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The following is a suggested guide: Up to 100 acres cropland, 10 percent sod and removed from production. 100 to 200 acres cropland, 15 percent sod and removed from production. 200 to 300 acres cropland, 20 percent sod and removed from production. 300 to 400 acres cropland, 25 percent sod and removed from production. 400 to 500 acres cropland, 30 percent sod and removed from production. 500 to 1,000 acres cropland, 35 percent sod and removed from production. 1,000 to 1,500 acres cropland, 40 percent sod and removed from production. 1,500 to 2,000 acres cropland, 45 percent sod and removed from production. 2,000 to 3,000 acres cropland, 50 percent sod and removed from production.
A. That 75 percent of the cost of seed and fertilizer to establish these sods be paid for by the Federal Government.
B. That these percentages and acreages of sodded crops be checked and approved by the local ASC representative before marketing books are issued
to the producer. III. That no changes be made in the present tobacco program.
IV. That any producer of allotted crops be permitted to return production, quota or acreage to the local ASC office for redistribution by a specified date from Fear to year.
V. That the Federal Government continue to keep in storage a sufficient supply of all crops to meet any national emergency. Where satisfactory storage facilities exist on individual farms, some of these supplies held might be purchased directly from the farmer and stored on the farm.
VI. That the loan program for farm-storage buildings be administered by the Farmers Home Administration, and that the regulations be changed so that the producer may borrow 80 percent of the total cost of the building rather than 60 percent of the total cost under the present regulations.
STATEMENT FILED BY STEWART PHINIZY, PARTNER, PHINIZY & PHINIZY, AUGUSTA,
Ga., C. B. WHITNEY, PRESIDENT, S. M. WHITNEY CO., INC., AUGUSTA, GA., AND C. O. DEBEAUGRION, PRESIDENT, LYON, LYON & Co., Inc., AUGUSTA, GA.
We know we are speaking for the farmers in expressing our appreciation for the efforts you are making toward working out a most difficult situation. We feel you are going the extra mile in order that the producer may get his fair share in this era of prosperity; you are working in a good cause and where help is badly needed.
As cotton factors of Augusta, Ga., we represent firms who have served the cotton producers of this area (of Georgia and South Carolina) for 30 to 90 years. We are vitally interested in the future of the cotton farmer and the farm program in general. While we do not propose to know the answer to the farm problem, we do have some thoughts based on practical experience which we would like to present for your consideration.
A very large proportion of the farmers who do business with us are small farmers. We have seen these small producers suffer a great deal through the years of acreage control; the overall financial plight of this group at the present time is extremely bad. We believe in acreage controls but we think there should be a livable minimum acreage established for the small farmer. Unless this is done, it can readily reach the point where he would be forced to abandon the farm and become a ward of the State or Federal Government. An equitable formula of acreage control should be based on a sliding scale similar to income taxes. In considering acreage control, always bear in mind we have an intersacrifice accomplishes nothing in regard to world supplies. A world conference national problem as well as a domestic one. Whenever our farmer cuts an acre, an additional acre is generally planted in a foreign country, and our producer's sacrifice accomplishes nothing in regard to world supplies. A world conference should be held with the hope of cooperation in acreage controls at world levels.
Under present economic conditions, with labor having a high support (wage and hour and immigration laws) and the manufacturer being protected by a tariff, we believe the farmer should be protected with a minimum of 90 percent of parity based on middling seven-eighths. There have been two schools of thought; high supports and flexible supports. To have flexible supports for the farmer, it would only be fair to have flexible supports for labor and manufacturer; the latter two are impossible. We are therefore convinced it is not pos
sible for the farmer's income to be maintained on a fair level without high support prices. In our opinion, the reason why the high support price has not succeeded is that the Government has failed to take any concrete action in regard to the disposal of surplus cotton.
