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Mr. Poage. The problem is the same in North Carolina and Virginia
Mr. Ford. There is one other county in Michigan, Bay County, which was included in the new commercial corn areas. We hare checked with Mr. Cederberg of that district, and, apparently, he has received no complaints. Maybe they have an alternative crop that they can put in which would alleviate their situation. I think an allinclusive bill such as the one submitted here would give an opportunity for equitable relief if something does develop in the future.
Mr. MCMILLAN. It affects counties in my district under the commercial corn area. It is because one little township in the county happens to grow a little more corn than he should on the average of 10 years, also, because of the adjoining county in North Carolina is a commercial corn county, we were put in. I don't think any corn was ever sold outside of my corn area. It happens to be one little township there.
Mr. Poage. As I understand it, your problem is you feel that the county should never have been included in the commercial corn area in the first place.
Mr. MCMILLAN. That is what I am talking about. If I can get some explanation on that I would not be in this position.
Mr. Poage. They feel that they should not have been included after the signup
Mr. Ford. That is right. They are caught in the bind just because of the sequence of events. I think next year if everybody realizes it will be a commercial corn area then they can adjust their signing under the soil bank accordingly. But in this year, this crop year, I mean, they signed up with one understanding, and 4 days later the rules were changed.
Mr. Poage. I should hope that next year we do not have the commercial corn area. But we have it now. These bills would only deal with this year's situation. They would not give any relief next year.
Mr. MCMILLAN. I think we should have an overall farm bill.
Mr. PoAGE. I hope that we will have an overall farm bill. I think we should.
Are there any questions?
Mr. SIMPSON. What do you think about being able to handle this if this becomes a public law, due to lack of funds? Are there any funds involved in this?
Mr. FORD. None whatsoever.
Mr. Simpson. In other words, where we appropriated $500 million, they spent $630 million the year before, where they had asked for $750 million. Down in my area and the cotton area, they have a shortage of funds. That would not affect this.
Mr. Ford. I do not think it would, so far as I can visualize it.
Mr. Ford. That is right. They signed up October 4. And then October 8 the country automatically became a commercial corn area.
Mr. McINTIRE. This involves a question of eligibility for the acreage reserve on their acreage?
Mr. FORD. That is right. They signed so many acres for the acreage reserve, assuming that they could plant certain crops on other acreage. Then the commercial corn area ruling went into effect and they have another restriction on their acreage.
Mr. MCINTIRE. The declaration of Congress of commercial corn areas was the instrument by which they were ineligible for their wheat acreage reserve payments, and this clears up that question.
Mr. Ford. It is a problem of cross compliance, I believe. Maybe I am saying the same thing a little differently, but they have had the restrictions. But because of the commercial corn restrictions on their other acres, and if they don't abide by those restrictions, then their program under the acreage reserve is likewise affected.
Mr. McMILLAN. Cross compliance comes into that?
Mr. MCINTIRE. You cannot be eligible for the acreage reserve payment on wheat unless you are in compliance with your corn allotment. Mr. FORD. That is right. Heretofore we have never had any restric
corn Mr. Poage. The Department does not object, sir, does it?
Mr. Ford. Well, I believe that they realize the inequity in the cases we have submitted to them, but they contend they have no legal authority to remedy the situation.
Mr. Poage. But they do not object to the passing of this bill?
Mr. McMILLAN. My subcommittee had hearings a few days ago on this and the Department officials advised that they did not object, but they had no authority.
Nr. Poate. Do you have a letter from the Department on this?
Mrs. DOWNEY (clerk). No, Mr. Poage. The Department representative was supposed to be here on the day scheduled for this hearing. That was canceled. And the Department was closed yesterday. And we were only able to get the representatives this morning and they will be here any moment, and are to submit a report to this committee.
Mr. Poage. Every one of them is in the same shape. Some who can grow wheat, it does not make any difference to them. But those that cannot, they are caught. Many of them signed up under the soil bank, put their wheatland into the acreage reserve with the understanding it would not interfere with their plantings of anything else. Four days later they were brought inside of the area and now they cannot plant corn that they expected to plant.
