Date of this Version
U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Secretary
This is the most dangerous legislative period for American farming in at least ten years. Not since 1965, when low farm incomes and massive crop surpluses forced the beginning of a radical shift in our farm policy approach, has there existed as much potential for backward steps in our farm program.
The nation made the right choice ten years ago. Our farm programs have gradually become more market-oriented and more export-oriented since that time. Acreage allotments and bases have been relaxed. Farmers have been given more management freedom, which they have used to increase their productive efficiency. Massive surpluses have been eliminated, allowing market prices for farm commodities to improve dramatically. Even after the dramatic declines of recent months, they are far higher today than they were 4 years ago--or 14 years ago. Net farm incomes have increased substantially. 1973 and 1974 have been the best income years U.S. agriculture has ever had. The nation is now using all of its farming assets, and gaining substantial returns in the world marketplace. Farm export earnings have more than tripled from about $6 billion a year in the 1960's to more than $20 billion in each of the 1974 and 1975 fiscal years.