« 上一頁繼續 »
I believe the same thing of potash. What better investment can we get through the use of Government funds? I believe I represent a large majority of Vermont farmers when I say that without these mineral practices in the ACP program, it would be a backward step for agriculture in our State.
We are all interested in economy, and the conservation dollar should be used to buy the most conservation. In Vermont, a dairy State, I believe the backbone of the ACP is a strong mineral program of lime, super, and potash.
În closing, I would like to read to you the resolutions that have been passed in Vermont. This was by the Vermont State Farm Bureau in the fall of 1952:
We approve and urge the continuation of the agricultural conservation program as it is administered in Vermont.
Resolution passed by the Vermont State Grange in the fall of 1952: Knowing and realizing that the farmers of Vermont are not receiving for their produce a price which gives them a margin of profit comparable to workers in industry for the number of hours worked, and realizing the need of maintaining the fertility of our soils to produce the additional food needed to feed our everincreasing population, therefore, be it resolved that we, representing the members of the Vermont State Grange, go on record as favoring the continuance of the PMA program as we know it in Vermont, and be it further resolved that the administration of this program be in the hands of farmer committeemen, and that copies of this resolution be sent to Secretary of Agriculture Brannan, our State Senators, Aiken and Flanders, and Representative Prouty.
I have here a joint resolution passed by the Vermont Legislature in March 1953 requesting Members of Congress to support the agricultural conservation program: Whereas the topsoil of the Nation is one of its most important resources, and whereas for the past 17 years the United States Department of Agriculture, through the agricultural conservation program, has done much to maintain and rebuild soils, and also to make farmers and the public in general more aware of the need for such preservation: Now, therefore, be it
Resowed by the senate and house of representatives: First, that the Congress of the United States be respectfully urged to continue the agricultural conservation program, and second, that the Secretary of Agriculture be directed to transmit duly attested copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Represenatatives, and the chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, the Secretary of Agriculture, and our congressional delegation.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Mr. Evans. No doubt the committee would like to ask some questions, but I believe we are going to have to forego questioning by the committee in view of the limitations of time if we are going to hear all the witnesses.
So unless something develops and indicates we will have more time, we will give all the time to the witnesses and we will not have questions by the committee for the remainder of the hearing.
The next witness is Mr. James R. Critcherson of Westerly, R. I. We will be glad to hear from you, Mr. Critcherson.
STATEMENT OF JAMES R. CRITCHERSON, OF STONINGTON, CONN.
Mr. CRITCHIERSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I came up here this afternoon to speak on behalf of the ACP. Although the chairman read off my address as Westerly, R. I., I am a dairy farmer in New London County, Stonington, Conn. I came up here to hand in this written summary to the clerk, but due to the fact that most of the other men who testified here have read their statements, I would like to have permission to read mine.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection you may go ahead.
Mr. CRITCHERSON. Industry today is protected by tariff, labor by the Taft-Hartley law. Farmers in the Northeast are forced to purchase grain which is held high in cost by Government price-support programs, then the farmer must plant his crop and trust to the weather.
The farmers of New London County, Conn., recognize that the permanent-type practices are good and important, but we feel that the mineral practices, especially limestone, can rightfully be called a permanent-type practice. The agriculture of New London County is based primarily on a grassland type of agriculture. The soils of New London County are glacial deposits which are basically low in essential minerals needed for grassland type of agriculture. There are no limestone deposits in New London County and all which is used must be transported a considerable distance.
Further limiting public support would definitely curtail its use in our county. We believe that it is just as important to conserve the fertility of the soil as it is to conserve the soil itself, and the use of minerals is a must in New London County.
The price-support programs do not directly affect the farmers of New London County-only by making purchased grains cost more. An agricultural conservation program which includes assistance toward the purchase and use of more ground limestone is one small means by which New London County farmers can approach parity.
In New London County, to limit practices to permanent types or largely mechanical land and water conservation, would in my opinion only help a very small number of farms, and in most cases those socalled hobby farmers would do the job without assistance.
