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grower cannot gain for himself as an individual should be considered. Statistical information, economic facts, current market price data and movements of commodities are also important and should be included.
If these proposals are followed, we feel that the turkey industry will maintain a healthier condition and that the individual will be more readily satisfied with governmental activities.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you use corn and wheat in the feed ?
Mrs. WYMAN. Very little. Land is expensive. You cannot afford to grow it. Of course, freight rates are high from the grain-producing country, which is similarly the chicken man's proposition.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
Mrs. WYMAN. The association only has about 26 members, but we have a great many more than that in the State.
Senator HOLLAND. How many does the Massachusetts association represent? Mrs. WYMAN. I could not tell you that. Senator HOLLAND. Is it a larger association ?
Mrs. WYMAN. A larger association. There are a great many small growers as well as in Connecticut.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you again.
Our next witness is Commissioner Fitts, Department of Agriculture, New Hampshire.
Will you step forward, please, and give your full name for the record ?
STATEMENT OF PERLEY I. FITTS, COMMISSIONER, NEW HAMP
SHIRE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, CONCORD, N. H. Mr. Fitts. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am Perley I. Pitts, commissioner of agriculture of New Hampshire. For a while it looked like I might be the only one over here from New Hampshire. So I prepared a statement which I will read to the committee now so that the other people from New Hampshire can get a chance at this microphone, sir. I am also leaving out statements.
The only part of my statement which I think should be commented on at this time is the one dealing with what has happened to the egg situation, sir. We have batted this matter of price supports and the Government in agriculture around quite a bit today. One point in particular that has been stressed as much as it should be is the fact that egg consumption has increased to a point now where the fact is that the Government is out of the picture. I want you to recognize that it is estimated that the egg consumption this year is probably going to 417, the highest consumption of eggs we have ever had on record. That is against a consumption of about 380 less than 10 years ago. I want that as a matter of record, sir.
That is an agricultural product where the commodity people have asked you to keep out.
Another thing, the dairymen in my section are particularly disturbed about this matter of diverted acres and we hope that you and your committee and the Congress will see to it that there are enough restrictions made so that they do not slop over into the three commodity groups.
I am now talking about the poultry business.
It is very easy to get into the poultry business. If you have to cut down on acreage and get paid for taking some of your poorer acres out of production, it is the opinion of many of our people they will be in the hen business.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not have another possible problem that if you permitted the growing of feed and it becomes too cheap that you might have that more competition?
Mr. FITTS. That is right, sir. So I will leave that with you. The CHAIRMAN. It will be incorporated in the record at this point. (The prepared statement of Perley I. Fitts is as follows:)
I am sure that I can report to you that the farmers of New Hampshire appreciate the fact that your committee has allocated this valuable time to hearing their views and opinions along with others from New England. I want to thank you for them.
There have been several conferences of our various agricultural commodity groups since learning of this hearing and we have several representatives of these groups here to offer their opinions and I believe your clerk has the names of these people. I have seen some of the testimony that is being presented and probably there is very little that I can add to their material.
I would like to refer you to page 294 of the Agricultural Act entitled, "Hearings before Subcommittee of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry United States Senate 81st Congress" where I indicated that at no time should any farm plan be interpreted as a social-service enterprise by encouraging inefficient farmers to stay in business. Again at a hearing before the congressional committee heading at Amherst, Mass., August 4, 1953, I again expressed the same general opinion. In order for our efficient farmers here in the Northeast to stay in business and continue to have a freedom to exercise their rights to either make or lose money in their businesses they must be relatively free from controls which could entirely kill incentive of action. Our poultry farmers have had just enough Government in their business in the past to show them that it is impractical to operate under conditions of the nature imposed by such controls as are necessary in this kind of operation. You know what has happened during the last 2 years in the poultry business. It would now appear that without burdensome supplies hanging over the market, that the per capita consumption of eggs would reach a new high of 417 for 1955. This is a long way from the 380 average of 1947–49. We honestly think that other commodities in the field of agriculture would be better off today had the warnings of 1949 been heeded.
We may be incorrectly informed, but at this time when the subject of retiring acres from production is being discussed if the reports are true that the United State Government is bringing new areas into production through various projects, could it not be much wiser to hold these projects off until that time is reached when we are in more need for increased production.
As your committee is aware we have Maine and New Hampshire relatively cleaned up of Brucellosis (Bang's disease) however, we are extremely anxious that our other neighboring States accelerate their clean-up programs and strongly urge continued Federal appropriations to this program.
We also believe strongly in self-help programs of selling and efficiency improvement which should be helped by continued research,
Mr. FITTS. Then I have a statement by Oliver J. Hubbard, representing the New Hampshire Poultry Growers' Association committee on national farm legislation, Walpole, N. H. There is no controversy there.
