That is why I brought it out on several occasions. If any bill is to be enacted we are going to have to have the votes of a majority of the Senators and Members of the House and this very problem of dealing with the diverted acres may determine whether or not we have a bill
. That, to me, is one of the problems that we are going to have to work on and solve so as to get any kind of reasonable bill.
Mr. HALL. Senator, I have been before your committee on 2 different years and I have been before House committees and I realize when you talk about a few million dollars that you have trouble getting them passed. Personally, I would say put every acre diverted into landbuilding crops and keep off it; set it build up for that day when we need high-productive land.
If you can get that kind of money to support that kind of program I would say that is the program..
The CHAIRMAN. I agree with you a hundred percent. Mr. Hall. But can you get it? The CHAIRMAN. I would like to be able to say yes, but I doubt it. That is my honest opinion. You asked for my view and I will tell you.
I happen to be on the Appropriations Committee and I know how hard it is to get your little Hartwell Dam started here. We had to wait for years and years. Without the aid of my good friend, Dick Russell, who was on that Appropriations Committee
way at the top, the chances are this would have been delayed again. I do not want to forget my good friend, Senator Young, gave us a good push, too, that made it possible to start your Hartwell Dam. Though it may not be of importance to your immediate area here, for the State of Georgia it means a lot and that dam project has been before us for 7 or 8 years. We finally got it started and I hope we can complete it before long and I hope to be here when you dedicate it.
Mr. HALL. I remember how hard it was, too, to increase the 35 percent per capita cost to strengthen our soil-conservation service. Those moneys are hard to get and I appreciate your position.
Let me conclude by saying that on August 9, 1954, a great statesman made a very fine and comprehensive speech on the Senate floor. Some heard and heeded; others did not agree. I ask that you accept a copy of this great speech and study it as it tells the story of the farmer most truly and completely. It was true then and it is still true, only worse.
Thank you very kindly for this valuable time you have given me.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE F. POWERS, PRESIDENT, GEORGIA ASSO
CIATION OF SOIL-CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUPERVISORS, MILLEDGEVILLE, GA.
Mr. Powers. I grow pine trees and beef cattle. I would like to endorse what Mr. Hall has said with one provision and that is that our diverted acreage be put to use according to the capabilities of that land in some sod crops, soil-improving crops. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir. Are there any questions? (Statement of Mr. Powers is as follows:) I am George F. Powers, president of the Georgia Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors, whose membership is 226 covering 27 soil-conservation districts. There are 90,000 farmers who have individual soil- and water-conservation plans on their farms.
It is very apparent that the farmers of Georgia and the entire Nation are har. ing financial difficulties and are headed for greater trouble which could very well be disastrous if something is not done to either reduce their production costs or raise the prices they receive for their commodities.
There is about 13.5 percent of the people in this great Nation who today live on farms and are dependent on farming for a livelihood. This percentage is decreasing each year. During the last 5 years over 3 million people have left the farm for urban employment where they could at least hope for a fair standard of living. In 1954 the 13.5 percent of the population living on farms received only about 5 percent of our national income. The percentage received by farners in 1955 will no doubt be considerably less than in 1954. It is reasonable to believe that the farmers income will continue to decline unless he is given some assistance immediately.
The most expedient method of relieving the present agricultural situation is through price supports and marketing quotas. The average Georgia farmer does not generally approve of subsidy, but today, through no fault of his, finds himself in a position that either demands that he ask and accept a subsidy or face bankruptcy. The support price on all commodities should be 90 percent of parity and the formula for computing parity should be based on current prices that the farmer has to pay for both labor and supplies.
The Georgia farmer and farmers of the Nation have always been in favor of marketing quotas if they be needed and are fairly administered. There is every reason to believe that a great majority of the farmers are today of the same opinion.
Marketing quotas will mean still further acreage reduction of the various crops. This in turn will mean more diverted acres. The question frequently heard is, “What to do with the diverted acreage?" These acres will be needed in the not too far distant future. Our statisticians tell us that we may expect a population of more than 300 million by the year 2,000. If this be true then all surplus would have disappeared and very likely every acre of productive crorland would be needed to feed and clothe the people. If we are to look to the future then it becomes the responsibility of all the people to share the entire cost of protecting and building the soil of the diverted acres and a portion of the cost of protecting and building the soil that remains in production. In both cases the treatment of the land should be according to the capability of the particular acre involved. Locally organized and governed soil-conservation districts stand ready and waiting to assist in doing this job.
Looking to the future it is apparent that some thinking should be done and some action taken on the following:
1. Creating and developing of additional markets for our farm products. So long as the world has so many hungry people, it would seem that the problem of surplus is only temporary.
2. There is, and will be in the future, an increasing need for educational efforts to all groups and ages of our population. The entire agricultural picture is especially true of the conception of land and water management. Even though our population is predominately urban it is just as important that they be acquainted with the basic facts of soil, water, plant, and human relationship as the farm families.
3. Greater emphasis should be placed on the proper use and management of our soil and water resources. Additional basic research is needed in this field.