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2. The Secretary warned if the United States cotton is continued to be priced above foreign cottons we would lose our export markets and encourage increased production of cotton in foreign countries;
3. The Secretary warned of increased consumption of manmade fibres and decreased consumption of American cotton; and
4. The Secretary warned that to continue supports above world prices of cotton and prices of manmade fibres would result in continually piling up surplus cotton in Government stocks.
The late Oscar Johnston, then president of the National Cotton Council of America, issued the same warnings and made the same recommendations at to price-adjustment payments.
The statement for the record includes verbatim the remarks of Secretary Wickard and the late Mr. Johnston.
We believe our recommendations to be sound and commend them to serious consideration by the committee and the Congress.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. Í have one question. You mentioned the smaller sized farms, family-sized farms, getting an increased acreage. By that, would you suggest that those farms be increased out of the nowallocated acreage to cotton?
Mr. Lawson. I should think, Senator, that there should be a limit below which they would not be forced to go.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. I see. By that I mean you would not want, as I get it, to give an additional acreage allocation over and above that presently existing; you would subtract it from some of the larger operators ?
Mr. LAWSON. I wouldn't say that. You would have to give them additional acreage because I don't think you can treat one man different from another regardless of who he is.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. I just wanted to get your ideas.
Mr. Cox, Mr. Singletary, and Mr. McKemie, please give your names in full and respective occupations.
Mr. Cox. I am C. K. Cox, a farmer in Mitchell County, Ga. On my left I have Mr. R. C. Singletary, a farmer.
Mr. SINGLETARY. I am representing the Southeastern Peanut Association also, in addition to being a peanut farmer.
Mr. McKEMIE. I am W. J. McKemie, a peanut farmer.
STATEMENT OF C. K. COX, CAMILLA, GA. The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.
Mr. Cox. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, my name is C. K. Cox. I am a farmer in Mitchell County, Ga. I have for many years produced peanuts, cotton, tobacco, grains, livestock, and miscellaneous other crops. I have also had experience in the handling and warehousing of peanuts. I am solely responsible for the management of my farm.
I should like to thank the committee for the privilege and opportunity of expressing my thinking on the subject at hand. My remarks are based on a lifetime experience in farming.
1. In my opinion, we must have in this country a strong national farm program both for the good of the Nation as a whole and for the protection of those actually engaged in producing crops and livestock. As you gentlemen well know, most if not all of the business and industry of this country operates with what we might term an administered price. Therefore, it is not conceivably possible, in my opinion, for farmers to operate their business in a so-called, misnamed, free economy, as has been expressed by some individuals and some groups in the recent past.
Such a national farm program should insure that farmers receive their fair share of the national income. It should be planned and administered so that there would be a protection for all the consumers and our export markets. Such a program should provide:
(a) Adequate supplies of food, clothing, and shelter at reasonable prices;
(6) Reasonable reserves for bad crop years, et cetera;
(c) Şufficient amounts of exports to take care of demands from foreign countries. Included in the export picture are also the needs of those countries whom we consider our political and military allies and who need the help this Nation is able to offer.
2. Based on a good many years of experience and observation, it is my opinion that certainly the major crops of this country should be protected through a price-support program. I also feel that the levels of price support should be reasonably high, not less than 90 percent of parity, keeping in mind that if farmers as a group are to share equitably in the distribution of the national income that their production should be marketed for 100 percent of parity or better.
However, I am not asking this committee to support it at a hundred percent, but not less than 90.
It is inconceivable to expect a national program to provide high price supports without reasonable controls on supplies. As you know, we in this area who have produced cotton, peanuts, and tobacco, as well as other crops, have favored acreage allotments and marketing quotas on these crops. If a better plan for achieving this goal can be developed, certainly we would not object to the details of how this is done.
3, I should like to strongly urge that any programs for agriculture passed by Congress should not lower this gross income to farmers from the present level. An example of what I am trying to convey is this: If cotton acreage is reduced to 1712 million acres or less and the present support rate is retained on the price of cotton, the total income to cotton farmers would be cut to the point where it would hurt seriously and would mean a big reduction in income from cotton which probably could not be made up from any other source. The purchasing power of cotton farmers would be drastically cut. The same principle could apply to any particular crop and to the total agricultural income as well.
I would like to point out that even though the total acreage devoted to cotton, peanuts, and tobacco has been reduced over a period of years, the income from these crops, at the present time the best information I can get is about 33 percent of the income of the farmer.
About 3 or 4 years ago it was 45 percent from these basic commodities, which shows that we have had to turn to other crops to try to make up for some of the income we have lost from these basic commodities from acreage reduction and price supports.
I note that much has been said in the press lately about the twoprice plan. While it certainly has some advantages which we all recognize, it also has numerous disadvantages. Without going into a discussion of the factors for or against such a plan, I should like to make the following observation:
Farmers should not be expected to take a greatly reduced price, world market, for their portion of their production which is exported because of the fact that so many factors other than price have influenced our exports. I feel, therefore, that this problem of exports is such a complex one that it must require the best brains and thinking of all our leaders in helping to work out some solutions. Tied closely to this, in my opinion, would be a close study of our tariff policies to see if provisions could be made which would allow more of what the farmers produce to be exported.
This doesn't just have to apply to cotton. It can apply to cotton. It can apply to tobacco, peanuts, rice, wheat, corn, or any other commodity.
It is my opinion that farmers as a group are willing to accept prices based on .fair competition, but I think it is grossly unfair to have a program which would force farmers to take reduced prices for their commodities because of economic and political situations over which they have no control.