The CHAIRMAN. Is he on the list ?
The poultrymen of New Hampshire are in agreement with the statement of Mr. Dunham relative to a farm program that gives some consideration to the Northeast poultry producer.
Over 50 percent of the Agricultural income of New Hampshire is derived from poultry farming. 65 percent of the cost of producing poultry, eggs and meat is for poultry feed. This feed is largely corn.
High support prices for grains increase our costs. In fact, the poultry growers are being penalized twice by such supports. They are taxed to provide funds for the Government purchase program and in addition have to pay the higher costs that support prices bring about.
All support laws help some types of agriculture at the expense of others. A price-support program that helps the midwest grain grower hurts the eastern poultry and dairy farmer. Poultry farmers feel that flexible supports are a step forward and decrease the penalty we have to pay for artificial grain prices.
The poultrymen of New Hampshire have never asked for price supports on their products and have often gone on record in opposition to such a plan. We realize that mandatory support programs stimulate supplies beyond consumption, keep the lazy and inefficient producer in business and destroy our initiative. We want to operate our own industry independent of Government subsidies and controls. Only under such a plan can we continue to improve our efficiency and increase our markets.
Where Government can and should help is with additional funds for research in nutrition, disease, and breeding. The poultry industry has grown so rapidly that lack of funds have kept scientific research lagging far behind our needs.
The problems of agriculture are serious and we believe they have been largely brought on by continuing wartime incentive payments for crops for which there was no market. The Government now holds $10 billion worth of products that no one wants. Agriculture in the end will be more profitable if it operates without controls and without high incentive supports. Agriculture is not a political problem but an economic one. Our poultrymen want an economic nonpartisan farm bill. One that considers the future welfare of the entire agricultural population and one that will eventually take Government controls and price supports out of agriculture,
Mr. FITTS. In addition to that, Mr. Chairman, I have copies of the statement to be made by Mr. Edward C. Masten, general manager of the Manchester Dairy System, Inc., of Manchester, N. H. You can cross his name off, too. I am trying to simplify this. We find nothing in there that would be new to your committee after the other discussions.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. It will be made a part of the record. (The prepared statement of Edward C. Masten is as follows:)
The dairy farmers of New Hampshire appreciate the opportunity, along with their fellow dairymen of New England, to express their views and opinions on current agricultural problems.
Dairying is the second largest of agricultural enterprises in New Hampshire. Production of milk in New Hampshire is primarily for fluid consumption. * Total production on an annual basis exceeds local demand throughout New Hampshire, with the result that approximately one-half of the total production is exported in fluid form to supply the Boston metropolitan market, and secondary markets such as Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, in Massachusetts.
The majority of New Hampshire dairymen believe that the basic solution to the problems of their dairy industry lies, principally, in their own hands as individuals, and through their cooperative associations-marketing, purchasing, and service working closely with and for them.
They believe that the Federal Government should lend a helping hand to dairymen in working out these solutions, but that it should not be a force which directs or controls the freedom of the individual, or the industry, to the extent that they should become dependent.
Our dairy industry makes use of Federal Marketing Orders Nos. 4 and 34 in pricing milk sold outside the State, and State control for pricing milk sold within the State. There has existed a very close relationship between State and Federal orders fixing basic milk prices. Both orders make consistent use of economic factors, supply and demand factors, and seasonal pricing factors to determine the level of class I prices.
These orders have been effective in bringing stability to markets served by New Hampshire dairymen.
Our dairymen are well aware of the decline in income, higher costs of production, and the burden of surplus, which has resulted, in part, from accelerated production at a rate which has exceeded the increase in demand.
Recently an industrywide program was started to promote increased fluid milk consumption through organized effort, known as New Hampshire Milk, Inc. It is a voluntary organization supported by contributions from producers on the basis of 2 cents per hundredweight on total deliveries, and distribution on the basis of 1 cent per hundredweight on fluid sales in New Hampshire. This is evidence that we believe in trying to help ourselves.
The present unfavorable economic position of agriculture and the dairy farmers and industry in particular-is of great concern today to many, both within and without the industry. We are certain many solutions will be advanced before the next session of Congress, and some of these are currently being expressed.
Present and past Federal agricultural programs have not lived up to expectations. We do not believe that there is, or can be, any one plan which can be a cure-all.
We believe that the economic welfare of agriculture is of prime and sufficient importance to the strength and welfare of our Nation, that it should be the responsibility of the Congress to approach the problems of agriculture on a bipartisan basis.
In considering the problems of the dairy industry we hold the following opinions as to the areas the Federal Government can help:
1. Continue to support and encourage the development of farmer cooperatives.
2. Continue the principle that double taxation as it applies to cooperatives, and determined by the 1951 Congress, is inherently wrong. If such principle does not apply to owners of corporations, then the logical solution of such inequity is not to add an additional tax on owner-members of a cooperative, but to relieve or remove double taxation on corporations.