When a piece of machinery, cotton goods, etc., is produced in a foreign country and is imported into this country, it strikes a tariff wall which raises the price and the taxpayer receives the benefit in the form of customs duty. There is no reason why when the commodities are exported and strike the tariff wall going out, the price should not be reduced to world levels and the taxpayer pay the difference in order to protect the farmer. To accomplish this end, a year-round sales agency should be set up; the purpose of this agency to insure an annual movement of 5 million bales or more of American cotton into world channels. Action of this sort would not be well received by foreign competition, but is it not better to aid our own flesh and blood rather than the cotton producers of Mexico, Brazil, and other cotton-producing countries?
In the overall picture, the interest of the textile mills in this country should be considered. If they are to spin domestic-supported cotton, they should be protected by legislation from low-priced goods shipped into our Nation from Japan and other foreign lands.
With our very sincere thanks and firm belief that the fine and conscientious work you are doing will result in a solution to this problem.
STATEMENT FILED BY E. F. VICKERS, PRESIDENT, THE CITIZENS BANK AND TRUST
Co., BAINBRIDGE, GA. I was invited to appear before your honorable body but, due to illness of various members of the personnel of the bank of which I am president, it was not possible for me to stay over and enjoy that privilege. I have taken the liberty therefore of preparing a brief statement to file with you.
Senator George very kindly sent me a book containing a record of the hearings before your committee in July of this year. I have read this and am impressed by the patience and cooperation and knowledge of things agricultural on the part of the members of the committee. I cannot escape the conclusion that you are doing and intend to keep doing your best for the welfare of the farmers of the United States.
It is my understanding that for an agricultural product to be supported it must be on the list of basic commodities. Corn, wheat, cotton, tobacco, and peanuts are currently on the list. Most of the hearings referred to above dealt with the wheat situation. We do not raise much wheat in Georgia or in the Southeast. Corn is getting to be quite a money crop with us. Cotton, of course, always has been. Peanuts are a major crop throughout our section—in fact, in the county in which I live they are our chief money crop. I understand they are grown extensively also in Virginia, the Carolinas, to some extent in Florida, rather largely in Alabama and Texas. The No. 1 peanuts go into the making of edible products, such as candy and peanut butter. The offgrade peanuts are used in making oil. At the present prices of these products the manufacturers can still make handsome profits out of peanuts.
Living in a rural area as I do, I feel the impact very quickly of any decline in prices of farm products. On page 21 of the report of the hearings, referred to above, I notice the statement—which was apparently uncontradicted—that the net income of farmers is down 28 percent since 1947, and that the farm prices are down an average of 22 percent since 1952. I notice also that the farmers' share in the national income has dropped 9.4 percent in 1951 to 7.2 percent in 1954. Against this is the fact that the net income of most all other classes of our population is constantly on the increase. For instance, the minimum waga goes to $1 next year and this will further accentuate the unattractiveness of farm life. We see in the papers about the vast profits that large corporations are making and a big share of these profits are being passed on to their workers in the shape of increased pay, guaranteed annual wage, etc.
As a country banker it has been my thought for many, many years that the farmer gets the dirty end of the stick in all of his dealings. He sets the price on nothing he buys and nothing he sells. It is fixed for him by somebody else. Then he is beset by the vicissitudes of the weather and the invasion of all sorts of pests. His crop will fail 1 year and the next spring he will find that the price of fertilizer and the prices of tractors have gone up. It is no wonder
to me that he gripes and complains. There is a terrific unbalance between the plight of the farmers and the conditions of all other segments of our population.
I cannot understand why it is that there is so much hue and cry about some moderate sum that might have been lost in supporting a crop when subsidies of one sort or another reach so many other segments of our population, albeit they may reach them indirectly.
I was told not long ago that two ships of the United States Navy became impaired or damaged in Japan and that they could have been repaired at a cost not to exceed $1 million in Japan, but that they were towed back to the United. States to be repaired in shipyards here at a cost of about $5 million. I have the word of our own Congressman on this.
I understand that some of you gentlemen are farmers and you surely must know that when agriculture gets in the doldrums it carries other lines of business with it. If farmers are prosperous, our little town is prosperous. It seethes with activity and happiness prevails.
