Page images
PDF
EPUB

Upon investigation we find that Carmichael Township in Dillon County, one of the highest corn-producing townships in the county, produced an average of 566 bushels per farm and 4.4 bushels per acre of farmland in 1956, and in 1957 the average production was 595 bushels per farm and 4.7 bushels per acre of farmland. The act further requires the Secretary to determine if the township is likely to produce the required amounts of corn in 1958. On the basis of the normal yield and recent acreage planted to corn, it was determined that the township is likely to produce the required amounts of corn in 1958. These determinations required the inclusion of Dillon County in the commercial cornproducing area for the 1958 crop year.

Since the production of corn in portions of Dillon County has reached such a high level that the county must be included in the 1958 commercial corn-producing area as defined in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, it should be noted that this increased production is not the result of an increase in the acreage planted to corn, but the result of an increase in the yield of corn per acre of land planted to the crop. These increased yields are due principally to more intensive methods of cultivation, greater use of fertilizer, and the increased use of hybrid seed corn.

The inclusion of a county in the commercial corn-producing area does not require farmers to comply with corn allotments, since compliance is on a voluntary basis, but in failing to do so they will be ineligible for price support on corn and any benefits under the soil-bank programs. It is felt that these requirements are not too severe for those who desire not to comply with their corn allotments. We hope this information will be of assistance to you and want you to feel free to write to us at any time.

Sincerely yours,

MARVIN L. McLAIN, Assistant Secretary. Mr. MCMILLAN. Are there any other questions that you care to ask, gentlemen?

Mr. FORD. Thank you very kindly.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Thank you for helping us out with this problem. The main question I wanted to ask so that I can give the people I represent an answer is as to who made the recommendation that these two counties be placed in the commercial corn area and whose figures were taken. I believe that you answered that with the crop reporting service rather than the ASC.

Mr. WALKER. And the United States census figures.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Very well. The ASC committee chairman in Dillon cannot understand why you refused to take their figures of 40,000. Mr. WALKER. I am sure he must be referring to the apportionment of the allotment to counties rather than the determination of commercial corn area. If we were to have taken those figures as they reported, in establishing a commercial corn area, they would have come in much stronger than they are now.

Mr. MCMILLAN. You mean acres would have been cut? That is what they are worrying about.

Mr. WALKER. No; placing them in the commercial corn area would have been on a stronger footing.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Where you take one township and declare the whole county in the area, you know you were acting within the law on that, but they cannot understand where you got the figures from, because of the amount of corn that is grown in the county as a whole. Not the amount that is grown per acre, but the amount that is grown in the county as a whole. They feel that they have been cheated out of a lot of acres of corn by somebody. You are permitted to take estimates for the purpose of the actual survey; is that right?

Mr. WALKER. The actual survey was not available when they were placed in the commercial corn area. As I explained before, you could

not have used the results of the survey for your 10-year stretch because it was not available for all the years in the 10-year period.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Unless other members of the committee care to ask some questions, I will adjourn and see if we can get the information from the Department.

Mr. WALKER. We will do our best to get you some reply by this afternoon.

Mr. MCMILLAN. And would you give us your views on a proposed bill?

Thank you very much for coming down and helping us out.

The hearings is adjourned.

(Whereupon, at 11 a. m., the hearings was adjourned.)

COUNTIES IN COMMERCIAL CORN-PRODUCING AREAS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1958

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

SUBCOMMITTEE ON LIVESTOCK AND FEED GRAIN

OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C.

The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to notice, in room 1310, New House Office Building, Hon. W. R. Poage (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.

Present: Representatives Poage (presiding), Hill, Hoeven, and Simpson.

Also present: Representatives McMillan, Hagen, Johnson, and McIntire: John Heimburger, counsel; Mabel C. Downey, clerk; Francis M. LeMay, staff consultant.

Mr. POAGE (presiding). The committee will be in session.

We have for consideration today a series of bills for the purpose of excluding certain counties in the United States from the commercial corn area. They will be included in the record at this point. (H. R. 10762, H. R. 10754, and H. R. 10756 are as follows:)

[H. R. 10754, 85th Cong., 2d sess.]

A BILL To amend section 114 of the Soil Bank Act

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 114 of the Soil Bank Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no person shall be ineligible to receive payments or compensation under an acreage reserve or conservation reserve contract by reason of the fact that the corn acreage on the farm exceeds the farm acreage allotment for corn if such contract was entered into prior to January 1 of the first year for which the county is included in the commercial corn-producing area and prior to the mailing to the farm operator of a notice of farm corn acreage allotment: Provided, That the foregoing provisions of this sentence shall apply only to a farm for which an 'old farm' corn allotment is established for such first year. For purposes of this provision, a contract which has been terminated by the producer under the program regulations by reason of the fact that the county in which the farm is located was included in the commercial corn-producing area for the first time in 1958, and which is reinstated, shall be deemed to have been entered into as of the original date of execution of such contract."

[H. R. 10756, 85th Cong., 2d sess.]