3. The Agricultural Marketing Act should be continued.
4. Continue flexible price supports for manufactured dairy products, with continued flexibility to the point where production of surplus destined for Government warehouses is discouraged.
5. We are opposed to production controls or market quotas on milk and dairy products as being too complicated and difficult to be administered on an equitable basis.
6. Continue the support of, and provide adequate Federal funds to, land-grant colleges and agricultural experimental stations for important research projects in the field of production, distribution, and marketing of dairy products, which will provide long-range benefits to all peoples.
7. We believe that Federal funds must be made available in amounts sufficient to carry out the brucellosis program as rapidly as possible to a successful conclusion.
New Hampshire was the first in New England, and the second in the United States, to become an accredited area for Brucellosis eradication. Our dairymen are particularly interested that areas adjacent to New Hampshire likewise become accredited as rapidly as possible.
8. We believe that increased consumption of milk and dairy products by military establishments and Veterans' Administration should be continued and expanded.
9. We recommend the continuance of the special school milk program on a permanent basis.
10. We urge Congress to provide sufficient funds to insure adequate enforcement of legislation now in effect to protect consumer and dairy interests from dishonest and misleading labeling, advertising, and merchandising of substitutes for dairy products.
11. We believe that an aggressive promotional program on National, State, and local levels, to increase the consumption of fluid milk and dairy products, is necessary—and that all producers should contribute to the necessary funds required.
We further believe that provisions should be made for joint contributions by distributors, and that our marketing orders should be broadened sufliciently to permit adequate and stable financing by those supplying the markets.
12 Our 12th point we advance with no fear of contradiction or controversy. Remember that you, too, never outgrow your need for milk. For continued
good health, and the vigor and vitality that goes with it, to meet the rigors of the coming session in tackling the problems of agriculture, drink at least three glasses of milk a day. Encourage your fellow members of Congress to do likewise, thereby setting an example to the citizenry of our Nation, with the end result that the problems of burdensome surplus would soon become insignificant.
And from thrifty New England is a further reminder that, milk and dairy products are your best food buy.
Mr. FITTS. I believe I have one more. This does necessitate a little comment. This is a report being handed in by the fruit and vegetable growers of our State. They have had difficulty during the harvest season in obtaining labor.
The CHAIRMAN. Whose statement is that, sir? Mr. FITTS. This is made by Donald McLeod, president of the New Hampshire Horticultural Society. He is here in case you wish to make any inquiry direct of him, but we thought that we would save some by my reading it.
For instance, let me say that during the harvest season this year, you know we had an approaching hurricane. We had a lot of apples that had to be harvested quickly. We tried to get labor from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, in Canada. It could not be done. There was too much redtape to unsnarl. So the apples were on the ground before they could be harvested.
The CHAIRMAN. What would you suggest now? Mr. FITTS. Some of this redtape be unsnarled, sir, somewhere along the line. I wish someone would look into it. When we need 500 apple pickers from Canada, we do not have to spend 2 weeks and an act of Congress to get them.
The CHAIRMAN. That will have to go before another committee.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to bring it to their attention.
(The prepared statement of Donald McLeod, president, New Hampshire Horticultural Society, Milford, N. H., is as follows:)
LABOR SHORTAGES A PROBLEM IN HARVESTING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES The development of equipment the past few years used in production practices of fruits and vegetables as pest control, application of fertilizers, brush removal, planting, weeding, mowing, and pruning has greatly reduced the amount of labor needed for these operations. The air-blast sprayer has made a one-man job out of pest control where only a few years ago, 2 and 3 men were required to operate a machine. Mechanical fertilizer spreaders, buckrakes for removing brush, compressed-air pruners, tractor-drawn seeders and cultivators are some of the machines that have greatly reduced the amount of labor necessary in these operations.
Harvesting of fruits and vegetable crops, however, does not lend itself to mechanization. One of the big problems of the grower at harvesttime is to obtain sufficient labor for the efficient harvesting of such crops as apples, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, corn, and other vegetable crops.
Experience over a period of years has shown that the New Hampshire grower cannot obtain sufficient local labor to harvest a number of seasonal crops. For example, the shortage of labor in 1955 for harvesting apples became so serious that some growers were unable to harvest only one-fifth of their McIntosh crop before it fell to the ground. Several applegrowers are seriously considering cutting their orchards down because of the problem in getting labor for harvest. There is no incentive to work all summer, to invest in fertilizers and spray materials, and produce a good crop and then not be able to harvest it. The executive committee of the New Hampshire Horticultural Society requests that the present restrictions on nonemmigant foreign labor be eased to facilitate the importation of labor for harvesting seasonal crops. The present laws are so complicated as to make it impractical to attempt to obtain