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time he has participated in local farm group discussions concerning legislative problems. I know from my personal contact with Mr. Reed that he is greatly interested in correlating Government programs to meet the needs of the farmer as well as to help the farmer understand the problems of the Government in administering farm policies.
I am sure you will agree that Mr. Reed's views in the agricultural field deserve serious consideration and I am glad to recommend the enclosed statement to you in connection with your study of the proposed legislation now under discussion.
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY DAN E. REED, ASSOCIATE LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL,
MICHIGAN FARM BUREAU Farmers in Michigan have for several years firmly believed that the penalty, on wheat grown in excess of the allotment, should not be levied if all of the grain is used on the farm on which it was produced for feed and seed.
Michigan Farm Bureau, representing nearly 69,000 farm families in our State, is happy to have the opportunity to present this statement to your committee. We have many small farmers, including poultry raisers, who, because of weather and other uncontrollable causes, are prevented from getting oats or corn into the seedbed at the proper time. These farmers would be able to use wheat as an alternative feed crop.
In Michigan's Northern Peninsula this condition very frequently exists because of the shorter season. This has been a normal practice over the years until the imposition of wheat marketing quotas. These people have not added to the market surplus of wheat and, in fact, are simply depending on a flexibility in their planting program to take advantage of the weather and the shorter season. Cash penalties levied against these farmers for planting excess wheat acreage has created administrative problems as well as hardship situations. We would agree that producers using this exemption should not be eligible to participate in price-support programs during that year.
We sincerely urge your favorable consideration of H. R. 6882 and similar proposals now before your committee.
STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL GRANGE The National Grange appreciates the opportunity accorded by this committee to present its views on the bills dealing with wheat for feed, seed and food uses on the farm, and similar bills.
These bills would amend the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, and exempt certain wheat producers from liability for noncompliance penalties imposed under the act where the entire crop of wheat produced is used for seed on the farm or fed on the farm to livestock or poultry owned by the owner or operator of the farm.
As the committee knows, the National Grange, in cooperation with the wheatgrowers of the Nation, has been vigorously seeking the adoption of an improved wheat program. We firmly believe that the present program is totally inade quate to meet either the needs of the wheat farmer, the livestock and poultry producer, or our economy generally. It seems entirely clear to us that the current wheat program has never recognized that substantial quantities of United States wheat could and should be used or marketed for feed. It seems equally clear that the longer we continue to operate under the present program-even under the assumption of maximum flexibility insofar as the level of price support is concerned—the worse our position is certain to become.
Any revision or change in the wheat program, however, to be sound must be fair to all wheat farmers. It must also be fair to all poultry and livestock producers whether they be in Pennsylvania or Oklahoma or in any other wheat or livestock producing area. It must also do more. It must go to the root of the problem and not concern itself only with incidentals, which cannot possibly serve as a remedy for the total problem.
We have no doubt but that these bills are being proposed in partial recognition of the shortcomings of the present wheat program and the need for doing something to correct these shortcomings. The Grange is entirely sympathetic with that part of these bills which would provide increased individual freedom and opportunity to produce for available outlets, and we would like to be able to support a measure which would permit full attainment of such an objective. It is the belief of the Grange, however, that the proposed measures will do little to solve the problem of wheat. On the contrary, this fragmentary approach can only further aggravate the problem. While the measure would benefit those wheat producers who would be exempted from penalties and permitted to produce wheat for their own use for feed or seed, it would increase wheat acreage, increase total wheat production and, in our opinion, would work in exactly the opposite direction from the declared objectives of the wheat program. It would also work in just the opposite direction from the declared objective of the Secretary of Agriculture, who has stated that he wants to see a program under which wheat will be produced in regions where it can be grown most efficiently and which permits the wisest and most effective utilization of our productive resources and capacities.
The Grange is also of the opinion that these bills would create grave inequities among livestock and poultry producers, because they would prevent the movement of wheat for feed purposes between areas and even between individual farm units—that is, if we are to assume an adequate police system and control authority to prevent "bootlegging" of excess feed wheat which is over and above the individual producer's feed requirements.
