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Distribution by States of land shifted from production from 1949 to 1950, and
made available for pasture, idle land, or increases in acreages of minor crops for which planted acres were not available ?
300 1,000 7,000 1,000 70, 500 491,200
744,000 1,568,000 265, 000
78, 100 811,000 1, 749,000
659, 700 2, 154, 000 1, 197,000 1,383, 000 2, 411,000
5.000 52, 000 74, 500 24, 300 304, 800 322, 000 385, 900
3. 400 236, 300 241, 200 381,000 606, 000 743,000
2.000 440,000 210.000 483,000
12, 810 2,970 8, 580 1, 670 1,000 5,850 37,600 17, 390 22, 680 295, 860
438, 760 1, 445, 750
2, 680 14, 600 1, 770 1, 900 31, 440 123. 650 42, 150 14, 650 33, 020 121, 720
88, 150 219.050
3. 470 4 14, 580 • 1, 470 41,300 14,850 144,600 4 16,390
47, 820 195, 340 305, 240 122, 250 183, 970
96, 100 448, 410 143, 540
44, 830 1, 596,000 322, 300 614, 270 957, 350
2,320 37, 400 76, 270 22, 400 273, 360 198, 350 343, 750
11,250 269, 320 362, 920 469, 150 386, 950 522, 210 319, 280
922, 280 2, 310, 500 179, 480
33, 560 * 44, 770 714, 830 139, 510 97,330 4, 200
140 265, 460
68, 680 129, 240
30, 780 838, 720 2, 453, 500 395, 3.0 83, 440 90, 270 48, 830 82, 490 12, 170 16, 700
1,860 174, 540 141, 320 353, 760
1 State figures do not add to national totals. In col. 1, a total reduction of 6,000 acres in cotton in 4 States could not be apportioned to the respective States. In col. 2, a total increase of 51,000 acres in sugar beets in 11 States was not available for these States.
Italic figures are net increases. : Italic figures in this column are net decreases.
Represents a net increase in acreage of the 47 crops, rather than a shift to pasture, idle land, or somo crop other than the 47 taken into account.
Acreage for harvest of truck crops for fresh market and vegetables for
commercial processing, 1943–52
0. Keith Owen, president of the National Association of Hot House Vegetable Growers and vice president of our association has asked me to present the following facts. These facts are in connection with the harmful affects of the importation of vegetables under existing reciprocal trade agreements. Hothouse growers are in nearly ever State in the Union with concentrations in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. This industry has a capital investment of $500 million with a sales of $100 million in vegetables a year, consisting to a great extent of tomatoes and cucumbers. This industry employs close to 50,000 people whose earnings represent 50 to 60 percent of the cost of production. Many other thousands are employed in supplying 3 million tons of coal and other supplies. This industry is being seriously affected by excessive imports of tomatoes and cucumbers from Cuba and Mexico. These imports can be be sold cheaply as their workers get only $1 for the work for which an American would receive $8 to $10. This industry flourished until 1934 when present reciprocal trade agreement acts were put into effect. Since that time practically no new capital investment has been made and the original site of the industry in the New England States has been destroyed. Mr. Owen's company has abandoned a million dollars worth of plants in the midwest. The imports are increasing so that Mexico alone has exported over 238 million pounds of tomatoes. Cuba once exported 3 million pounds of cucumbers, now they export 17 million pounds. A fivefold increase. When our American markets are oversupplied with Amer. ican-produced vegetables these imports are particularly vicious. These imports affect Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California's field production as well as the hothouse industry. These growers need protection from excessive imports of produce grown under the conditions of labor costs which exist in these neighboring countries. If reasonable tariffs are not imposed, along with a quota system of imports, the hothouse industry will be forced out of business. Thousands of field growers in our Southern States will also be vitally affected. This will spell ruin for many families who have been in this business for generations. Thousands of workers will be thrown out of employment who have spent the best years of their lives working in this industry.
The attached sheet shows more detailed facts as compiled by our secretary, Howard Brown,
EFFECTS OF IMPORTS OF FOREIGN VEGETABLES ON THE VEGETABLE GARDENING INDUSTRY
The influx of foreign vegetables in sufficient quantities to break the domestic market has for many years been a serious threat to our vegetable industry. It is also a serious threat to the growers in the countries that export vegetables into the United States. Two examples emphasize the importance of these two statements.
