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WHEAT-IMPROVED FARM PROGRAM
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 1958
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a. m., in room 1310 New House Office Building, Hon. Carl Albert (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding. Present : Representatives Albert (presiding), Watts, Bass, Belcher, Smith, Krueger and Dague. Also present: Representative Johnson, Mabel C. Downey, clerk. Mr. ALBERT (presiding). The Committee will please come to order. We have met this morning at the request of the authors of various bills
, and we are going to hear as many of them as we can. We will have, I understand, a representative from the Department here a little later this morning. I would like to state that it has been informally discussed among the members of the committee that we start general wheat hearings as soon after the Easter recess as possible, and give all interested persons, organizations, individuals, as well as Members of Congress, the opportunity to be heard on that subject.
The whole committee, the Committee on Agriculture, is working through subcommittees toward a general omnibus bill and we, of course, on the Wheat Subcommittee, want to be prepared to have our suggestions for the full committee when that bill is presented. The committee is hearing, as I have previously announced Members of Congress who have bills pertaining to wheat, and is meeting at the request of various authors of these bills.
(H. R. 4637, H. R. 5308, H. R. 10203, H. R. 7815, H. R. 8059 and H. R. 7939 are as follows:)
(H. R. 4637, 85th Cong., 1st sess.)
A BILL To provide an improved farm program Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That title 111 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, is amended (1) by changing the designation thereof to read as follows: "TITLE III-LOANS, PARITY PAYMENTS, CONSUMER SAFEGUARDS, MARKETING QUOTAS, AND MARKETING CERTIFICATES"; (2) by changing the designation of subtitle D thereof to read as follows : “SUBTITLE ÉMISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS AND APPROPRIATIONS”; and (3) by inserting after subtitle C a new subtitle D, as follows:
"SUBTITLE D_WHEAT MARKETING CERTIFICATES
"SEC. 380a. Wheat, in addition to being a basic food, is one of the greatest exPort crops of American agriculture and its production for domestic consumption
and for exports is essential to the maintenance of a sound national economy and to the general welfare. The movement of wheat from producer to consumer, in the form of the commodity or any of the products thereof, is preponderantly in interstate and foreign commerce. The small percentage of wheat which is produced and consumed within the confines of any State is normally commingled with, and always bears a close and intimate commercial and competitive rela. tionship to, that quantity of such commodity which moves in interstate and foreign commerce. For this reason, any regulation of intrastate commerce in wheat is a regulation of commerce which is in competition with, or which otherwise affects, obstructs, or burdens, interstate commerce in that commodity. In order to provide an adequate and balanced flow of wheat in interstate and foreign commerce and thereby assist farmers in obtaining parity of income by marketing wheat for domestic consumption at parity prices and by increased exports at world prices, and to assure consumers an adequate and steady supply of wheat at fair prices, it is necessary to regulate all commerce in wheat in the manner provided under the marketing certificate plan set forth in this subtitle.
"DOMESTIC FOOD QUOTA "Sec. 380b. Not later than July 1 of each calendar year the Secretary shall determine and proclaim the domestic food quota for wheat for the marketing year beginning in the next calendar year. Such domestic food quota shall be that number of bushels of wheat which the Secretary determines will be consumed as human food in the continental United States during such marketing year.
"APPORTIONMENT OF DOMESTIC FOOD QUOTA
“Sec. 380c. (a) The domestic food quota for wheat, less a reserve of not to exceed 1 per centum thereof for apportionment as provided in this subsection, shall be apportioned by the Secretary among the several States on the basis of the total production of wheat in each State during the five calendar years immediately preceding the calendar year in which the quota is proclaimed, with such adjustments as are determined to be necessary for adverse weather conditions and for trends in production during such period. The reserve quota set aside herein for apportionment by the Secretary shall be used to establish quotas for counties, in addition to the county quotas established under subsection (b) of this section, on the basis of the relative needs of counties for additional quota because of reclamation and other new areas coming into the production of wheat during the five calendar years immediately preceding the calendar year in which the quota is proclaimed.