We want to reemphasize that there are certain potential effects or results from these bills with which the Grange is in accord, but we woud prefer action again by this committee in reporting out a bill including the provisions which the committee has reported during the last two Congresses and which was also approved by the Senate, but which failed to become law because it was a part of an overall bill which was vetoed by the President. Such a measure would include all the desirable features of the present bills and permit farmers to grow wheat for feed and seed without penalty, and it would make wheat available to all livestock and poultry farmers on an equal basis.
We are just as certain that the members of this committee are as desirous as we are to guard against further confusion and aggravation of the very difficult situation in which producers currently find themselves. The proposed measores, in addition to adding to the total wheat acreage and supplies, would create many serious and costly administrative problems. For example, under the wbeat acreage allotment and marketing quota program, the farm marketing excess upon which a penalty is payable is determined on the basis of the excess acreage and the normal production therefrom. In other words, normal production (in the absence of proof that actual production is less than normal) multiplied by the excess acreage is the method of determining the penalty wheat. This method of enforcement has proved sound and workable. Under the proposed measures, a farmer is to be exempt only if he feeds all his wheat on his wn farm to his own livestock. How is this to be determined? Why should a farmer who desires to feed his livestock be deprived of doing so merely beanse he markets some of this wheat production? Why should a producer of poultry or livestock who does not produce wheat or who may market some of his
beat be compelled to buy feed at supported price levels when he must market bis livestock or poultry in competition with farmers who do not do so? Pre$vably, under the bills under consideration, wheat may be carried over and fed in subsequent years when the same farm may then be producing wheat for market. It seems to us that the difficulty of administering such a program is that the costs of such administration are likely to be so great that enforcement may well prove to be impossible. In such an event the entire wheat program za mllapse.
There are also other factors which we believe would add to the complication me the program. Although some of the bills provide that the excess seeded acreace would not be considered in establishing future state, county, and farm beat acreage allotments or marketing quotas, the penalty-free excess acreage od production therefrom would be used in determining the national wheat aren ze allotment. Furthermore it also seems clear that to the extent that total *beat production and supplies would be increased by this penalty-free produc10, it would, through the application of flexible price supports, reduce the price stort level for wheat.
The Grange believes that the weaknesses to which we have referred far outFrizb the benefits sought to be obtained by the proposed measures. It is becomrz increasingly apparent that wheat is a major problem in agriculture at the rent time. It is also clear that the present program is not carrying us toward 2 solution, and the measures under consideration—although having laudable objectives do not cope with the major underlying problems. We strongly urge adoption of an effective wheat measure such as this committee has twice before reported instead of attempting to partially meet the problem.
It is the recommendation of the Grange that the committee substitute the domestic parity program, which the committee has twice reported favorably, and which was passed by both the House and Senate last year, for the bills under consideration. The domestic parity program would have the vigorous support of the Grange and of the wheatgrowers of the Nation. Such a measure would do a far better job of fulfilling the objectives of the pending bills, since it would permit all wheat producers anywhere in the United States, not only to produce wheat for feed, but to sell wheat for feed at feed prices, and it would enable every livestock or poultry producer wherever situated to buy wheat for feed at feed prices instead of at bread prices. It would reduce overall feed supplies, because any acreage in wheat produces less feed than such acreage would produce if it were in grain sorghums, barley, oats, or other feeds.
We in the grange believe that the time is here for the Congress to call a halt to the patchwork approach to the farm problem, and that new measures should be adopted which are designed to meet the needs of the respective commodities.
If, however, the committee should decide to take action on one of the pending bills, the bill introduced by Congressman Anfuso, H. R. 6784, in the opinion of the Grange, is preferable to the other pending measures. We would recommend, however, that it be amended to prevent the additional acreage or the pro duction therefrom from interfering with the wheat acreage allotment and marketing quota program. Although we do not believe that such interference can be entirely eliminated, we think every effort should be made to minimize it. We, therefore, recommend that H. R. 6784 be amended so that
(1) Any acreage seeded to wheat or the production therefrom will not be considered in determining total supply or in any other manner in determining the national wheat acreage allotment or marketing quota ;
(2) The wheat produced from exempt acreages will not be considered in determining the supply level for purposes of price support; and
(3) Farmers producing exempt wheat under the authority of this act will not be eligible to vote in any wheat referendum relating to marketing quota or acreage allotments.
STATEMENT OF CLARE BAKER, OF DANSVILLE, MICH.
