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It is our view that with the reduced number of farmers that we have on the land, and with the admonition that is placed in all legislation that retires land, that it must be retained free from rodents, weeds, insects, and erosion, that we are placing an added burden on a limited number of farmers, to keep this soil in reserve not only for their own posterity, but the posterity of all mankind that depends on the soil for a living, or for food.
It is our view that in view of the increased pressure that is being placed upon our natural resources, not only to conserve soil, but also to keep our watersheds free of contamination that is going to flow down into the urban areas, and probably silt up their reservoirs, and one thing and another like that, so that we all have a greater stake in this particular activity as the years go by.
So, we would like to see, and we urge, that the Congress this year approve an increase in this appropriation. It has been set at $250 million in past years. I believe it is in the budget for something less than $150 million, and we would recommend that the appropriation be increased to $375 million, including administrative costs.
Now, I will not say anything further on that particular need, other than to say that we have come back repeatedly, year after year, and have supported an increase in this appropriation-correction: Have reported a restoration of a proposed cut in this appropriation, and it has been restored by the Congress over a period of years; so I take it from that that Congress, itself, is quite concerned about this particular phase of our natural resources. And we would urge that it be increased this year over and above what it has been last year. And our figure is $375 million. So much for the record on the ACP.
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE The other point on which I want to testify is for an item that has been in the budget in a way. It refers to the Agricultural Research Service, but, because of new developments, it is not in the budget from the point of view that I will speak this morning.
CORN STUNT DISEASES
Last year, we appeared before you, and we testified on a new disease that was then ravaging what we thought was primarily the Southern States. However, we were mistaken on this particular item, because it has taken on new forms. I hold here a bulletin that was published in April 1964, and the title of that bulletin is “Corn Stunt Disease”, and it was issued by the Mississippi State University.
Well, in that particular region, corn stunt has been discovered, and has been known for some time. ongress has appropriated a liberal sum of money for the establishment of a greenhouse, a headhouse, a screenhouse, and a laboratory, in one of our Southern States.
We are advised now that that laboratory and greenhouse is in full operation, that it is fully staffed, and that they have recently added a virologist to the staff; so, as far as the disease in the South is concerned, we think that it is under control, although we don't know, as yet, what it is.
Now I move to the Corn Belt. And, for some reason or other, unknown to us at the present time, this particular disease has probably moved up the Mississippi Valley, probably up the Ohio Valley, or, in some way, it has been transmitted into the Corn Belt proper. Now, instead of its being called corn stunt disease in the North-that is what they thought it was when it was first discovered in that areait is now known as maize dwarf mosaic, and there are two different types of viruses involved.
LOCALITY VARIANT IN VIRUS SPREAD
The virus in the South is spread only by leafhoppers. It can't be transmitted by mechanical means.
The virus in the North is transmitted both by mechanical means, but not by the leafhopper, because the leafhopper does not survive our more severe winters in the North, but it is transmitted by sap transfer, through the aphids.
We now have the disease in Ohio, north of Wooster, north of Lafayette, Ind., across Illinois, north of Ames, Iowa, and it comes out at a point on the Missouri River about Sioux City.
Now, so far we have not discovered it in Nebraska, but in all of the South, or all of the States south of that line, it is either identified as maize dwarf mosaic or as corn stunt.
Now, then, I want to have in your hands, Mr. Chairman, these two pamphlets, because it does give you a good idea of how similar the two diseases are. They affect the corn plant in the same way, It is a dwarfing of the plant; it is a stunting of the plant; and it is a disease that severely reduces the yield.
In Illinois last year, according to the authorities at the university there, they have reported the disease on at least 2,000 acres in Illinois. They report that the yield there has been cut all the way from 5 to 70 percent.
In Ohio, it has been identified in almost every county in Ohio where corn is grown. And, in that State, the experimental station estimates that the farmers last year lost about $5,850,000 from the ravages of this disease.
Now, so far, we don't know what it is. It may be an immigrant; it may have been brought into this country from someplace else. We don't know. It is known to exist in old mexico. It may be a form of the earlier disease that wiped out the South at one time.
In referring back to our literature, we find from 1914 to 1926 that the mosaic disease practically eliminated the sugarcane industry in the South. As a matter of fact, the report is made that the producers of sugar in the South lost over hundreds of millions of dollars in that particular disease before it was brought under control, and that it got so bad that financing of the industry was impossible. No one wanted to finance it.
