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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. For what purpose ? Mr. HALL. Feed the hogs or cows.
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. That complicates the problem. Mr. HALL. I am referring there to land-building plants.
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. You 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 meal 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; let 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.
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 farmers 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 cropland 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.
A lot of the answers are known but a great many more answers are to be found than has been found. Additional facilities are needed.
4. Additional technical assistance is needed. Farming today is a rather complex operation if it is to be profitable and at the same time assure future generations of adequate soil and water.
5. There are certain portions of the total soil and water conservation in which the public shares the cost of the installation or improvement. This appears to be fully justified, especially where the benefits are to the public as well as to the individual. There appears though to be a lack of balance in the public expenditure for large "downstream" structures where $50 to $150 million are spent on a dam or navigation channel and the amount that is spent in cost sharing on the "upstream" treatment and installation of a small watershed which feeds into the reservoir or channel.
Improvements on the upstream reaches of a watershed, such as small dams, grassed waterways, terraces, reforestation, and all the other soil and water conservation measures held hold the rainfall at its source on the farm, thereby making greater beneficial use of water, reduces soil deterioration and sedimentation of channels and reservoirs. The public, as a whole, benefits from such work, however the farmer in many instances does not derive benefits in keeping with the immediate cost. Farmers as a whole desire that the technical phases of the soil and water conservation program, along with the upstream work on small watersheds, continue to be funneled through the locally organized and governed soil conservation districts.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Mr. Harley Langdale.
Senator Young. I have to leave to catch a plane. I dislike very much leaving your good State of Georgia. It is a pleasure to come down here.
You people here have a good farm organization which has unified the thinking of the people in your State to an extent not prevalent in any other place we have held hearings. I know the bankers here and chamber of commerce people and all others are pretty well agreed on the solution to this farm price problem.
Another unusual thing is that we have had more Members of the House of Representatives here today than any other meeting. I think if we had a situation like this in all of the States of the Union our chance of solving this farm problem would be much easier.
May I say again many thanks for all the nice things you have done for me on this trip and before. Thank you.
The C'HAIRMAN. Proceed, Mr. Langdale.
STATEMENT OF HARLEY LANGDALE, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
TURPENTINE FARMERS ASSOCIATION COOPERATIVE, VALDOSTA, GA.
Mr. LANGDALE. I am Harley Langdale. I am a farmer and I am also president of the American Turpentine Farmers Association Cooperative, an association representing all the gum naval stores industry in the United States.
Mr. Chairman, our position is just different from anybody else's position that has been on this program today. We have no surplus problems, we are not a basic. I was very much interested, someone wanted to forget those nonbasics. We are nonbasic. We have enjoyed a loan with the Commodity Credit Corporation for the past 18 years. For the past 5 years we had a 90 percent of parity foan on our products. We are in the permissible group, not compulsory, and this loan was based on our supply and demand. In other words, these last programs have been based on a supply and demand proposition.
Last year we did take in quite a bit of rosin and turpentine. We were able to sell it all at a profit plus all expenses to the Government of something like $75,000, which was distributed among our members. This year we have had a 90-percent loan and we haven't had a single gallon of turpentine or a pound of rosin to go into loan.
The point I have is this: You know naval stores is the oldest agricultural product in this country. The first ship that left the American shores when this country was first founded carried naval stores, and it played a very important part in the economy of this country ever since.
We in the pine tree section, of course, have this dual-purpose tree that extends from Carolina through Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. You know in 1910 Mississippi and Louisiana produced 35 percent of the gum naval stores in the United States, but they cut the trees out down there, but they are coming back. Louisiana at the present time is not producing any naval stores but they are about ready to tap some of those trees in Louisiana pretty soon going to be producing gum naval stores again.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Langdale, if you permit me, let me state that the record shows that in 1955 the naval stores price support program made a profit for the Government of $132,618; in 1954, $9,370; in 1953, $30,253; in 1952, $3,876. The only trouble you got in was between 1933 and 1941 before the war. Mr. LANGDALE. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. Otherwise, that is why you have been able to Mr. LANGDALE. We had 1,300,000 drums of rosin on hand when the war started.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any suggestions? Do you like the program as it is?
Mr. LANGDALE. We are just as happy as we can be. We are trying to increase production this year 25 percent.
The CHAIRMAN. That will not put you in trouble? Mr. LANGDALE. No, sir; it will help us. In other words, we are 16 percent short this year on production over last year, and last year we had the lowest production we have made since the Government has kept records.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad to have one industry in good shape. Mr. LANGDALE. Mr. Chairman, our association handles all the collateral; have been doing so for 18 years. We service it, we sell it, and our expense of operating, I think, will show that we have done it cheaper than any other commodities in which the Commodity Credit Corporation has had anything to do.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure that is true because it shows a profit here. Mr. LANGDALE. Yes, sir. And we sold out in 1947 all the crop and the Government at that time took in over $1 million of net profit on the sales end.
Today under market prices there is over a million dollars profit in the collateral and the season is about over for this year's production. All stocks anywhere today are the ones we have and we figure that a large portion of those stocks will move before the next season. Our season starts about May next year when we really have production. and we figure we will be in wonderful position but we are trying to increase.