Mr. Johnson. I wonder if the Department told them that they could sign up for corn, what they would do? Mr. Poage. They would not sign them up. Mr. Johnson. They signed up under the wheat program. Mr. SIMPSON. They didn't sign them up in Illinois.
Mr. Poage. They are just putting names on the list. That is what they are doing with cotton. If there is nothing further we are very much obliged to you, Mr. Ford. We appreciate your bringing the matter to our attention.
Mr. Ford. If the committee is favorably disposed, I think time is of the essence.
Mr. McMILLAN. That is certainly true.
Mr. FORD. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
Mr. Poage. We have members of the Department who will be here this morning. We have an executive session this morning, but I think we might proceed with the witnesses from the Department and hear from them.
Come right up, gentlemen; we will be glad to hear from you. We have bills introduced by Mr. Ford and Mr. McMillan and Mr. Grant. All of these bills, I believe, are identical and all seek to achieve the same results, that is, to make it possible for those people who are in counties that have been brought into the commercial corn area to operate under the same soil-bank rules that were in existence last year. It was our understanding, at least it was my understanding, that the Department had no objection to these three bills. Are you familiar with the bills?
STATEMENT OF HOWARD DOGGETT, SOIL BANK DIVISION, COM
MODITY STABILIZATION SERVICE; ACCOMPANIED BY RAYMOND J. POLLOCK, DIRECTOR, GRAIN DIVISION, COMMODITY STABILIZATION SERVICE; CLAUDE COFFMAN, ATTORNEY, GENERAL COUNSEL'S OFFICE; AND THOMAS B. WALKER, GRAIN DIVISION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Chairman, as I understand it, the Department has not officially cleared this thing yet, but I believe that we are in agreement with these bills. Mr. Poate. Can we get this thing cleared? Mr. DOGGETT. I think we could get it up today. Mr. PoAGE. Fine.
Mr. DOGGETT. In which the Department will approve this. Is that your understanding of it? Mr. PC
OCK. I think so; yes. Mr. DOGGETT. I haven't had a chance to read the bill myself. We were in agreement down there that so far as these new commercial corn counties were concerned, that contracts, whether they be acreage reserve or conservation reserve contracts that were entered into prior to the formation, or the designation of that country as a commercial corn county, should not have to comply with the part of the law which says that all allotments need to be complied with.
Mr. Poage. I think that is the best thing to do. They all seek to do exactly that same thing—all of these bills.
Mr. Coffman, have you read these bills?
Mr. Poage. Is there any further comment that the Department might make on the matter?
Mr. DOGGETT. I do not believe so, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Poage. It is all right. I do not mean to ask you to say anything more if you do not want, but if there is anything you would like to say we will be glad to hear from you. If there is not, we are very much obliged to know we will hear from you, since you have told us what we want to know now.
Mr. Hill. Would you give in some detail with what sections of the country these bills deal ?
Mr. Poage. Here is a map that shows it.
Mr. WALKER. If you will look in the left-hand lower corner of this map, entitled “1958 Corn Area," you will notice Alabama is listed with 9 counties, Florida with 5 counties, Georgia with 14 new counties, Michigan with 2, Missouri with 1, South Carolina with 2, and Virginia with 5. Those are the areas that would be affected.
Mr. HILL. These are the only ones that would be affected-the ones that you have on this list?
Mr. PoAGE. That is correct.
Mr. COFFMAN. Congressman Hill, with respect to the conservationreserve program this would continue to be the case. This is only 1 year, for the acreage reserve. But for the people who sign conservation-reserve contracts or have already signed them, this would continue to apply for the life of their contract.
Mr. PoAGE. The point is that for somebody who signed up for so many years in the conservation reserve this would be good as long as the soil-bank contract lasts.
Mr. SIMPSON. This is just for 1 year?
Mr. DOGGETT. There is 1 point, in the case of the conservation reserve there was a soil-bank base or a depleting base established for the farm. And of course, he will have to observe that restriction, which means that if he had 100 acres of depleting base left after signing his conservation-reserve contract, he can only grow 100 acres of corn. His allotment may be only 20 acres, or 60 acres or something else, but he cannot expand his small grain acreage above what he had.