[An editorial from the Ingham County News)
SOUL-SELLING ALONG WITH WHEAT Faust sold his soul to the Devil. In return he received every possible earthly pleasure. The brilliance of the devil's promise of such an immediate gain in material wealth was so blinding that the thought of his eternal soul in bondage never fazed him-until it was too late. For the short span of his life on earth, Faust lived high. But in death his soul was tortured.
Farmers and all those who would give up personal liberty for so-called security may be guilty of the same short-sightedness that blinded Faust. For while few people would brand the Federal Government as a devil or the loss of personal liberty as a hellish eternity, the situation which one Ingham farmer finds himself in smacks of soul-selling. Clare Baker, Ingham farmer, stands to lose $1,411.20 because he fed his own wheat to his own hogs. And unless Baker can crawl through a legal loophole, he may well be forced to pay off.
How does an American farmer, the most independent man on earth, find himself in such a situation? It was easy.
In return for an immediate gain of a minimum income, farmers get a serving of minimum liberty. It had to be that way. And it is the same with other enterprises that yoke themselves with supercontrols.
Farmers have asked for and now receive a minimum support price for every bushel of wheat they produce—if they stay within their acreage quotas. And in return, and this may be where the soul-selling comes in, individual farmers are restricted as to how many acres of wheat they can harvest. Wheat acreage quotas are based on supply and demand and on the history of wheat production on individual farms. Farmers asked for and now are neck-deep in this federally controlled system which can tell an individual how much wheat he can plant and what he can do with it. It's a system that can make it a crime for Clare Baker to feed his own wheat to his own hogs. It was wheat the Government told Baker he couldn't produce.
And yet, it's true that the Federal Government must have a tight control of production before it would be feasible for it to guarantee minimum wheat prices. If there were no lid on the amount of acres that would be put into wheat, it would be only natural that farmers could put their entire farms into the pricesupported crop. No, personal liberty had to be curbed.
Baker is a victim of soul-selling. And the unfortunate part of it is that he never signed up with this Federal price-support program. But because most farmers have signed up, such nonconformists as Baker must knuckle down. Morally, Baker ought to be able to grow all the wheat he wants and do whaterer he wants with it. That shouldn't be too much to ask in this land of liberty. And yet, under Federal law, planting and harvesting plus-quota wheat is a crime.
There should be no crying on the part of farmers about the loss of freedom on the farm. It's part of the devil's deal. Those who would accept Federal control as a short-cut to financial happiness have sold freedom's soul.
Faust, still laboring in eternal hell, has company.
STATEMENT OF ROGER PABTRIDGE OF CLIO, Mich. Wheat has been the poultry feed par excellence for generations, and in the northern States where corn is not dependable, it has long been used as a feed grain for all meat animals.
It is easy to see that the wheat-control program is putting the northern livestock farmers at a decided disadvantage with the Corn Belt, in production of pork, poultry and eggs.
We cannot believe that Congress intentionally created such an unjust situation, and respectfully request passage of H. R. 6882 to provide relief.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME EXTENSION
State of Michigan
HOWELL, June 18, 1957. Hon. CHARLES E. CHAMBERLAIN, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. O. DEAR CONGRESSMAN CHAMBERLAIN : Brief investigation as per your request of your letter of June 12 has been made. The general feeling among key farmers of Livingston County seems to point up two main thoughts:
1. Those who raise wheat primarily as a feed crop and do not care to participate, or because of their livestock program cannot, are being discriminated against. This would apply to poultry and egg producers more than any other kind of farmers.
2. Farmers in general, being one of the few remaining truly small-business nen, are not given to dictation concerning their farming program within the confines of their line fences. Most are generally cognizant of the necessity for Government policy after a commodity is produced but interference as to how a commodity is stored or fed on the farm is difficult to understand. Elimination of this situation is deemed necessary to aid in preventing further or more extensive interferences.
Please be assured these opinions are not necessarily those of the writer. None of those consulted felt they could take the time to go to Washington and assist with the hearings. We hope this is of some help. Best personal regards. Respectfully yours,
GEORGE C. MacQUEEN,
Associate County Agricultural Agent. Mr. ALBERT. The committee stands adjourned without objection until Monday at 10 o'clock for an executive session.
(Whereupon at 11:30 a. m. the above hearing was adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m. Monday, June 24, 1957.)