For example, the November to April shipments of cucumbers from Cuba during the 1947-48 season was 3,935,000 pounds; in the 1948–49 season it was 7,799,000 pounds; and during the 1949–50 season it jumped to 11,994.000 pounds. The dumping of this tremendous amount of cucumbers on the markets of the United States during the 1949–50 season broke the market so that the Cuban growers received a reported $190,459 for some 11,994,000 pounds of cucumbers. Since it is estimated that it cost 8.04 cents per pound during the 1949–50 season to place cucumbers on the Pompano, Fla., market simple calculation will show that the Cuban growers lost in excess of $700,000 on the 1949-50 cucumber deal. The loss was so severe that exporters who formerly financed the growers refused credit for the 1950-51 season. The Cuban Government has, however, agreed to advance $325,000 to finance the 1950-51 crop of vegetables to be grown for export. The experiences of 1949-50 are thus likely to be repeated this fall and winter.
The influx of tomatoes from Mexico is another example. The weight of imported tomatoes in pounds increased from 184,541,000 in 1951 to 204,517,000 in 1952. The figures for 1953 are obviously not available. However, there were 185,152,000 pounds imported for the months of December, January, February, March, and April in the 1951-52 season and 207,777,000 pounds during the same interval in the 1952-53 season. The value in dollars for these imported tomatoes was $13,668,000 in 1951 and $14,781,000 in 1952. For the first 3 months in 1953 the value of imported tomatoes was $14,118,000.
The total value of all tomatoes grown for the fresh market in the United States in 1951 was $115,475,000 and the 1940–49 average was $77,551,000. Thus approximately 10 percent of the value of commercial fresh tomatoes in the United States comes from foreign countries and approximately one-half of the value of the winter crop comes from abroad.
During the first 16 weeks of 1953, January 1 through April 18, the United States imported about 575,000 bags (50 pounds) of onions. This was 80 percent more than the 306,000 bags imported the comparable 16 weeks of 1952. The total imports during 1952 were 1,800,900 bags. This compares with an average of 876,200 bags for the 1935–39 average.
Shipments of fresh vegetables through the port of Nogales from the beginning of the present season to February 15 was 3,270 carloads of which 2,443 were vegetables, 561 carloads were peppers, and 203 were peas. There were 808 carloads of tomatoes received during the first 15 days of February 1953.
At the same time the dollar value of our agricultural exports was declining. The decline was at the rate of $4,040,050,000 in 1951 to $3,424,738,000 in 1952 The downward trend continues. During February 1953, the value of exported agricultural products was $216,476,000 as compared to $381,774,000 in February 1952.
Trade in agricultural commodities should help alleviate hunger in other parts of the world and at the same time relieve surpluses at home. It should not, however, destroy any important segment of our own vegetable-gardening industry.
Mr. King. The next witness will be William Yerkes. Mr. Yerkes is a farmer here in Bucks County who is involved in the vegetable industry, particularly in sweet corn. Incidentally, he is the president of the county unit of the Pennsylvania Farmers Association.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM YERKES, JR., VEGETABLE FARMER AND
PRESIDENT OF THE BUCKS COUNTY UNIT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA FARMERS ASSOCIATION
Mr. YERKES. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Congress, I certainly appreciate the opportunity and the privilege to meet before you gentlemen.
Mr. King, is it your idea to have me state our problems or more of a question-and-answer session?
Mr. King. I would prefer you would state your own problems as an individual grower if you have them in mind. This is for the information of this Committee on Agriculture which will have a lot to do with the formulation of the laws that regulate agriculture as a whole,
but the committee is interested also in your individual problems as a grower.
Mr. YERKES. As with all vegetable growers, we consider labor our No. 1 problem today. I do not see there is anything that we can be helped on that from the Federal Government side. As we know, the high rate of pay and, only too often, the low efficiency in our labor leaves a lot to be desired. I do not imagine that will improve until we have a surplus of labor again.
