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shift from some agricultural objective in our agricultural schools to some other unrelated objective, such as engineering and things of this nature, a shift away from research and experimentation in our agriculture areas.
If the school has another area in mind or another piece of land, an adjoining property, to one of the parcels, I would certainly be for it, but if they want to sell this property and put this money in, say, the bank until such time as they can shift it into some other area. I just cannot be for that.
Mr. SCHERLE. No; it is not the idea or the intent to do that, because, as I mentioned in my statement this morning, the sale of this land is covered in section 2 which provides that the proceeds from the sale, lease, or other disposition of such lands shall be maintained by the university in a separate fund, and that the university will use the proceeds for the acquisition of lands or for the development or improvement of any land so acquired.
Mr. PRICE. Do they have another plot adjoining one of these parcels in mind now?
Mr. SCHERLE. I do not believe they have at the present time. This will require legislation that will allow them to sell one or the other before they purchase. However, a great deal of research and technology has come out of Iowa State College in the past years because of which we have all been better farmers—by reason thereof, and they will be able to buy additional land, and they will improve it to the extent that we all will be, I believe, benefited by the research which will be carried out on the land.
Mr. PRICE. I am just exploring this subject.
Mr. Kyl. As indicated previously, they are not trying to abrogate any public responsibility, insofar as the use of the land for public purposes are concerned. They are simply seeking to transfer that responsibility to another area from which they can carry on the kind of experimentation which will be meaningful. If these two tracts were together in one unit now instead of being 75 miles apart, they would have such a unit. They do not have it at this time.
Mr. SCHERLE. If they did, we would not be here.
Mr. PRICE. You know, sometimes a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. I would hate to see this, in the hope that sometime in the future they would hope to buy land adjoining.
Mr. SCHERLE. No; let me give you this assurance, since Mr. Kyl and I are both in the beef production business. I can guarantee you that if this piece of legislation is adopted, that the college will adhere to the reasons for this bill.
Mr. PRICE. Do you think that with this number of acres they will be able to grow sufficient food?
Mr. SCHERLE. I am sure that they can do a much better job.
You see, right now, the way it is being handled, they have one part of the herd over here and a part of a herd over here (indicating), and this land is only used for grazing purposes. We know that the most efficient operation is under one roof. All we are asking is that these farms which are 75 miles apart be allowed to be put together.
Mr. PRICE. How much is this land appraised for?
Mr. KYL. $150 on one and $200 on the other. These figures are probably, as I indicated, higher than on much of the adjacent land, because of the improvements and the management by the university over a 30-year period of time.
Nr. SCHERLE. To give you another idea, comparing the land that we have reference to here, the land that I farm, sells for between $500 and $600 an acre.
Mr. PRICE. That is all. Thank you.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Kyl, you mentioned that this has been going on over a 30-year period of time. These deeds were made in 1955. Did they have control over this land before they acquired this?
Mr. Kyl. The statement from the manager of the outlying farms for the university indicate that they have apparently had some management over this land or portions thereof for about 30 years, yes.
Mr. KLEPPE. That was under the Bankhead-Jones Act, where they might have had management over it before the deeds were given?
I have one further question of the gentlemen, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KLEPPE. First of all, we passed H.R. 11527, which had to have a two-thirds vote, and we had a two-thirds vote. My question is: What specific objection do you have to using the same language under section 2, subparagraph 1, that you recited to me earlier to my question about the difference in the language between the Hathaway bill and this one? I am thinking of passing a bill that would not have that difference. What was the matter with the language that was passed before?
Mr. SCHERLE. If I may read the committee print or the report. Originally, it was conveyed to the university on the condition that it be used for public purposes. And the committee felt that that condition should attach to any land acquired from the proceeds from the sale of the original land. The committee regarded university purposes as being public purposes, in the case of the State university; however, the committee felt that the development or the improvement of the lands of the university was not, necessarily, public purposes since, conceivably, the university might own lands for investment purposes and devote it to housing or commercial use. This is the amendment that was agreed to in the Senate.
Mr. KLEPPE. On H.R. 11527 ?
Mr. SCHERLE. The committee recommended deletion of the phrase just quoted.