I have the word of the president of the Georgia Farm Bureau that a year ago $250,000 was raised at a dinner in Chicago to sustain a drive to get peanuts taken off the list of basic commodities. That would mean that the price of peanuts would not be supported any longer. If this should happen there would be terrible distress in the peanut-growing sections of the country. Tractor sales would fall off and land values would go down. We people in Georgia, and the other States, think that since peanuts have become a major crop with us they should remain on the list of basic commodities and that the price of them should be supported at a reasonable figure. You know, of course, that the population of farms is decreasing. It is my opinion that the reason for this is that farm life is becoming so unattractive as compared to the wages that people can earn in the cities. If this trend continues, some of these days we will need no farm price support but, on the other hand, people will begin to go hungry.
I realize that perhaps supports do, in some instances, result in overproduction. This can be cured by acreage restrictions. I think also that there have been some inequities in the allocation of acreages, but it seems to me these are local matters that can be worked out. I am endeavoring to look at the matter in a broader sense and appealing to you to muster your influence to keep price supports in effect on peanuts, corn, cotton, and wheat.
Referring back to the matter of overproduction, I really do not believe there has ever been a year in which there has been real overproduction. Distribution has been faulty. There are people living on this earth who have never, one single day, had enough to eat. If our Nation expects to survive we must take a proper view of the matter. We must think about a little something other than balancing the budget and eliminating a few losses because of supporting the prices of crops.
I am on the State school building authority and, since I have been appointed thereon by our governor, I have been thinking about children more than ever in my life. The school building authority has floated $200 million worth of bonds and has built or is in process of building about 160 projects. We see now that these facilities are inadequate. Schoolchildren are knocking on the doors of schoolhouses all over Georgia, and those who have gone through high school are knocking on the doors of colleges and failing to gain admittance. If this trend continues and is prevalent all over the Nation, it won't be long until there will be no overproduction of any of the basic commodities—there will be more mouths to feed and more clothes to be worn. In the meantime, I hope that nothing will be done to undermine or impair our agricultural situation.
In conclusion, I should like to point out one other fact to you. There are all sorts of people in this Nation-most of them loyal and most of them patriotic. But when you go into the rural areas and contact the farmers, you are at the bedrock of patriotism and loyalty. Nothing bordering on communism is found there. And when a crisis strikes the n, as it did in the First World War, Second World War, and the Korean affair, the farmer gives up his son to enlist and mounts his tractor or gets behind a mule with less griping and grumbling than anybody else. I implore you not to do anything or let anything be done to make the lot of this man any harder.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1955
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Columbia, S.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9 a. m., Hotel Wade Hampton, Senator Allen J. Ellender (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Ellender, Johnston, and Scott.
Also present: Senator Thurmond; Representatives Ashmore and Dorn.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order.
This grassroots procedure is not new to me. Exactly 18 years ago this fall, when the late Senator Cotton Ed Smith was chairman, and I was serving my first year in the Senate, we held hearings in this very city, part of our hearings held throughout the Nation. From those hearings we presented to the Congress the present Agricultural Act of 1938, which has done such a good job in agriculture.
About 10 years later I again came back to Columbia. In the meantime, the Republicans had taken over the 80th Congress and instead of the committee being headed by a Democrat it was headed by a Republican, Senator Aiken. I can well remember all the farmers coming before us and saying we like the program, unless you can get something better, leave well enough alone. That was the cry then.
Today I am the only survivor of that group that started 'way back in 1937 in order to hold hearings, and this committee is now trying to obtain all the information possible from all of the farmers, not Senators and Congressmen and business people, so much but from the farmers, in order to find out how this program is working, how it can be improved. That is why we are here today.
This committee has been on the road now since October 23 and we have had meetings, overflow meetings everywhere we have been, and we have received much valuable information.
Senator Johnston or Senator Scott, have you anything to say before we proceed with the hearing of witnesses?
Senator JOHNSTON. I think you have already outlined what we are here for. We are here to get the information from the farmers and not to give information at this time.
We are glad to have you here in Columbia, and in South Caroline, you and Senator Scott, and we appreciate your making this one of your stops.
The CILAIRMAN. We are privileged to have Congressman Dorn from the Third District with us, and we hope that you can stay all day, Congressman, but I understand that you folks are busy now beating the bushes and making speeches here and there.