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Senator HOLLAND. What is the number of members ? Mr. EASTMAN. We have actually 44 paid up members. Senator AIKEN. Is that ceritfied seed mostly? Mr. EASTMAN. That is both. Our mailing list goes to about, I think they told me 85.
Senator HOLLAND. 2,000 acres covers your production of potatoes ?
Mr. EASTMAN. Right. That is commercial potatoes. Of course, there are little patches here and there.
Senator AIKEN. That is true of some of your members?
Senator HOLLAND. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? If not, thank you, sir.
Is Mr. Angevine present? (No response.) Mr. Howe? Please come forward and give us your name in full. ŠTATEMENT OF W. W. GRIFFIN, PRESIDENT, VERMONT STATE
HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY, BURLINGTON, VT. Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. Chairman and members, I am W. W. Griffin, and if you will permit this digression
The CHAIRMAN. Are you representing Mr. Howe?
The CHAIRMAN. You are submitting Mr. Howe's statement?
The CHAIRMAN. With which you are in agreement ?
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other members present who have the same ideas as you have as to the subject you are going to talk about?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I will qualify that, sir. The secretary of our association is here. I am acting for the society as its president. Mr. Howe was our legislative representative. I called him up some 2 weeks ago and he contacted other horticultural associations throughout the New England area and tried to get their reactions to what we put forth. Mr. Howe was called away and our secretary got in touch with him night before last in Burlington and got such material from him as he could and the secretary and I drew up this very brief statement here, which I will read to you.
There are only five brief notations here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. For the Vermont State Horticultural Society. It has approximately 160 members, who mostly are commercial applegrowers. We have a few small fruitgrowers.
The following items represent the interests of the commercial applegrowers of Vermont and are for introduction into the record of the committee hearings:
No.1: Development of increased export markets to the fullest extent possible for apples suited for export purposes. On that subject I am not qualified to speak much. All I do know is that 25 years ago, in the early thirties, we had quite an export market for hard apples, particularly to England. At the present time, we have a very small export market. Our own New York and New England Apple Institute this year has had numerous inquiries from Scandinavian countries regarding importation of American apples. Such information as I have been able to pick up is that the setup is not correct, so that we could afford to do it. Whether it is the exchange or not, I do not know.
The CHAIRMAN. They do not have any dollars to buy them with, that is the trouble.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Thank you.
No. 2: Commercial applegrowers favor the continuation of freedom from Federal subsidy or production controls of any kind.
The CHAIRMAN. You never have had them; have you?
No. 3: Favorable support be given for increased appropriations to the Department of Commerce for the purpose of increasing the coverage of the services of the Weather Bureau to the producers of agricultural crops.
At the present time, we are getting a great deal. Much of that is due to the fact that our extension departments have educated the growers to read weather predictions and weather maps. If there were weather maps available on a quicker notice, the average grower would find it of great benefit.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you ready to meet the freeze in the event that one comes ? Mr. GRIFFIN. Hurricanes, freeze, rain. The CHAIRMAN. How is that? Mr. GRIFFIN. Freeze, hurricane, rain. We base our production on the low-pressure areas in the Middle West and the rate of speed the weather is traveling. If we have that on the weather map, and we know how fast they will travel, it helps. A cyclonic storm has a rather given rate of speed, and knowing the position of that storm, which way it can go, it can split for our area and go up the St. Lawrence or go south.
The CHAIRMAN. What good would it do you if you knew about it, but could not do anything about it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. We can do something about it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I want to know. What can you do about it after you know it? I can well understand if a freeze is predicted and you have smudge pots to warm up your orchards, that you might do something, but suppose you do not have that, what good will that knowledge be to you?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I believe that the largest single factor with the applegrower, that he has to contend with, is scab. Scab is promoted by wetting period. Some of the various materials are preventive. Some of them have a kickback. We have to time our sprays according to wetting periods, temperature, and humidity. When we have the information ahead of time, as to when we are going to get a wetting period and what temperature it will be, we will get on ahead and work day and night to have the coverage, rather than to go at it from the kickback standard.
The CHAIRMAN. What if the Weather Bureau makes a mistake? That is the great difficulty we have had.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is one of the things we bear up under.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Holland happens to be chairman of the subcommittee for appropriations that provides all of that money. We have heard many stories along that line.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I have not stressed the hurricane side of it, because I know that Mr. Pero from Connecticut will go into that a little bit more. And I was avoiding duplication.
No. 4: Reconsideration of existing social-security regulations for the purpose of simplifying the burden of maintaining records for itinerant or short-term employees.
The CHAIRMAN. That is within the jurisdiction of another committee.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You know what I mean then. The CHAIRMAN. I know what you mean. Mr. GRIFFIN. We will drop that one then. This one you are not going to like.
The CHAIRMAN. I am ready for anything. Mr. GRIFFIN. No. 5: Consideration be given to forego apple crop reporting and price forecasting by the Agricultural Marketing Service, avoid duplication of a service which is already being adequately and accurately provided by industry-sponsored privately owned organizations.
The CHAIRMAN. I think there was something put in the law by Senator Robertson from Virginia. Are you familiar with that? That is another time that Congress tried to help you and the President vetoed it. The Congress agreed with you there. We put into the law the very thing you are suggesting. Congress did it, sure, but the President vetoed it.
Senator HOLLAND. I do not believe we understood correctly what he said. He did not want any public interference with that, wanted the private agencies to continue supplying the service.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I had reference exactly to what Senator Ellender mentioned on the bill that went through Congress and was vetoed but the President must have had to have advice on that.