Mr. Poage. That is a signed contract?
Mr. Poage. That is the rule in the noncommercial as well as in the commercial corn area?
Mr. DOGGETT. That is correct.
Mr. Poage. It does not impose any special burden on him by having been put into the commercial corn area after the establishment of the soil bank?
Mr. DOGGETT. If he had been growing—had made a practice of growing 50 acres of corn, let us say, and his allotment now becomes 30 acres, then he is barred from growing that additional 20 acres of corn. It applies only to corn, because that is what happened here, is that he is subject to the allotment on corn when it becomes a commercial corn county.
Mr. COFFMAN. Section 114 provides that a producer cannot collect a soil-bank payment if he exceeds any one of his allotments. And that applies both to the conservation and acreage reserves. If he signs the conservation-reserve contract with the Government, and then his county is put into the commercial corn area; the way the law reads now he would lose his payments, because he has exceeded his corn allotment. That amendment, however, would say that if he has already signed up a conservation-reserve contract with the Government, before his county is in the commercial area, then he does not need to comply with that corn allotment in order to get his soil-bank payment.
Mr. Poage. That is what I understood. And that is the way I understood it.
Are there any further questions?
Mr. HEIMBURGER. Mr. Coffman, although the title of the bill mentions 1958, actually if there is an acreage-reserve program in 1959, this provision would apply to that, also, would it not?
Mr. COFFMAN. That is true. I guess I have not made it quite clear that even in 1959, if a new county were to be designated, a man who had a conservation-reserve contract would not have to comply with that corn allotment, even though it is 1959, in the case of conservation reserve. And if there should be a 1959 acreage-reserve program then, of course, this amendment would, also, make the same provision with respect to 1959.
Mr. HEIMBURGER. That is what I want. Thank you very much.
Mr. PoAGE. I want to ask you about the captions on these bills. They are all different. While the wordings of the bills, I understand, are identical, every one of them uses a different caption. Do you see any special advantage to any one of those ?
Mr. COFFMAN. The one on H. R. 10756 disturbs me a little bit because the language is not quite consistent with the title.
Mr. Poage. It does not exclude them from the commercial corn area.
Mr. COFFMAN. That is right. The other one is House Resolution 477. I am assuming that this will be made a bill.
Mr. HEIMBURGER. That should not be considered. That has been superseded by H. R. 10762.
Mr. COFFMAN. I would think that H. R. 10754 has the preferable title. I am only looking at three documents. Is there another one!
I think H. R. 10762 is a little bit misleading in the title, again, because it states that it is excluding certain counties.
Mr. PoAGE. I know it does.
Mr. COFFMAN. I am not prepared to speak on that. I was not aware of that.
Mr. Poage. That is why I am asking you as a lawyer which one is drawn in the proper form?
Mr. COFFMAN. H. R. 10754 has the preferable title.
Mr. Poage. I understand. If there is nothing further on this matter, we are very much obliged to you for making the trip over the arctic ice pack to get up here.
Mr. MCMILLAN. I am certain you all know about the difficulties existing in my district. Will this bill give any counties any relief at all? However since it will help Mr. Ford's counties, I will go along with it.
Mr. WALKER. This bill would do the same thing for the two counties in South Carolina that it does for all 38 of them.
Mr. McMILLAN. We do not have any wheat of any consequence. Will this take care of cotton and corn allotments? Did
you have to sign up before January 1. Does that make any difference?
Mr. WALKER. I haven't read the bill.
Mr. COFFMAN. Maybe I should speak to this. This bill does not cover the spring planted crops,
Mr. JOHNSON. This will take care of winter wheat.
Mr. COFFMAN. This would take care of conservation reserve, and I think the thinking behind it is that people who have spring-planted crops will know they are in the commercial area and will know that they are subject to an allotment at the time they come in to sign up. Whereas, this bill is designed to take care of those producers who