« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
I don't know just what the rate of increase was this morning at breakfast, but the last time I had the figures it was approximately 10,000 more breakfasts to be provided each morning. I suspect that rate continues to go up. It was 7 when I retired from the university 5 years ago. We have gone up 3,000 breakfasts in the last 5 years every morning. Yes, that is right. That is per day. I got to thinking about months and years.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any suggestions as to the diversion of acres that are devoted to pasture lands to produce cattle? How can you hold such production at the point where it would almost meet supply and demand and not continue to depress prices of livestock?
Dr. BROWN. I repeat I endorse Mr. Pace's idea.
The CHAIRMAX. That deals only with cultivated land. We have in the Nation today about 462 million acres of cultivated land and we may have twice as many as that for pasture land.
Dr. Brown. As I try to visualize the future, which I have tried to express already, there are going to be enough more mouths to feed that over the long pull we will need more pastures.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that.
Dr. Brown. But let me say one further thing before I forget it. I am sorry that North Dakota from which our good friend, Milt Young, comes can't grow these pine trees, but it seems to me that a program might include such use of idle acres as would make it possible for places where trees can be grown like they can in the Southeast and maybe other sections that that be a permitted use of the diverted acres and that the State of North Dakota and other States who can't grow the trees find some other comparable use for the diverted acres.
I don't know whether I have answered your question. I will try further if you repeat the question.
The CHAIRMAN. The suggestion made, as I understand it, concerns cultivated acres only and as I have just indicated we have today 462 million that was the last figure as I remember it—of cultivated acres. Ten percent of that in round figures is where they got this 40 million. But in addition to those cultivated acres you have almost a billion acres in pasture. That is my recollection.
Now some people have complained that the number of cattle today is a little too large. We have increased in the last 4 or 5 years at the rate of 412 to 5 million head per year, whereas before that it was a million and a half to 2 million.
It is stated that if the cattle population keeps on increasing at that rapid rate it might have the tendency of further depressing the price of cattle by producing more cattle than our consumption requires.
Dr. Brown. That is certainly possible. There is no question about that.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what is happening. So that you do not have any plan to offer, then, as to what should be done with these pasturelands?
Dr. Brown. I would say, to emphasize what I have tried to say, that our cattle down here, fortunately we are able to get along pretty well with them without their having to eat pine trees, so we would put it in pine trees.
The CHAIRMAX. That may hold true for the South here. We can grow cattle and also grow pine trees, but where you cannot do that
we may have difficulty. I pose the question because the moment you have a program that will have the effect of setting aside cultivated acres and let the farmer receive some money for that, the fellow who has some pastureland may want the same treatment. You could not blame him.
Dr. Brown. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That is why I am posing the question in the hope that you can maybe give an answer as to what to do. You have given an answer for the South.
Dr. Brown. I recognize the problem, that it is a national problem, and that you men, gentlemen, have to look at these things, whatever it is we consider, from the national point of view. We recognize that.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Any questions of Dr. Brown?
STATEMENT OF SIDNEY LOWREY, ARMUCHEE, GA. Mr. LOWREY. Mr. Chairman, you were talking about cattle population. I think that should enter in the same situation that our cultivatable land is and I think the livestock people would go along with that as long as the prices continue going down, because some of them have certainly lost money and as the hog prices go down we will have to do something about it.
The CHAIRMAN. You must realize that the cost of any program like that is going to have a lot to do as to whether we can put it through Congress.
Mr. LOWREY. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. My good friend, former Congressman Pace, has suggested that on these diverted acres we pay the farmer whatever he would have made in profits. What that would entail I do not know, but some estimates have been made of as much as 2 to 3 billion dollars a year. I fear that if a program of that size were offered to the Congress, we might have a little difficulty putting it through.
Mr. LOWREY. That is probably true.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not trying to discuss the demerits of it, but I am saying we have to be practical sometimes in presenting a program. It is not what we want, but what we can get.
Dr. Brown. Do you think that costs would be prohibitive and unjustified?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not, but I know a lot of people in Congress might think so.
You may proceed.
Senator GEORGE. I want to say Dr. Brown served with distinction as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture at Washington in previous years.
The CHAIRMAN. I'm glad to hear that.
Dr. Brown. I got some of the unfortunate and undue publicity about killing little pigs.
The CHAIRMAN. Somebody blamed this administration for plowing under the small farmer.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. J. D. Cash and Gordon Sawyer. Give your names and occupations, please.
Mr. Cash. I am J. D. Cash, chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau poultry committee; diversified farming including livestock, poultry breeder, broilers or what have you on a farm.
Mr. SAWYER. I am Gordon Sawyer, executive secretary of the Georgia Poultry Federation.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed, Mr. Cash.
STATEMENT OF J. D. CASH, CHAIRMAN, POULTRY COMMITTEE
GEORGIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. Mr. Cash. Mr. Chairman, we represent one of the greatest industries in Georgia. Poultry brings in more money than livestock and dairy combined in this state. We think in carrying on our poultry enterprise the greatest thing we need is more research and more educational programs.
Our menu is preparing and cooking chickens—if our chicken was cooked and served to the public as it should be it never has scratched the ground to this day. However, in this price squeeze just how we can eliminate that and bring it closer together I don't know how it can be done.
I will give you an illustration which happened to me on tomatoes a few days ago, about 2 weeks ago. This doesn't concern poultry but I want to bring this out to show the spread between what the producer receives and what the consumer pays.
I carried in, I believe, three baskets of tomatoes and set it down in a chain store in our hometown. He was paying me 12 cents a pound and before he weighed them up, my weight to me, he had served three of his customers and charged them 29 cents a pound for those tomatoes. That is too great a spread. How we are going to eliminate that I don't know.
The CHAIRMAN. We are trying to find an answer to that, Mr. Cash, and can't. I have stated many times that I believe the spread appears to be too great. How to meet that problem I do not know.
It was only 5 years ago that the farmers were receiving, as I recall, 53 cents of the consumer dollar. We are now down to 40 cents. I think it is disgraceful, but how will you correct it?
Mr. Cass. That is the question we don't know.
The CHAIRMAN. Unless you regiment people and force them to sell at a fixed price. You would not want that.
Mr. Cash. I don't think we need a fixed price. There are many things we can do to serve ourselves.
You take last night at our dinner, for example, the dairymen should have served milk here instead of coffee which is a product that comes from outside the United States that we are not concerned with growing or receive benefit from. There are many instances where there is a luncheon or dinner served we should be serving poultry, beef, or pork or some other commodities from our own sources.
The CHAIRMAN. May I say to you, sir, that we were in the States of Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Iowa a whole week. Pork was in surplus there, and we had testimony on it morning, noon and night. And my good friends can tell you, we joked about it when we ate it at the different places we were invited.
Mr. Cash. I have told the audience often about our sur plus butter and cotton that we so much are concerned about today. I have one
theory that you can serve both profitably at the same time.
For further remarks, Mr. Sawyer will conclude.
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 140 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 à 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. The 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.