Now, we don't know. There may be a relationship in this particular virus, but we do know that we have to attack it in different ways in the North than what we do in the South, because the habits and the spread of the disease is different in the North than it is in the South; so we have been studying this matter now for quite sometime.
INCREASING VIRUS INTENSITY
First we thought that, well, this is something that will not occur again next year. It has not only occurred again next year, but it has become more intense-more intense each year. We only have it in Ohio; then we had it in Indiana; now we have it in Illinois; now we have it in Iowa, and all of the Southern States. So, it is ravaging the Corn Belt.
Now, work is being done. We know that some strains of corn are resistant to the disease. We don't know, however, whether or not these same strains are going to remain resistant over a period of time. Our research is too new that we have been able to do in our own plants.
About some 30 scientists met in Wooster, Ohio, last year, and they studied this disease, and they came to the conclusion that the necessity of doing something on it promptly was very urgent; so we are recommending and urging that this committee give favorable consideration to the establishment of facilities someplace in the Corn
We won't say where. We have been checking with different places, and there is no place that is equipped to do the job now.
We do have the background of how it is being attacked in the South. We have the laboratory; we have the facilities there; and it is well staffed; and it is going. We have that as a premise upon which we can build in the North but, because of the difference in the disease, the difference in the way it is spread, we don't know how it is going to mutate; we don't know how long it is going to last. This may be just one form of a mutation from the corn stunt in the South, and where it is going to go from here on, we have no idea.
INCREASED APPROPRIATION REQUESTED
We are suggesting and urging that an appropriation for the Agricultural Research Service be added to include facilities. The cost of the facilities, depending on the cost of what we are already going through in the South, would be about $175,000. That would be a nonrecurring item. It would be necessary for us to have an entomologist, a pathologist, and a geneticist, because this is a type of teamwork, and those three positions, we are told, would run about $40,000 each. So, to staff the facilities, we would require $120,000, with the facilities, $175,000, for a total of $295,000.
Now, this we urgently make a plea for, because we just don't know where this thing is going to end up. With the loss of $5,850,000 in Ohio last year, if we were to calculate that these people that lost that sum of money were in the 20-percent income bracket, the Federal Government or we as a government alone would be losing a substantial sum of money.
Well, now, we could look at it from the other side and say, "Well, this is a good thing. This is cutting down the acreage,” and all of that; but this is not the kind of cut that we want. We want to maintain our productive abilities. While some people condemn us for what we have too much of, thank the Lord we have too much, and not not enough. So, I do urge, Mr. Chairman, that your committee give very favorable consideration to our request.
Senator HOLLAND. Have you had this matter up with the Department of Agriculture?
Mr. HECKENDORN. Well, you called us just a little bit too soon to testify. We have a meeting with them at 10:30 tomorrow morning.
Senator HOLLAND. Well, I hope that you are able to persuade them that this is so necessary that they will send up an amendment to the budget. If they don't, at least you have started out in time, now, and I commend you for doing it that way. That is the better way to do it.
Mr. HECKENDORN. Thank you.
MALTING BARLEY IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, MILWAUKEE, Wis. STATEMENT OF A. J. LEJEUNE, DIRECTOR; ACCOMPANIED BY
LESLIE SCHMIDT OF THE AMERICAN BREWERS' ASSOCIATION
PREPARED STATEMENT Senator HOLLAND. The next presentation will be made by representatives of the Malting Barley Improvement Association. I understand that Mr. A. J. Lejeune, director, and other officials of that association are here.
Mr. Lejeune, how do you wish to proceed, sir?
Mr. LEJEUNE. Mr. Chairman, I am A. J. Lejeune, and this is Mr. Leslie Schmidt of the American Brewers' Association.
Senator HOLLAND. We are happy to have you both.
Mr. LEJEUNE. I have filed a statement, and I would like to have it entered in the record, and I would like to summarize it, if I may.
Senator HOLLAND. The statement will be shown in the record, and you may summarize it.
(The prepared statement follows:) EXPANDING FACILITIES OF THE USDA BARLEY AND MALT LABORATORY,
Madison, Wis. The USDA National Barley and Malt Laboratory is the only Federal institution devoted to fundamental research on barley and malt quality and the biological processes involved in the production of barley malt and malt products. The major industrial use of barley in the United States is for malting and brewing purposes. The current annual need of these industries amounts to more than 105 million bushels of suitable barley. This is over one-fourth of the total annual U.S. barley production, a very significant portion of the total crop.