The CHAIRMAN. We will try again next time.
Senator AIKEN. That proposal came up very quickly, as I recall it, one day. I do not think that the Members of Congress had opportunity to give it too much consideration, but we passed it, anyway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Congress passed it; yes, sir. The food industry and the apple growers as a whole are in the same boat. That is, like before Congress passed it. It was vetoed. It is still status quo?
The CHAIRMAN. You would have liked
Mr. GRIFFIN. I would liked to have seen it passed, that is, the industry would.
The CHAIRMAN. It will be necessary for us to put it into law, if we can, in the hope that the President will sign it. Mr. GRIFFIN. That is right.
Senator AIKEN. Let us ask what the reason for your position is. Is it that you feel that the industry's predictions and prognostications are more accurate than the Government predictions ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I can answer that with two specific instances. These are personal. For instance, the 1954 apple crop was not too large. The McIntosh crop of New England was not large. There was an article that came out the third week in September in the Wall Street Journal, on the front page, purporting to be from the Department of Agriculture, telling the housewife, the country, the wholesaler and the trade as a whole that apples would be at rock bottom prices. There you are. Day before yesterday I received a report from the Boston Division of the Agricultural Marketing Service as to the very crop of apples.
Your Government Marketing Bureau gets most of its data from the grower. We fill out questionnaires. We have done so for 15 odd years. Those questionnaires are not so worded, they are not specific enough, so that the individual grower may take in his own area-he may take in the Champlain Valley and may try to get in Vermont as a whole. Consequently, the picture reflected in there, in their figures, is not correct.
The figures given day before yesterday were approximately 1,250,000 bushels for the State of Vermont. We all know that we had 1,500,000 bushels.
Senator AIKEN. That is a lot. Mr. GRIFFIN. A lot of them. There is a 15 to 20 percent error. That has happened over and over again.
The trade has an International Apple Growers Association in Canada. It is a very healthy organization, right up on its toes. They have field representatives. We report to them. Not only the growers, but one of the important segments is the trade, the brokers, the middlemen, the pushcart men. They are all part of the picture.
The International Apple Growers Association contacts them all. They have fieldmen, as I say. And when they put out their figures, everybody waits for them.
We feel that the Department of Agriculture is trying to duplicate that at a cost. We all wait. Trade waits for the international reports.
That is all. Thank you.
Senator HOLLAND. I understand that you not only wanted to drop the estimates, but wanted price predictions? Mr. GRIFFIN. We do not want them.
Senator HOLLAND. You do not want the price prediction and do not want the crop estimates ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me answer it this way, Senator. We had a very large McIntosh crop forecast in New England. Everybody knew it. Larger than we had in years. We will say that the forecast is such that quite often the price picture creeps into the forecast.
These hurricanes came along. They had an excessive drop, for one reason or other hundreds of thousands of them went on the ground.
Who is competent to pick the price of a very pressurable product?
Senator HOLLAND. You do not want the Government crop estimates for apples, to get the record clear? Mr. GRIFFITH. That is what we ask. Senator HOLLAND. You do not want the price estimates ? Mr. GRIFFIN. That is right. Senator HOLLAND. That is what I understood. Mr. GRIFFIN. We do not think they have the available figures to estimate the price. We do not think so.
Senator AIKEN. The apple bill that was vetoed applied only to price estimates. It did not apply to crop estimates. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
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Mr. GRIFFIN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Our next witness is Mr. George Angevine. Give us your name in full, please, and your occupation. STATEMENT OF GEORGE ANGEVINE, CONNECTICUT POULTRY
ASSOCIATION, WARREN, CONN. Mr. ANGEVINE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is George Angevine from Warren, Conn. I have been in the poultry business for the past 27 years.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that you represent Mr. O. C. Chadwick. And who else? You may proceed, sir.
Mr. ANGEVINE. I am a past president of the Connecticut Poultry Association and house chairman of the agricultural committee in Connecticut during the past year.
I have been asked to present the following statement prepared by the associations representing the New England poultry industry. From my contact with the industry I feel that this statement well represents the large majority of the poultrymen in New England.
New England poultry growers believe their best interests lie in the direction of efficient production of quality products and aggressive, effective sales promotion by the industry.
We badly need more research in the fields of both production and marketing, better disease control and improved markets reports. In our opinion, this can best be done by the Federal Government working through the State experiment stations and departments. We believe that efforts by the Federal Government to increase the income of poultry raisers through price supports, subsidies, production controls and similar programs are well intended, but can only lead to chaos through overproduction or decreased efficiency and poor business management through production controls.
We believe the present rapid increase in the consumption of poultry products would be adversely affected by the housewives' reaction against price increases involving tax funds. These opinions are based on our observations of the effect of various Government programs over the years on potato growers, grain and cotton producers and to a lesser extent dairymen. Almost without exception, during the time these programs have been in effect the per capita consumption has decreased, price depressing surpluses have accumulated, law enforcement has been very difficult and the opportunity for efficient farmers has been restricted.
We want to emphasize that while poultrymen have so far solved their own price and market problem and wish to continue to do so, we believe price supports and production restrictions on feed grains we must buy, place an unfair burden on the poultry industry. They put us in a difficult competitive position with other high protein foods like meat and dairy products which use large amounts of home-grown roughage. We do not believe the long range solution of any agricultural problem or the best interests of farmers lay in this direction and we urgently recommend that price supports and production controls on feed grains be substantially reduced or eliminated. We recognize sudden drastic action might lead to chaos, but we believe continuation of high support programs will also be disastrous. An immediate orderly reduction is indicated.