"(b) The State domestic food quota for wheat, less a reserve of not to exceed 3 per centum thereof for apportionment as provided in subsection (c), shall be apportioned by the Secretary among the counties in the State on the basis of the total production of wheat in each county during the five calendar years immediately preceding the calendar year in which the quota is proclaimed, with such adjustments as are determined to be necessary for adverse weather conditions and for trends in production during such period.
"(c) The county domestic food quota for wheat shall be apportioned by the Secretary, through the local committees, among the farms within the county on which wheat has been seeded for the production of wheat during any one or more of the three calendar years immediately preceding the calendar year in which the marketing year for which the quota is proclaimed begins, on the basis of the normal yield of the acreage planted to wheat during such three-year period. The reserve provided under subsection (b) shall be used to adjust farm quotas which the county committee determines to be inequitable on the basis of tillable acres, crop-rotation practices, type of soil, and topography.
"Sec. 380d. (a) The Secretary shall prepare for issuance in each county marketing certificates aggregating the amount of the county domestic food quota. Such certificates shall be issued to cooperators in an amount equal to the domestic food quota established for the farm pursuant to the applicable provisions of section 380c of this Act. The marketing certificates for a farm shall be issued to the farm operator, but the Secretary may authorize the issuance of marketing certificates to individual producers on any farm on the basis of their respective shares in the wheat crop, or the proceeds thereof, produced on the farm. The Secretary shall also issue and sell marketing certificates in such quantities as may be required to persons processing wheat into food products. Marketing certificates shall be transferable only in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary.
"(b) Whenever a domestic food quota is proclaimed for any marketing year pursuant to section 380b of this Act, the Secretary shall determine and proclaim for such marketing year (1) the estimated parity price and the estimated farm price for wheat, and (2) the value of the marketing certificate. The value of the marketing certificate shall be equal to the amount by which the estimated parity price exceeds the estimated farm price as determined herein. The value of the marketing certificate shall be computed to the nearest cent. The proclamation required by this subsection shall be made during the month of June immediately preceding the marketing year for which such domestic food quota is proclaimed.
"(c) The Secretary is authorized and directed through the Commodity Credit Corporation to buy and sell marketing certificates issued for any marketing year at the value proclaimed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. For the purpose of facilitating the purchase and sale of certificates, the Secretary may establish and operate a pool or pools and he may also authorize public and private agencies to act as his agents, either directly or through the pool or pools. Certificates shall be valid to cover sales and importations of products made during the marketing year with respect to which they are issued and after being once used to cover such sales and importations shall be canceled by the Secretary. Any unused certificates shall be redeemed by the Secretary at the price established for such certificates.
“MARKETING RESTRICTIONS "Sec. 380e. (a). Except as provided in subsection (d) hereof, all persons engaged in the processing of wheat into food produets composed wholly or partly of wheat are hereby prohibited from marketing any such product for domestic food consumption or export containing wheat in excess of the quantity for which marketing certificates issued pursuant to section 389 of this Act have been acquired by such person.
“(b) Except as provided in subsection (d) hereof, all persons are hereby prohibited from importing or bringing into the continental United States any food products containing wheat in excess of the quantity for which marketing certificates issued pursuant to section 380d of this Act have been acquired by such person.
"(c) l'pon the exportation from the continental United States of any food product containing wheat, with respect to which marketing certificates as required herein have been acquired, the Secretary shall pay to the exporter an annount equal to the value of the certificates for the quantity of wheat so exported in the food product. For the purposes of this subsection, the consignor named in the bill of lading, under which the article is exported, shall be considered the exporter: Provided, however, That any other person may be considered to he the exporter if the consignor named in the bill of lading waives claim in favor of such other person.
"(d) t'pon the giving of a bond satisfactory to the Secretary under such rules and regulations as he shall prescribe to secure the purchase of and payment for such marketing certificates as may be required, any person required to have a marketing certificate in order to market or import a food product composed wholly or partly of wheat may market or import any such commodity without having first acquired a marketing certificate.
“(e) As used in section 380e of this title, the term ‘marketing' means the sale and the delivery of the food product composed wholly or partly of wheat.
“CONVERSION FACTORS "SEC. 380f. The Secretary shall ascertain and establish conversion factors showing the amount of wheat contained in food products processed wholly or partly from wheat. The conversion factor for any such product shall be determined upon the basis of the weight of wheat used in the processing of such product.
"CIVIL PENALTIES "Sec. 380g. Any person who violates or attempts to violate, or who participates or aids in the violation of, any of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of section 380e of this Act shall forfeit to the United States a sum equal to three times the market value, at the time of the commission of such act, of the product involved in such violation. Such forfeiture shall be recoverable in a civil suit brought in the name of the United States.
"ADJUSTMENTS IN DOMESTIC FOOD QUOTAS “Sec. 380h. If the Secretary has reason to believe that because of a national emergency or because of a material increase in demand for wheat, the domestic food quota for wheat should be increased or suspended, he shall cause an imme diate investigation to be made to determine whether the increase or suspension is necessary in order to meet such emergency or increase in the demand for wheat. If, on the basis of such investigation, the Secretary finds that such increase or suspension is necessary, he shall immediately proclaim such finding (and if he finds an increase is necessary, the amount of the increase found by him to be necessary) and thereupon such quotas shall be increased or shall be suspended, as the case may be. In case any domestic food quota for wheat is increased under this section, each farm quota for wheat shall be increased in the same ratio and marketing certificates shall be issued therefor in accordance with section 380d of this Act. In case any domestic food quota for wheat is suspended under this section, the Secretary may redetermine the value of marketing certificates issued pursuant to section 3800 of this Act.
“REPORTS AND RECORDS
"SEC. 280i. (a) The provisions of section 373 of this Act shall apply to all persons, except wheat producers, who are subject to the provisions of this subtitle, except that any such person failing to make any report or keep any record as required by this section or making any false report or record shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000 for each such violation.
“(b) The provisions of Section 373 (b) of the Act shall apply to all wheat farmers who are subject to the provisions of this subtitle.
“Sec. 380j. In the referendum held pursuant to section 336 of this Act on the national marketing quota proclaimed for the 1958 crop of wheat, the Secretary shall also submit the question whether farmers favor a marketing certificate program under this subtitle in lieu of marketing quotas under subtitle B. If more than one-half of the farmers voting in the referendum favor such marketing certificate program, the Secretary shall, prior to the effective date of the national marketing quota proclaimed under subtitle B, suspend the operation of such quota and a marketing certificate program shall be in effect for the 1958 and subsequent wheat crops under the provisions of this subtitle and marketing quotas and acreage allotments shall not be in effect for wheat under subtitle B. If the marketing certificate program authorized by this Act is approved for the 1958 crop by farmers voting in a referendum as provided herein, the provisions of section 101 (d) (8) of the Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended, shall have no applicability to the 1958 crop of wheat.
"PRICE SUPPORT *SEC. 380k. Notwithstanding any other provision of law
“(a) Whenever a wheat marketing certificate program under this subtitle is in effect, price support for wheat shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
“(b) The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to make available through loans, purchases, or other operations, price support to producers of wheat who are cooperators. The amount, terms, conditions, and extent of such price-support operations shall be determined by the Secretary, except that the level of such support shall be determined after taking into consideration the following factors: (1) the supply of the commodity in relation to the demand therefor, (2) the price levels at which corn and other feed grains are being supported and the feed value of such grains in relation to wheat, (3) the provisions of any international agreement relating to wheat to which the United States is a party, (4) foreign trade policies of friendly wheat exporting countries, and (5) other factors affecting international trade in wheat including exchange rates and currency regula