Emphasis should be increased on research in order to develop new and expanded uses for farm products. Research programs should also include studies of ways and means for more economical production of the commodities from our farms. As a farmer, I believe that we are going to be faced in the future with a pressing need for greater efficiency in both production and marketing. Many of the answers to the problems which we will face in this field must be secured through a strong and intelligently conducted research program. This expanded research program should not only emphasize the part of Government, but should also encourage the splendid work which industries are performing in searching for and finding new uses for farm commodities.
It is my opinion that the Nation needs, and most individual farmers need, a program of assistance in soil and water conservation. The Government should continue an active interest in the conservation and improvement of soil and water resources of this country. I recognize the farmer's responsibility for the proper handling of the soil and water on his farm; however, at the same time I also recognize his inability to do many of the things necessary for the proper protection of these resources.
It is also important to note that the Nation will need the productive capacity of the soil long after that individual farmer is gone.
As a farmer, I appreciate the assistance which the Government is rendering in this field, through education, technical aid, and financial help. I think that what the Government has spent in helping farmers to carry out practical conservation on their farms has been a good investment for this Nation, and I believe we are nearer now by a good many years the goal of the full conservation of our soil and water resources.
I do not think it would be a good idea to do away with the ASC nor to reduce its financial assistance to farmers. I do not think that this assistance should be restricted entirely to permanent-type practices.
In the administration of a national farm program, it is my recommendation that the farmer committee system be continued both on a county and a State level much the same as it has been in the past few years. This recommendation is based on experience and on observation for a good many years. Except for those phases of a national program which are now being and should continue to be handled by educational and technical groups, farmers themselves would, in my opinion, do a much better job of administration than would additional hired employees.
Mr. Chairman, this particular committee was asked to dwell on peanuts principally, and while I am having my say we in the Southeast have had to go to mechanized equipment. Of course, I own as many or more mules than any person in the audience. I have 16 mules on my farm. Some might call me old-fashioned but I am trying to stay in business.
At the present time under present prices we have to pay for implements, we just can't produce these commodities. I bought a tractor last week and the tractor advanced in price 7 percent from what it could have been bought 2 weeks ago.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you still able to buy mules?
Mr. Cox. No, sir. I bought every mule that I could find that was any good and for the last few years I have been replacing these mules with tractors and other equipment, but I still have 14 and as long as I can get people willing to work and try to gather and harvest their crop I am going to continue to use those mules along, of course, with tractors and mechanized equipment.
I feel that the problem on these individual farms, I know it to be a problem, when we displace these families on these farms—you have heard a lot of talk about small farmers; I certainly have all the sympathy in the world for them, but when we operate these acreages of lands they are made up entirely of small farmers of family-sized farms, I am not working them for wages, but on a share basis—when you displace those fellows, whether 50 or a hundred acres, when you send him to town you put him in competition with labor in town that already has jobs and not being to many more jobs created.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever been able to compare notes on the income that a tenant farmer gets and that which is received by a small farmer working about the same land as the tenant?
Mr. Cox. Let me see if I understand you
The CHAIRMAN. I presume you have some small farmers in your neighborhood
Mr. Cox. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. That plant about the same sized farm and same commodities as do some of your tenants ?
Mr. Cox. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the difference in income between the farmer who owns his own and the tenants ?
Mr. Cox. The farmer who owns his own land is in worse condition than the tenant farmer. He furnishes his equipment, pays taxes, and maintains property whereas the tenant farmer has a landlord or banker behind him to keep his farm operating.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything else you desire to add, sir?
STATEMENT OF RAYMOND C. SINGLETARY, SOUTHEASTERN
PEANUT ASSOCIATION, BLAKELY, GA. Mr. SINGLETARY. I am going to be very brief, Mr. Chairman, but it is certainly not any lack of seriousness of the problem for this brevity.
The farmers in our area are tied very closely to the peanut-shelling industry. Many of the shellers are also the seed and fertilizer dealers in their area who are furnishing the farmer. Many of them are. The bankers and most of the shellers are also peanut farmers themselves; so they are very close. We recognize that the farmers are, and as a result we will be in very desperate plights in this area with reduced prices for peanuts.
We understand that with modernized parity as it is becoming effective January 1, unless something is done the price of peanuts will be reduced to approximately $12 per ton.
There is also a possibility of flexible parity coming into play, and a large part of that is the result of some 84,000 tons of imported peanuts brought into this country during our recent shortage, and in addition
The CHAIRMAN. Those were edible peanuts?
It is granted that some were needed, but certainly it seems now as things have developed, that no such quantity as was imported was needed.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you a formula to offer here that would make it possible for more edible peanuts to be grown? As the law now stands, as I was informed, there seems to be a little contest between peanut growers as to whether they should be grown for oil or be edible. It came before our committee several times.
Some ways and means were suggested whereby we should find a formula to permit the production of more edible peanuts in areas where they can be grown. Do
comments on that? Mr. SINGLETARY. Mr. Chairman, I wish I could. Frankly, something has come up within the last week that has somewhat changed my opinion, but I do not believe it advisable to go into it today:
The CHAIRMAN. We will leave that to Steve Pace, who is an expert on peanuts.
Mr. SINGLETARY. I think some things have come about because we have had some poor administration of a program in the past that turned people against oil peanuts, and I personally feel there have been some changes recently that may make that change, but I am not willing to comment on it at the present time.
I will say, however, that in regard to the production of peanuts there is a formula which has been worked out by a peanut study that shows that reduction of price of peanuts has very little relation to the consumption. I believe it is about four-tenths of 1 percent change in consumption for each 1 percent change in price. Therefore, this applying modernized parity or applying flexible parity support, either one, in reducing the price would do nothing but hurt the farmer. It would not increase consumption of peanuts, but very little. Therefore we, both as a farmer and sheller
The CHAIRMAN. You know the same argument is advanced as to cotton producers. Increasing cotton production 3 or 4 percent would not make the price of this shirt come down any. It will sell for the