A BILL To exclude from the commercial corn-producing area thirty-eight counties in the United States during 1958

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 114 of the Soil Bank Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no person shall be ineligible to receive payments or compensation under an acreage reserve or

29

conservation reserve contract by reason of the fact that the corn acreage on the farm exceeds the farm-acreage allotment for corn if such contract was entered into prior to January 1 of the first year for which the county is included in the commercial corn-producing area and prior to the mailing to the farm operator of the notice of farm corn acreage allotment: Provided, That the foregoing provisions of this sentence shall apply only to a farm for which an ‘old farm' corn allotment is established for such first year. For purposes of this provision, a contract which has been terminated by the producer under the program regulations by reason of the fact that the county in which the farm is located was included in the commercial corn-producing area for the first time in 1958, and which is reinstated, shall be deemed to have been entered into as of the original date of execution of such contract."

[H. R. 10762, 85th Cong., 2d sess.]

A BILL To amend section 114 of Soil Bank Act for purpose of excluding certain counties in United States from the commercial producing area during 1958

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 114 of the Soil Bank Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no person shall be ineligible to receive payments or compensation under an acreage reserve or conservation reserve contract by reason of the fact that the corn acreage on the farm exceeds the farm acreage allotment for corn if such contract was entered into prior to January 1 of the first year for which the county is included in the commercial corn-producing area and prior to the mailing to the farm operator of a notice of farm corn acreage allotment: Provided, That the foregoing provisions of this sentence shall apply only to a farm for which an ‘old farm' corn allotment is established for such first year. For purposes of this provision, a contract which has been terminated by the producer under the program regulations by reason of the fact that the county in which the farm is located was included in the commercial corn-producing area for the first time in 1958, and which is reinstated, shall be deemed to have been entered into as of the original date of execution of such contract."

Mr. POAGE. Congressman Ford from Michigan is with us, and he has a bill on the subject. We will be very pleased to hear from you, Mr. Ford as to the situation in

your area.

STATEMENT OF HON. GERALD R. FORD, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE FIFTH DISTRICT OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN

Mr. FORD. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to testify on behalf of the bill sponsored by Mr. McMillan of South Carolina, one by myself and, perhaps, others. Mr. POAGE. Mr. Grant has a similar bill.

Mr. FORD. The legislation is aimed at alleviating an inequity which developed in 1957 when 38 new counties in the country were designated as "commercal counties."

The problem in the one county that I represent, resulted in about this sequence on October 4, it was the last day when farmers could sign up for their acreage reserve. I believe around 250 to 300 did sign for the acreage reserve in that county.

up

On October 8, the announcement was made that these 38 counties were to be commercial corn counties, including Ottawa County in my district. This presented a very difficult situation in that, predicated on the acreage reserve agreement, many farmers had laid their plans for the following crop year. When the commercial corn designation become effective that drastically affected what many of these farmers

could do with their land. The suggestion came from the Department of Agriculture, "Well, why don't you plant spring wheat or some other crop so you will not be penalized?"

Well the fact of the matter is that we cannot plant in this county those kinds of crops.

I would like to read to the committee a letter which I addressed to the Secretary of Agriculture, on this problem, which I think pinpoints up the difficulty. This letter was dated January 22, 1958, to Hon. Ezra T. Benson, Secretary of Agriculture.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I am writing you this personal note after apparently exhausting all other avenues through administrative relief for certain farmers in Ottowa County, Mich., these farmers in good faith signed a contract to participate in the acreage-reserve program of the soil bank to restrict their plantings of wheat for the 1958 crop. They were advised in good faith by the local ASC committee that they would be permitted to plant and harvest any other crop than wheat without restriction.

Then on October 8, 1957, the Department of Agriculture designated Ottowa County as a new corn county.

It is essential to note that this date, October 8, is after the final date for signing contracts for cooperation in the acreage-reserve program.

It is more important to note that this date, October 8, is too late for the planting of winter wheat in Ottowa County. No spring wheat is grown in this county.

As a result of this late action on the part of the Department in getting out the announcement designating Ottowa County as a commercial corn area, many of the cooperating farmers are in a very serious difficulty. They cannot receive their payments for cooperating with the Government insofar as wheat is concerned, without reducing their corn acreage, a provision which was added to the requirement after the contract was signed, and after the farmers could have taken any effective action to alter their wheat acreage. In simple language the Government changed the rules after the game had started.

I enclosed a copy of an opinion by the General Council of the Department of Agriculture which indicates that the Soil Bank Act prohibits any administrative relief.

I did not realize that this same situation prevailed in other areas until Mr. McMillan called the matter to my attention in his area and in other areas. It seems to me that this bill, which Mr. McMillan sponsored, H. R. 10762, would alleviate the conditions in my county, Ottowa County, and apparently in all other counties.

Mr. POAGE. Mr. Grant, of Alabama, has about the same bill.
We have three bills on this.

The Department has approved the bills.

The bills do not take the counties out of the commercial corn area but, as I understand it, they simply say that those who signed the soil-bank contract will be bound in essence by the conditions that existed at the time of signing them, rather than by changed conditions. Isn't that what the bills do?

Mr. FORD. That is the intent as I understand you.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Does this take care of your situation?

Mr. FORD. Yes, it does.

Mr. POAGE. I didn't mean to stop you.

Mr. FORD. I think that is the gist of the problem and the kind of relief that we need, in order to get over this 1 year.

Mr. POAGE. I wonder if Mr. McMillan would like to have something to say?

Mr. MCMILLAN. I think Mr. Ford has explained it as well as I could.

« PreviousContinue »