Our type of farming is the production of forage. Farms are small, fields are small. Rapid erosion is not a serious problem so long as we maintain a good sod. Cover crop pretty well protects what open land we have.
The great need is for proper mineral balance and especially for lime. Lime seems to be the first thing neglected by farmers when funds are short. The second need is the proper feeding of legumes already established, especially the application of potash.
New London County farmers have asked for a higher rate of payment, 60 percent in most cases, instead of the proposed 50 percent, in the case of long-term practices. The House of Representatives has taken a step in the right direction by appropriating $190 million. This is a justifiable cut in funds. However, if allowed to use more mineral practices administered by each individual State to fit the needs and desires of farmers, I believe we can operate an efficient agricultural conservation program-or a similar program under a different nameon a budget of $190 million, when it is broken down into States and again into individual allocations to each county. Thank you very much. The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Mr. Critcherson.
The next witness is Mr. Elwyn J. Noble. We will be glad to hear from you, Mr. Noble.
: STATEMENT OF ELWYN J. NOBLE, CONNECTICUT POTATO AND
TOBACCO FARMER Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Elwyn J. Noble, of West Suffield, Conn. I am normally a tobacco and potato farmer, growing about 20 acres of each. At the present time my operations are curtailed because of my son's being in the Army.
Some sort of programs are necessary to give farmers security against disaster and market conditions over which they have no control, and the general public against soil erosion. We have had a conservation program which provided assistance in the use of minerals for the restoration of our soils, and an incentive to keep our cultivated land covered during the idle period.
Experience has shown that the use of lime and superphosphate has grown tremendously since its inception, and that a far greater acreage has been protected against erosion by the use of cover crops.
ProbabÌy no dollars spent for conservation have given as much protection against erosion as that spent for cover crops. Records show that the application of minerals and the use of cover crops has grown tremendously, and that even now by far more than recommended by our Extension Service.
I want to say at this time that I do not think that there has been any lime issued by the Government and not used twice in the same place. Over the years we lived in the New Britain section, some city dwellers have bought small farms and ordered some lime and had no equipment to put it on. Therefore the committee couldn't do much about it. I feel that it is way less than 1 percent all over the New England States. To be sure, some farmers would have followed out the practices. However, the great numbers of others who would not have been able to purchase it at all, or only to a limited extent, are far more important than the fact that some would have been purchased with no incentive at all.
Suggestions have been made that only the permanent-type practices should be offered. This country is so large that what is required for one section is not proper for another. In this case permanent-type practices are no doubt of most importance to sections deficient in water. But when the East or New England is considered, the so-called mineral and cover-crop practices are essential.
This does not infer that the permanent type should not be offered, but rather give the farmer the privilege of choosing those which would be most essential considering his own welfare and good conservation. In the Connecticut Valley, being a concentrated tobacco area, Federal crop insurance has been offered experimentally in two counties: Hartford County in Connecticut and Hampshire in Massachusetts.
I am in Hartford County, which has had insurance since 1946. Crop insurance is well taken there, there being approximately twothirds as many contracts as allotments. This insurance is the security of tobacco growers against unavoidable losses and gives the satisfaction of knowing that the monetary investment will not be lost.
In this respect, I think the farmers of Hartford County like it very much because it is not a subsidy. The farmers pay a premium there, and if they do have a loss, those checks come at a most opportune time. It is felt that it is a true cooperative and that no private insurance has ever offered any such program for all risk on crops. We have had risk against hail, but not on any other risk, and no private company has offered that to us.
It has also been accepted as security for production loans at banks, which is of great assistance, the lender knowing that up to the guaranty the borrower will have money to repay an obligation. This insurance has been operating experimentally in these two counties, in Hartford since 1946. It would seem that it is now time that other counties should have the privilege, since time has shown a successful operation.
I personally feel that the time is right for insurance to be offered to all 1951 Broadleaf and 1952 Habana tobacco growers. Many suggestions have been made as to economies in our agricultural program. Economy should be the watchword of every United States citizen, but as long as labor has the protection of minimum wage laws and the apparent ability to get increases, subsidies paid to airlines, postage on newspapers, shipping lines and so forth, and protective tariffs for industry, I fail to see any basis for limiting or taking away what little assistance is now being received through Government programs.