There is no surplus of high quality malting barley. The need for increasing production of malting barley was recognized by the announcement of the Secretary of Agriculture that the malting barley exemption, provided for in the Feed Grain Act of 1963, would be applicable on the 1965 crop. This exemption permits malting barley growers to exceed their 1959–60 base acres by 10 percent and retain eligibility for price support.
Malting barley has historically commanded premium prices over barley suitable only for feed purposes. This premium has averaged 35 cents per bushel in the Minneapolis market for the 10-year period 1955-64. Due to the expected rapid increase in population, it is anticipated that the future needs of the malting industry for barley will steadily expand at a conservative compounded rate of 4 percent per year. On this basis projected requirements for malting barley by 1975 would be 151 million bushels and 223 million bushels by 1985.
The importance of the malting and brewing industries to the United States economy is of major proportions and not generally recognized. The annual retail value of the brewing industries products exceeds $6 billion. Federal excise tax alone on malt beverages amounted to over $830 million in 1963.
The malting and brewing industries prefer domestic sources of malting barley providing it is of acceptable quality. Barley of suitable malting quality is marketed as a cash crop and therefore does not add to grain surpluses under Government price-support programs.
In recognition of the future expanded needs of industry for an adequate supply of barley, in 1956 the malting and brewing industries, through Malting Barley Improvement Association, embarked on a program to supplement financially the development of superior malting barley types.
Since that year, over $1.4 million have been contributed to barley research programs. This has resulted in an explosive increase of new selections that require quality evaluation. It is well understood that a crop breeding program which includes the incorporation of specific quality factors must be accompanied by adequate quality evaluation in all stages of development of new varieties.
In an attempt to provide for adequate quality evaluation of new barley varieties and selections, industry grants totaling $250,000 have been made since 1956 to establish, equip, and operate barley and malt quality evaluation laboratories at State agricultural experiment stations in North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota. In addition, close cooperative arrangements between the malting and brewing industries and malting barley breeders have been established so that final evaluation of potential new varieties is made in industry laboratories as weil as State and Federal laboratories. The value of such industry quality testing amounts to well over $100,000 annually.
In spite of these efforts by industry to provide additional facilities for barley and malt quality evaluation, it has been necessary for the USDA Barley and Malt Laboratory to assume the major burden of the increased load of quality evaluation research. Since 1956, the number of barley samples evaluated by the Barley and Malt Laboratory increased from about 1,500 to 3,600 in 1964. This was possible only through special grants made to the Laboratory by industry totaling $280,000 since 1956 including the 1964 grant of $42,000, which is about 25 percent of the Laboratory's operating budget. This Laboratory has also increased its fundamental research on the biological processes associated with malting and the uses of malt.
All of the above was accomplished despite the fact that not 1 square foot of space was added to the original Laboratory building which was authorized and constructed in 1949.
In 1958, it became increasingly apparent that overcrowding of the Barley and Malt Laboratory was seriously interfering with efficiency of the Laboratory and restricting basic research phases of the overall program.
The first proposal for expansion of the Laboratory was made in 1958. At the request of Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture submitted a report in January 1962 in connection with the need for expansion of this Laboratory entitled "Report on National Barley and Malt Laboratory" and was published in Agricultural Appropriations for 1963-supplement to hearings before the Subcommittee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate -87th Congress, 2d session, on H.R. 12648.
This USDA report recognized the need for expansion of the Laboratory at Madison as stated in the last two paragraphs as follows:
“The lack of space at present is limiting research more than the quality testing. However, unless research effort is increased, the quality testing which is dependent upon it will be lessened in value. This is particularly true at present, when marked technological changes in the malting and brewing industries are being developed. The breeding and production of barley varieties suited to possibly changed requirements is essential.
"Review of the overall barley improvement program indicates that the quality evaluation phases can keep pace with expanded breeding programs only if additional space, equipment, and personnel are provided. The need includes provision for basic research on quality as well as for processing samples for breeders. Consideration of all factors involved including limitations of existing laboratories leads us to conclude that expansion of the laboratory at Madison will best serve the needs of barley producers and consumers."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Grain Research and Marketing Advisory Committee made strong recommendation for expansion of the USDA Barley and Malt Laboratory in the report and recommendations of its 17th meeting, January 9-12, 1961, as follows:
“Adequate laboratory facilities.—The Committee reaffirms and strongly emphasizes its previous recommendation for the construction of additional laboratory facilities for urgent work on the evaluation of barley for malting quality * * *
Expansion of building and funds for increased personnel would permit greatly needed additional fundamental research and processing operations in the following specific areas: