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price would seem to indicate that either we were still making money at the reduced price or that we did not have good sense.
The CHAIRMAN. Does not that indicate that the flexible price support does not mean less production?
Mr. GRISET. It has meant less production. I have those figures if you would like to have them.
The CHAIRMAX. You just indicated though, that it meant more production-you produced more.
Mr. GRISET. No; we still had more than we could sell. We were producing less.
The CHAIRMAN. Yo increased the acreage, though.
Mr. GRISET. We still had more beans to sell, although the price had been reduced for 2 years straight.
If we assume that the support program was designed to insure a fair farm income through the control of surpluses, then it must follow that in the case of lima beans, at least, it has not entirely succeeded.
In September of this year nature accomplished in a week's time what the support program and the farmers had failed to do in several years trying. A short spell of unusual weather in the bean-growing areas of southern California reduced the 1955 crop to such an extent that this year we will be able to sell all of the crop through the regular channels of trade, and the few remaining stocks of Government beans should also disappear by the end of this marketing season.
We are, therefore, going into the crop year of 1956 with a clean slate. I am far from alone in feeling that this would be a good time and perhaps the only time for many years to take the lima-bean industry out of the support program and again try the old-fashioned way.
We have an advisory board set up under the State Market Act which is carrying out a vigorous advertising and trade promotion program.
The feeling is growing among the members of the board that this program will yield better results in a free market.
Not all of the growers have had the opportunity to see the effects of the support program upon the actual distribution of beans, and it may take a little reeducation to prepare them for such a step. There is time before the planting of the 1956 crop for this effort at reeducation and for the growers to express themselves on this vital matter. I should like to see the effort made.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
The Chair will file a statement which has been submitted to him from the Kerman Co-op Gin & Warehouse, Inc., at this point in the record.
STATEMENT FILED BY H. D. BATEMAN, PRESIDENT, KERMAN Co-op Gin &
WAREHOUSE, INC., KERMAN, CALIF. As medium-sized diversified cottongrowers of the Kerman community, we represent 140 growers. These are the basic ideas of this group :
Due to the continual stockpiling of surpluses, we feel something should be done to offset this condition. Favoring a subsidy in cotton and making it competitive with world cotton, we realize we cannot continue to grow more cotton than we use domestically and export and still we cannot exist on our land with any less allotment than we have at present.
64440—56—pt. 4- -6
It is the feeling of our growers that cotton should be supported 90 percent of parity. Due to our production cost continually increasing and our severe cut in cotton allotment, we will be unable to produce cotton at a less figure.
We are in favor of amending the cotton-allotment law so each grower receives his allotment on the basis as it is allotted to the State. In other words if the State is allotted on a 5-year basis, the growers should also be allotted on a 5-year basis.
Our belief is that part of the cotton-control law which allows an individual grower to raise cotton in excess of his allotment with a penalty of 1712 cents a pound be changed any year that controls are in effect. An individual should be allowed to market cotton from his allotted acreage only. Some areas in the Cotton Belt could raise cotton with a penalty and realize a profit thereby adding to the large surplus of cotton.
We are writing these ideas to you as our agricultural representatives to give you some ideas of things vital to our existence as medium-sized diversified cottongrowers.
The CHAIRMAN. Our next witness is Mrs. Laura Shephard.
Will you please step forward and give us your name in full, and your occupation ?
STATEMENT OF MRS. GRACE MCDONALD, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
CALIFORNIA FARM RESEARCH AND LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
Mrs. McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, I am Grace McDonald, and not Mrs. Shephard. I am the executive secretary of the California Farm Research and Legislative Committee. I have a letter from Mrs. Shephard from the Imperial Valley Beekeepers Association, asking me to present her statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, that may be presented for the record. (The letter dated October 25, 1955 is as follows:)
CALEXICO, CALIF., October 25, 1955. Mrs. GRACE MCDONALD, Erecutive Secretary, California Farm Research and Legislative Committee,
Santa Clara, Calif. MY DEAR GRACE: Thank you for your recent letter relative to the hearings November 2 before the Senate committee. It is difficult for me to find a substitute in school so that I am not planning to attend the hearings. However, I have permission to file a paper. I am enclosing this paper, and requesting you to take care to give it to the chairman of the committee.
It would give me great pleasure to be present and to talk with you. I have a kindly feeling for your committee and respect for your work. Very truly yours,
IMPERIAL VALLEY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION,
LAURA SHEPHARD, Secretary. Mrs. McDONALD. This is an official statement from the Imperial Valley Beekeepers Association, Calexico, Calif., submitted by Mrs. Laura Shephard, who is a member of our committee and who has asked us to present it.
Mrs. Shephard and the Imperial Valley California Beekeepers Association of Calexico, Calif., call attention to the value of the honeybee in pollinating fruit and seed crops, stating that more than 80 percent of insect pollination is acomplished by honeybees, and that this service is becoming more valuable each year as wild pollinators are destroyed by increasing use of insecticides, which probably California excels in.
The Imperial Valley Beekeepers Association presents tables from 1947 through 1955 showing reduction in bee colonies amounting to 678,000 colonies.
They attribute this reduction to flexible price supports through which the Secretary of Agriculture, although authorized to support honey at 90 percent of parity in 1949, allowed supports of only 60 percent in 1950 and 1951 and 70 percent thereafter.
The tables show there is no surplus of honey; in fact, there is a world shortage.
It is evident that loans should continue to be made available to the producer, but that loans should be made at 90 percent of parity.
Since it is unlikely that officials in the Department of Agriculture can be influenced to do this, the increase in support price should be mandatory and accomplished by legislation.
The association further asks that the Department be required to establish goals for bee population according to the pollination needs of agriculture.
The full statement and authorization to our committee for transmittal at this hearing is attached herewith.
The CHAIRMAN. The statement may be incorporated in the record at this point. STATEMENT FILED BY MRS. LAURA SHEPHARD, SECRETARY, IMPERIAL VALLEY BEE
KEEPERS ASSOCIATION, CALEXICO, CALIF. I am Laura Shephard, a member of the Imperial Valley Beekeepers Association. With my nephew, I own and operate 5,000 colonies of bees in Imperial County, Calif.
In 1949 price support on honey was made mandatory from 60 to 90 percent of parity. Thus Congress signified a desire to make beekeeping solvent and to check the downward trend in bee population. In this paper, then, I shall attempt to determine whether the legislation has been administered to accomplish these objectives and will try to suggest a remedy.
If the value of the honeybee in pollinating fruit and seed crops of the United States were given consideration, officials in the Department of Agriculture would hare set the support price at 90 percent of parity. It has been estimated that more than 80 percent of the insect pollination is accomplished by honeybees, a service which is becoming more valuable each year as wild pollinator's are destroyed by the increasing use of insecticides.
The reluctance of officials in the Department of Agriculture to administer price-support legislation so as to increase the price paid to the honey producer is shown by the following statistics :
Western light amber table honey has been chosen for price comparison, for the West is the area where exists the greatest number of producers who sell large supplies of honey on the wholesale market. Light amber honey was selected because it is the honey in greatest volume in the United States, since it is the characteristic honey of the South and of many areas in the West. Its price then is an important factor. In 1954 and 1955 the support price of light amber table honey was reduced by transferring it to the same price classification as nontable honey, an arbitrary and capricious act which officials have never been able to explain. Members of the committee who received the small cans of Imperial Valley light amber table honey will remember its excellent quality.
The effect on the market price of various methods of price support will be discovered by studying these statistics : In 1948 there was a buying program from packers, which affected the market price very little; in 1949 there was no government program of any kind ; in 1950 and 1951 mandatory price support was implemented only by purchase programs from packers and the market price continued low; in 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1955 a loan program was authorized, and the market rose above support level. Each year that price support has been in operation until 1955 an export subsidy has taken a large supply of honey from the domestic market early in the marketing year and transferred it to Europe. In 1955 the export subsidy has not been authorized, and low-priced American honey in Europe is no longer a factor in depressing the world market.
The following statistics indicate what has been happening to bee population :
1947 1948. 1949. 1950. 1951 1952. 1953. 1954. 1955.
