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is no compulsion on them to sign tobacco or spring wheat or cotton acreage reserve agreement if they don't want to live with their corn allotment, and we think that they should make the choice, and if they choose to come into the acreage reserve for any of the other commodities, then they should follow the same rules that the rest of the corn people have to do.

Now that is the reason for objecting to this approach,

Mr. POAGE. Mr. Doggett, isn't it true as Mr. Walker said the day before yesterday, that the Department spent 2 weeks or more trying to find a way in which you could relieve these people of that burden? Mr. DOGGETT. No, I do not think Mr. Walker meant that. He can speak for himself, but I think the Department was trying to keep from creating more commercial corn counties. I do not think that we want to do that ever.

Mr. WALKER. That is what we were talking about. We have got to find a means by which we can keep these counties from coming into the commercial corn area.

Mr. POAGE. You did that, then, because you felt there was some question about whether these ought to be in the commercial corn area or not?

Mr. WALKER. In a general way.

Mr. POAGE. These are marginal counties, aren't they?

Mr. WALKER. Certainly.

Mr. POAGE. Not a one of them came in because the county produced enough corn to bring it in the commercial corn area, did it?

Mr. WALKER. That is right.

Mr. POAGE. There wasn't 1 of them that produced enough corn in the county to bring it into the commercial corn area, but 1 civil division in each 1 of these counties, maybe there was 2 in some of them, I don't know.


Mr. POAGE. One civil division produced a substantial amount of corn in each county?

Mr. WALKER. That is right.

Mr. POAGE. And consequently brought the county in?

Mr. WALKER. And we couldn't do anything about it. We had no alternative.

Mr. POAGE. I understand you couldn't, but there is an alternative here before this committee. You are talking to the people who wrote the law and you are talking to the people who can change the law, and so we do not have to say that we are bound by the law.

We wouldn't have you up here if we were just talking about what the law is. If we did not consider changing the law there wouldn't be any purpose in you gentlemen coming here.

Simply to tell us that the law keeps you from doing it is the reason you are here, not the reason you should not be here. You are here because the law does keep you from giving relief. We have the power to change the law, that is, the Congress has that power.

Now the question is not what the law is, but the question is what we ought to do. We understand that you followed the law. We are not charging you, Mr. Doggett, or anybody else with violating or evading the law. We are giving you credit for trying to comply with the law.

But we think that the compliance is working a hardship, and I gather that you think so too.

Mr. WALKER. In the last session, Wednesday, you were talking about eliminating all of these 38 counties from the commercial area as a means to do that.

Mr. POAGE. I offered that as a suggestion, and I think I made it quite clear that I was not saying that that was necessarily the way to approach it, but that all we wanted to do was to get relief for these people, and certainly we were not telling you that that was the only


We were simply grasping. You did not offer any suggestion to us as to how to give these people relief.

You just told us the law would not allow you to give relief to them and we agreed with you that it wouldn't. So we began to cast about to find some way to give them relief, and it is true that I made the suggestion, just take them out of the commercial corn area. I do not think you ought to charge me and charge this committee with the determination that they have got to come out of the commercial corn area if you can present any more practical way of doing it, and it seems to me that this bill does present a more practical and a better approach than just taking them out of the commercial corn area.

Mr. WALKER. On the basis of that suggestion, Mr. Chairman, we contacted the State offices to obtain the signup data on the acreage for corn and for other commodities to see what the problem was, that is the scope of the problem. And we find, Mr. McMillan, that in South Carolina in these 2 counties you have 653 corn acreage agreements already signed for the soil bank, and there are 109 on the waiting list. They have exhausted their funds.

Mr. MCMILLAN. I have letters from both the ASC committees in those two counties and they tell me that the farmers are in the worst squeeze they have ever been in during their lifetime on account of this one order placed in those counties in the commercial corn area, and they further state that there has been no corn sold out of those counties and they import much more than they make, and the only reason they are objecting is because the corn allotment is being cut down so low they won't have enough feed. They will have to sell the majority of their cattle and hogs that they have on hand at the present time.

Corn is not a money crop in my district. What they are interested in as a money crop is tobacco, cotton, and sweetpotatoes.

Mr. WALKER. You also indicated that there was such a small signup on wheat that the bill as under consideration last Wednesday would not give you any relief down there. So I checked up on that, and found in Dillon County there are only 58 farms signed up on the wheat acreage reserve agreement, and only 28 in Horry County.

I have the data here someplace on the number of wheat-producing farms.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Average size farm I know in Horry County is 35


Mr. WALKER. In 1957 for Dillon County there were 531 farms producing wheat. There were 865 farms in 1957 that produced wheat in Horry County. Now out of all of those farms, you only have 58 signed in Dillon County and only 28 in Horry County. The acreage planted in Dillon County by these farms in 1957 was 3,336 acres.

Mr. POAGE. That is 6 acres average.

Mr. WALKER. Something like that, and in Horry County it was 2,905 acres, so they are very small.

Mr. POAGE. So there would be no wheat to be sold. They are just growing wheat for their own family use.

Mr. MCMILLAN. The same way with corn.

Mr. HEIMBURGER. Mr. Chairman, since Mr. Walker has brought up the point of the number of corn acreage reserve contracts which have been assigned in these two counties in South Carolina, may I inquire of Mr. Coffman if he believes there is anything in this language which would in any way prevent those farmers who elected to do so from going ahead with their corn acreage reserve contracts?


Mr. HEIMBURGER. I certainly did not intend that there should be. Mr. COFFMAN. It would, however, if you excluded the 38 counties. Mr. HEIMBURGER. Yes; if we had gone in that direction it would have done so; yes.

Mr. POAGE. Do I understand that the Department opposes this bill? Mr. DOGGETT. I think that is right, Mr. Poage. There is this part that has to do with the conservation reserve, although I do not know that it is entirely fair in that regard. You take them up to January 1, conservation reserve contracts signed after January 1 which would be the same as the acreage reserve contracts, because they were not signed or offered until after January 13, you would let them in and you would exclude the conservation reserve man who came in after January 1.

He would have to comply but I do not know that that is particularly pertinent to our position right now.

Mr. POAGE. Well, is there any relief that the Department would recommend to these people?

Mr. DOGGETT. We are perfectly willing to go along with this 10762. Mr. POAGE. That does not have the slightest effect in these counties, does it?

Mr. DOGGETT. It affects all of those people that Mr. Walker mentioned who signed winter wheat contracts.

Mr. POAGE. About 20 in each county.

Mr. WALKER. Twenty-eight in Horry County and fifty-eight in Dillon County.

Mr. POAGE. It affects 86 people in the 2 counties.

Mr. DOGGETT. That is correct.

Mr. POAGE. Mr. Walker, have you got the number of cotton contracts in those counties?

Mr. WALKER. I have them here if you will pardon me a moment. In Dillon County 225 farmers have signed the cotton contract for the acreage reserve program.

In Horry County 893 farms have signed, making a total for the 2 counties of 1,118 farms.

Mr. POAGE. As against 86 for wheat.

Mr. WALKER. That is correct.

Mr. POAGE. In other words, that is about 12 or 13 times as many farmers are interested in cotton as in wheat in those counties.

Mr. WALKER. But you have 271 additional farms in Dillon County that would sign. They are on the waiting list for a cotton contract, and in Horry County 491, making a total of 762 farms that offered

the contract for cotton but due to lack of funds they are on the waiting list. These are in addition to the agreements signed.

Mr. DOGGETT. Do you have the tobacco, too? There is a lot of contracts on flue-cured tobacco down there. I do not have it by counties. Tom got these figures over the phone.

Mr. WALKER. In Dillon County there are 130 farms that have signed the reserve acreage agreement for tobacco, and 67 farms in Horry County, making a total of 197 farms for the two counties. There are 21 farms on the waiting list for Dillon County and 12 in Horry County that have offered to contract.