Mr. MURRAY. Mr. Chairman, the Senate language was just a little bit different than the language of the Scherle-Kyl bill. The Senate struck from the House bill the language which said, “or for the development or improvement of the lands of the university.” The Senate and the Senate committee were concerned that the funds that were generated by the conveyance might be used to improve existing university lands and would not be used on the new land at all. So, they deleted the House language, and we concurred in that amendment. The University of Maine bill then was enacted into public law.
In the Iowa bill, however, any sales proceeds are restricted to the improvement of the land acquired. So, it would seem on the surface that the Senate would be willing to accept the language in the Iowa bill, because it is limited only to the improvement of the new property that is, the funds would be limited to the improvement, on any new land so acquired, and they could not use it for buildings or other lands of the university.
Mr. Kyl. This is why the language in this bill was changed to comply with the desires of the Congress in that other bill.
Mr PRICE. I have another question, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PRICE. These university experimentations have for many, many years done research whether it be on cows or steers or heifers. Would this money be used for that purpose in this instance?
Mr. SCHERLE. This money will be restricted to the land improvement purposes for this use.
Mr. Price. May I ask one more question?
Is there any oil production around there-is there any oil production close around to these different parcels of land?
Mr. SCHERLE. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. SCHERLE. I wish we had oil. We have had research on the feasibility of finding oil, but apparently none exists.
Mr. PRICE. You have no other production of any kind close around?
Mr. Kyl. Yes. I should provide a more full answer for that question. A month ago, we did not know of any commercial depositions of any minerals existing in this area. Since that time we have completed borings, specifically to find gypsum. There is a highly developed sulphate horizon in this area. There are commercial-size and commercial-quality deposits of gypsum, calcium sulphate dehydrate in this general area. The topography, the stratography, of the area would indicate that there is possibly, a value present in most of that area of Monroe Country for gypsum prospectively.
Mr. PRICE. To your knowledge, is there any recent activity in any mineral exploration?
Mr. Kyl. This area, originally and especially the eastern half of Monroe County, was a soft coal mining area. That activity has almost ceased as it has everywhere else, because it is not commercially profitable.
So far as I know there are no leases—there is contemplation, however, for the development of the bed of gypsum in Monroe County. It will be developed. The size of the deposits and the quality of the deposits indicate that that would be a profitable operation.
The mineral rights of the Federal Government are protected under this legislation in the final sections of the bill. The minerals are reserved to the Federal Government.
Mr. PRICE. This bill covers that?
Mr. SCHERLE. Section 3 of the bill deals with the question of mineral rights. The deeds in question reserve to the United States the mineral rights and the right to enter upon such lands for the removal of such minerals.
Mr. KLEPPE. If I may interject ?
Mr. KLEPPE. The Secretary of the Interior has the right to sell those mineral rights at the fair market value. He may not be as good a salesman as some, but the legislation provides that those values will come from that.
Mr. SCHERLE. Section 3 further authorizes a release by the Secretary of the Interior of the Government's mineral rights. The bill authorizes the Secretary to release these rights for a nominal consideration if he determines that the lands have no mineral value. Otherwise, the mineral interests have to be sold at the fair market value. So, we have provided the protection as far as mineral rights are concerned.
Mr. PRICE. Does the bill which authorizes him to transfer this land, does it authorize him also to sell the minerals?
Mr. SCHERLE. He may release the mineral rights, either for actual or nominal consideration, depending on the value of the minerals themselves, if any.
Mr. KLEPPE. If I may-the Secretary of the Interior does that.
Mr. KLEPPE. It is the same. If they have no value, the Secretary of the Interior has the right to sell them. If they do have a nominal value he can sell it at the fair market value. It is the same provision.
Mr. KYL. May I respond to this?
The Department's witnesses are much more fully qualified to respond to this than I. However, under normal procedure, the Bureau of Land Management, which acquires the jurisdiction from the Agricultural Department on land under this category, first makes a determination of whether or not there are any mineral values in the vicinity, and if there is no mineral value apparent the transfer is a rather easy thing; however, if there are mineral values possible, prospective in the area, then the Secretary, the Bureau of Land Management, actually makes whatever study and determinations are necessary, and if these studies indicate that there is no value, normally the cost of those studies for investigation is borne by the person to whom the title is transferred. So that under normal procedure, the taxpayer is protected, both from the standpoint of the investigation or the exploration; and should there be mineral deposits the taxpayer is protected by the procedures of the Bureau who sees to it that the Government gets its royalty or its money from the sale of those rights.