5, 916,000 5, 724, 000 5, 591, 000 5, 612, 000 5, 572, 000 5,500,000 5, 535, 000 5. 467,000 5, 238, 000
Pounds 228,000,000 207,000,000 223,000,000 233,000,000 259, 000, 000 273,000,000 224,000,000 217,000,000 243,000,000
38.6 36.0 40.6 41.5 46.5 49.5 40.5 39.8 46.4
1 235, 811, 417 1 243, 939, 574 1 200, 935, 000
1 Figures obtained by adding domestic production to imports and subtracting exports.
If one compares the amount of honey consumed in 1952 with the annual production, it is apparent that there is no surplus of honey in the United States. In 1952 there was a large crop and consumption increased because the honey was available for use. In 19:53 consumption decreased because from a short crop 32 million pounds were exported under subsidy, and the United States market was left short of honey. Since there is apparently a world shortage of honey, this domestic shortage could not be relieved by imports, for only 9,785,000 pounds were imported. I do not have complete figures for 1954, but the story will be the same as that of 1953, for again there was a short crop and an export subsidy stimulating export early in the marketing year, so that honey was in shortage throughout the year. In 1955 there was no export subsidy, but the loan program was continued. At the present time only 211,510 pounds of honey are under loan in the United States. It is difficult to read a surplus of honey in these figures, but officials of the Department have managed to delude themselves by concentrating on the activity in shipping honey abroad under the export subsidy.
The most alarming figures are those which indicate a decrease of 678,000 colonies of bees since 1947. The number of colonies in the United States in 1947 was deemed inadequate for proper pollination of agriculture, and price support was supposed to increase bee population. That it has not checked a downward trend which began in 1948 can be explained by the low price ideas of officials administering the program for price support. In 1954 I requested that officials in the Department make a study of the cost of producing honey in various areas in the United States, but they replied that it would be impossible to correlate support prices with the beekeepers' cost of production. Of course, that is what a producer does whenever he pays his bills, and evidently the result is unfortunately reflected in a decreasing bee population. I regret, however, that officials in the Department were obdurate on this matter, for I desired definite figures for your consideration.
It is evident that loans should continue to be made available to the producer, but that loans should be made at 90 percent of parity. Since it is unlikely that officials in the Department of Agriculture can be influenced to do this, the increase in support price should be mandatory and accomplished by legislation. The Department should be required to establish goals for bee population according to the pollination needs of agriculture, and if in the distant future bee population should be deemed excessive, limits can be set on increase of colonies by beekeepers. If production payments were made, it is unlikely that any money need be paid to beekeepers if such a program were accomplished by a proper administration of the loan program.
Mrs. McDONALD. At the suggestion of Mr. Dick, I have been asked to consolidate two other short statements to save your time. One is by Mr. Burr, about apples, and the other is by Mr. Williams, on raisins. They are very short.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed.
Mrs. McDonald. We decided to save your time by consolidating the whole thing. [Reading:]
STATEMENT OF CLARENCE E. BURR, SEBASTOPOL, CALIF. Mr. Chairman and members of the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee, heretofore, the price paid growers for their apples has been based upon speculation, not on supply and demand. Chain stores, national foods and commission men have arbitrarily set the price, both to the producer and consumer, hijacking both, coming and going.
We want a law to compel the United States Department of Agriculture to determine the actual potential demand for apples, based upon the ability of the public to buy, and the supply necessary to meet that demand, with a fair profit to producer, processor, commission man, and retailer.
If the supply threatens to exceed the demand, steps should be taken-purchase for the school-lunch program, for relief, a food-stamp plan, shipment abroad-to remove potential surpluses from trade channels.
When apples bring only 5 cents a pound f. o. b. to the grower and then sell for 20 cents to 27 cents at the retail level, there is something wrong. That is what we found out on a recent trip through the South and Midwest.
We want the Federal Trade Commission to make a study of the price spread between what the grower gets and what the consumer pays for apples. If the FTC is unable or refuses to make such a study, it should be undertaken by a committee of Congress.
I believe such a study is in contemplation, but has so far not been authorized.
The next statement is submitted on behalf of Mr. E. B. Williams, Fresno, raisin grower, and member of our committee. [Reading :)
For several years raisins have been marketed under a Federal marketing agreement and order. The stated purpose of the program is to achieve a price approaching parity,
However, raisin growers have not been receiving the returns they should under its control.
In the last 8 crop seasons—not including the 1950-51 crop to which the order did not apply-4 of which have been under the agreement, growers received an average of $153 a ton.
In 4 seasons not under the agreement, the price averaged $209 a ton. During this period, the parity price of raisins exceeded $210 a ton.
Mr. Williams wishes to reserve the right to file with the Senate Agriculture Committee a separate statement proposing revisions of the Marketing Act of 1937 (as amended) to make it more workable in protecting the interests of growers.
Mrs. SHEPHARD. These are the three statements, Senator Ellender.
I would like to also call your attention to the fact that we have representatives from poultry cooperatives in Sonoma and San Fernando and San Gabriel Valley who have come all this distance, and their