Mr. POAGE. Now of course you do not have any contracts with the peanut farmers.

Mr. MCMILLAN. We do not grow any peanuts of any consequence for commercial use.

Mr. POAGE. Well, don't bother about them then. I think it is quite clear from what you have shown here that this bill would give these people relief only where they don't need relief.

It gives them relief where they are not suffering, and fails to give them relief where they are suffering. Doesn't it seem that way to you, Mr. Doggett?

Mr. DOGGETT. We do not think they suffer any more than anyone. else, Mr. Poage.

Mr. POAGE. You are willing to say the man in the wheat growing area suffers?

Mr. DOGGETT. Because he signed the contract prior to the time he knew the rules. We changed the rules on him after he signed his contract. The other man signed his contract after he knew what the rules


Mr. POAGE. I know, but he had no chance to adjust himself to the new rules.

It is perfectly true that you published the new rules in the Federal Register, but he never heard of the Federal Register. You told him in July that he could make his plans to put so much in the soil bank and he knew the rules and he had known them for months.

Then it is true that theoretically, sometime in January he was notified that he could not go ahead and do what he had been planning to do.

Actually, he was not even notified then because you know and I know that he walked up there in that line to the courthouse to sign up, he did not have an opportunity to stop and read the new rules.

There just was no such opportunity because, as Mr. Walker has pointed out, there were people waiting in line in every one of those counties to sign up.

You do not stop and read a long contract of that kind when there is a bunch of people behind you waiting to sign up. You go ahead and sign it. So the practical thing is that he did not know those rules, although he had legal notice of the rules, I am quite sure of that, that he was charged with having read the record just as I am charged with notice of any deed that is filed in the county courthouse.

I do not know what deeds have been filed, but I understand the law requires me to be charged with that notice, and I understand that this man was charged with this notice. He did not have any more notice than the man in Mr. Ford's area had. But he is charged with it.

Not legally he is bound and unless we take some legal action he is bound.

Why shouldn't we take some legal action to do equity instead of simple hewing to the letter of the law?

Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Chairman, I think these farmers are better informed than we give them credit for.

Mr. Walker is the one that talked to these county committees down there, but I believe they told him that they would have a lot more signers for cotton and tobacco acreage reserve contracts than they had if they didn't know that they had to comply with this corn allotment. I think they know it all right.

Mr. POAGE. I cannot see how they could know it, and even if they did know it, they could not have known it until in January.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Did you call your ASC committees in Horry and Dillon Counties?

Mr. WALKER. I didn't talk to them personally. Two fellows in my office called the State committee. You are talking about yesterday. They called the State committee yesterday to obtain from the State office this material that I presented this morning.

Mr. MCMILLAN. The county ASC committees were the first to contact me. There are about a hundred farmers from each of those counties that have written or telephoned me.

Mr. POAGE. Well, the Department has expressed itself.

Do you want to ask any further questions?

Mr. MCMILLAN. No. They seem opposed to my bill.

However they state they cannot grant

Mr. POAGE. Does anybody else want to ask any questions? If not, we thank you all for your adverse opinion. We will try to give it appropriate consideration.

Mr. MCMILLAN. We are really accustomed to the Department doing that in South Carolina.

Mr. POAGE. We are much obliged to your coming down, gentlemen. Without objection, we will put this report from the Department into the record.

(The report referred to is as follows:)


Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Washington, D. C., February 21, 1958.

House of Representatives.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN COOLEY: This is in response to a request for a report on House Resolution 477 which amends section 114 of the Soil Bank Act by providing, in effect, that no person shall be ineligible to receive compensation under an acreage-reserve or conservation-reserve contract by reason of the fact that the corn acreage on his 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 the farm corn acreage allotment.

The foregoing would apply only to a farm for which an old-farm corn allotment is established for such first year. The resolution also provides that 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 is 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 the execution of such contract.

The Department of Agriculture feels that if the intent of House Resolution 477 were enacted into legislation it would correct some inequities which now exist among some farmers. There are 38 counties in the 1958 commercial corn

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