The second condition I have listed is our seed and fertilizer costs which are at an alltime high also. Our transportation and freight situation, the local shipments are pretty much in line with other costs. The freight on long-distance shipments is not of great concern to us here because, as you know, we are between two of the biggest markets in our country. But on long-distance items, on shipments, it is a very serious item.
I am just touching on all these problems. I did not know what time you wanted me to take.
Lee Towson mentioned our trip-truck leasing so I will not go any further on that.
As you already know, the industry is against price supports in every phase. We also take a stand on a reduction in parity under the basic crops.
On the released acreage Lee Towson has also touched that. We firmly believe in continued funds for research work. We do not think there has been enough spent in the past. I think some of our surpluses could be used up to better advantage than to ship them to Pakistan.
I might take just a minute to touch on the Delaney report on insecticides, pesticides, and fungicides. The use of these materials is often important not only to the producer but to the consumer as well. With the insect condition the way it is today it is very important. We also realize when we use these materials there is a danger involved, but wo feel that the Food and Drug Administration is competent to regulate that. It is a very serious problem as you men know who are familiar with farming.
I will give a little illustration on that. In my line of business one of the most serious problems we have ever had in sweet corn is the ear worm. It has been only within the last 3 years we have had a simple control. It has been a problem ever since I was a kid. It is not expensive but it is a question yet of what percentage of DDT residue is in the ear of corn and what percentage is dangerous. That is the thing they will not give us. There is a lot of guesswork on it.
So far I have heard of no one who has died from the consumer angle from any use of this. There have been some deaths that occurred in the manufacture but not in the use.
There is one important item that we might not get a total agreement on. We feel that we need a better U. S. No. 1 grade on commodities, It is entirely too low a standard. It allows too much inferior merchandise to reach our markets. The condition that the industry is in now, we need all the outlets we can get. There is entirely too much off-grade produce reaching our markets and the consumers. We feel that the U.S. No. 1 grade should have a complete check up made on it and see what items should be improved and what others are good enough as is. 3...
I might make a statement that I will not get total agreement on either. By the nature of the critter, the vegetable grower is one of the most optimistic boys on the face of this man's earth. That is our own fault. We are only able to remember high prices too often and we remember the time we had to leave crops in the field unharvested on account of the poor market.
Mr. King. You mean the chance for a profit is the greatest incentive there is for production?
Mr. YERKES. That is true. That I think is a great incentive in any production.
Mr. King. Do you participate in the agricultural conservation payment program where you get Government money for part of your lime and fertilizer bill?
Mr. YERKES. I do.
Mr. King. Do you believe that the Government should be paying anything at all for your lime and fertilizer that you use in your business?
Mr. YERKES. No, sir.
Mr. King. You understand fully the difference between a real soilconservation service and the agricultural conservation program
Mr. YERKES. Yes.
Mr. King. Do you agree with what you undoubtedly know is my firm conviction that at least $100 million of the $195 million spent in that program is absolutely wasted so far as soil conservation is concerned?
Mr. YERKES. I would think so. I would have no knowledge of it percentagewise.
Mr. King. You do not think that lime in itself does anything to hold the soil ?
Mr. YERKES. No.
Mr. King. In taking this money for that, you have used this lime and fertilizer up in the production of cash crops?
Mr. YERKES. That is right. Mr. King. You recognize that the use of lime in the production of cash crops is
is the greatest depleter of soils, not a builder of soils ? Mr. YERKES. That is right. We are on record against any continuation of Federal payments of that type. As long as the Government has a program of that kind, we as taxpayers are expected to support the Government and we take advantage of it or use it.
Mr. ANDRESEN. We thank you for your statement. It has been very helpful to the committee.
Mr. HARRISON. Might I ask a question, please.
Mr. ANDRESEN. I do not want to deny any member of the committee the privilege of asking questions but our time is short. I could ask a lot of questions, too, but go ahead.
Mr. HARRISON. I want to ask whether or not you think with the present acreage that you have in vegetables at the present time, through the scientific methods of production that you could produce enough vegetables for the population for the next 10 or 15 years without increasing acreage.
Mr. YERKES. This would be an awfully hard question for me to answer unless I knew or could guess what the increased population