Our ambition is to improve them. I also want to go on record as favoring high supports for all of the basic crops which can be stored, along with a strict quota, because I believe that we do need a surplus to protect the consumer. But as a practical dirt farmer, every time we have ever had a surplus, our prices have gone way down, and we must have, as I have said, a strict quota which in itself could take care of an increase in surplus which could become burdensome to the Federal Government.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Mr. Noble, for your statement. The Chair has been advised that the commissioner of agriculture of Rhode Island had intended to be here but has not been able to come because of a death in his family. He has sent Mr. Henry Briggs to register the official interests of the commissioner and the Rhode Island Department of Agriculture. We will be very happy to hear from Mr. Briggs at this time. STATEMENT OF HENRY BRIGGS, REPRESENTING THE COMMIS
SIONER OF AGRICULTURE OF RHODE ISLAND
Mr. BRIGGS. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee: It was not until yesterday afternoon that I knew I was going to be here. Director Riggo, due to the death in his family, had not prepared his statement, but I know that he will be wholeheartedly in accord with Commissioner Broderick's request that a brief be prepared of the needs of New England agriculture.
I know that he will get in touch with Commissioner Broderick and work with the other commissioners to record Rhode Island's interest in agriculture and its needs. Thank you very kindly for allowing me to appear.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Briggs. We very much appreciate the interest of the commissioner, and we will be happy to have any information you may be able to furnish the committee later.
The Chair has another announcement that he would like to make at this time. Mr. John Heselton, the Representative in Congress in the district just west of here, had intended to be here today, but he has been detained in Washington due to the fact that it did not adjourn on Saturday and is not able to be here. I told him I would be glad to express his regret in not being able to be at this meeting.
The next witness is Mr. Rudolph Goldbeck of New Hartford, Conn. STATEMENT OF RUDOLPH GOLDBECK, NEW HARTFORD, CONN.
Mr. GOLDBECK. Mr. Chairman, distinguished committee, I am an individual farmer, and I am speaking for myself and for no organization, except the farmers within my county. My son and I operate a farm of 200 acres, a dairy farm. About 100 acres of this is tillable land. The balance is in pasture, and some of that could be utilized as cropland. But being short of help, we are unable to
I have 32 milking cows, 28 head of young stock, and we raise about 5 to 10 acres of potatoes a year. Some years we have less on account of help.
I do not think I would be able to maintain this farm in its present condition without some outside assistance. I have had some assistance from the PMA. And it stopped, and with the land that I have taken over and rented and with what I own—and if I had not taken it over and had not had any assistance from the PMA, that land would probably be all brush today. It is very fertile topsoil, without any stone. City people have come in and bought the farms around us. At one time there were between four or five hundred head of cattle kept in my vicinity in my county.
Today I am the only farmer left. The rest are all city people. So I have taken in this land. I pay rent for some, and some they let me have it for the use of it. Without the PMA I could not have swung all that land because my income is too small. But with the aid of the PMA I have made wonderful land. I have about 18 acres of the finest alfalfa. We just got the second cutting about a week ago, and we shall cut a third cutting. I top-disk it in the spring. Sometimes I top-disk it in the fall. Without that top-disk, the crop would not grow.
Most of my experience in Connecticut in connection with the farm program has been with the Extension Service and the agricultural conservation program. I have had to depend upon the agricultural program to help me with these minerals. I believe the program should be increased instead of decreased. There are probably some farmers that do not use it to the best advantage, but they are very few.
But there are farmers who would really want more. My son and I run this farm and we have no other way to receive any other income only from the farm. We do not work out, but our whole time and our whole living—and I raised a family of 4, all married and have their own homes, and I have 1 son with me.
I could use more aid if I could only receive it, to improve this land for legumes. That saves me a lot of grain. We have pastures that we turn our cattle into_5 acres, 3 acres, 2 acres of clover, of other grasses, where in the last 2 weeks I haven't fed a bag of grain to 22 milking cows, and I haven't lost on my milk. I could not do it.