Mr. Jones Are there any further questions?
(The prepared statement of H. L. Self, professor in charge of outlying farms, Iowa State University, follows:)
STATEMENT OF DR. H. L. SELF, PROFESSOR, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY Iowa State University, as the Land Grant College in Iowa, has the responsibility of providing the educational and research programs in Agriculture for the people of the state. These are administered by the College of Agriculture with the Dean of the College of Agriculture having the administrative responsibility for all phases of undergraduate instruction and for the research activities. For administrative purposes research programs are the responsibility of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station of the College of Agriculture.
The production of all agricultural products including both livestock and crops are affected economically and physiologically by the environment in which they are produced. Although the original approach to agricultural research was to do all experimental work at the central research facility, it became evident that type of soil, climate, weather, and length of day were overriding factors in many cases that must be dealt with. Consequently, research sites were located in the major soils group areas in the state away from the main station at Ames. The first of these sites was established in March 1931 in Page County in Southwest Iowa, on the Marshall soils. Two more sites were established in that same year, one in north central Iowa near Kanawha and one in the sandy alluvial soils near the Mississippi River in Eastern Iowa.
Starting in 1935 Federal programs were initiated in Iowa to provide jobs for the unemployed and at the same time to demonstrate the benefits of applying the latest scientific information available to low fertility, badly eroded farms in Southern Iowa. Five sites were selected and land was purchased by the Federal Government for establishing “pasture improvement demonstration sites, showing methods of renovating and rehabilitating old pastures and other unproductive lands”. Iowa State University cooperated in the development phase and later in the demonstrational phase of this project. At this time these sites were established in 1935 it was anticipated that the land acquired at each site was an acreage appropriate to result in an economic unit. This judgment appears to have been sound at the time. With new technology becoming available as a result of the various research programs these sites continued to be fairly efficient economically speaking up to the late 1950's. As new methods became available, as suitable labor became more difficult to acquire and as margins between costs of production and returns from the sale of agricultural products narrowed, it became necessary to increase the volume of production to compensate for the narrow profit margins being realized by farmers. This was accomplished by increasing the size of the farming unit and by increased production on a per acre basis by using the latest information available. Research activities by a public institution such as Iowa State University are responsive to the needs of the people served by the institution.
The research needs of 10 years ago are not necessarily the same as needed today. In Southern Iowa the soils erode a great deal if subjected to a continuous row cropping program. Consequently, other means of using the land wisely and profitably must be found. A continuous growing crop such as blue grass pasture will control the erosion, but the economic returns are inadequate even when a recommended fertilizer program is used. Therefore, new varieties of plants must be found and/or developed to provide the desired results. Once this step is accomplished a way must be found to efficiently and wisely use the higher production to be expected. Beef cattle use forages of this nature in large quantities and appear to offer the best possibility of providing an adequate economic return while providing for the proper use and integrity of the land.
The income from beef cattle is such that a herd of more than 100 cows is required to provide the income necessary to maintain the premises and provide an adequate income to support a family.
Based on previous experience at the 410 acre Lineville Farm, the maximum carrying capacity is about 75 beef cows and their calves. Not only does this result in a deficient return to operate as an economic unit, but the research data obtained from this relatively small number of observations make the accumulation of knowledge slow and expensive. If 100 cows is the smallest size unit to be considered under actual conditions, then two herds of 100 cows would probably be recommended for use in research so that one herd of 100 cows would serve as an experimental control and another herd of 100 cow's would be used to determine the effect of the treatment being imposed by the research.
The above observations and examples clearly point out that a point has now been reached where the Lineville Farm is no longer adequate to serve the needs of the people in the area. Although the Albia Farm is larger (545) acres and will carry up to 150 cows, it too is inadequate in its present size to serve as an efficient experimental unit.
It was, therefore, our hope that provisions could be made to permit the sale of either or both of these two tracts of land and that the funds from such sale be used to obtain sufficient acreage in a single location or site that would provide for the pursuit of research with beef cow herds in the rough and highly erodible soils of Southern Iowa. In this endeavor Congressman William J. Scherle was contacted and his assistance requested. H.R. 16065 as a result of this