Agricultural Adjustment Act

Agricultural Adjustment Act

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World War I severely disrupted agriculture in Europe. Farmers continued to produce more food than could be consumed, and prices began to fall.The decline in demand for agricultural products meant that many farmers had difficulty paying the mortgages on their farms. By the 1930s, many American farmers were in serious financial difficulty.In South Dakota, the county grain elevators listed corn as minus three cents a bushel — if a farmer wanted to sell them a bushel of corn, he had to bring in three cents. Grain was being burned instead of coal because it was cheaper.When Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated president in 1933, he called Congress into special session to introduce a record number of legislative proposals under what he dubbed the New Deal. The money to pay the farmers for cutting back production by about 30 percent was raised by a tax on companies that bought farm products and processed them into food and clothing.The AAA evened the balance of supply and demand for farm commodities so that prices would support a decent purchasing power for farmers. This concept was known as "parity."AAA controlled the supply of seven "basic crops" — corn, wheat, cotton, rice, peanuts, tobacco, and milk — by offering payments to farmers in return for farmers not planting those crops.The AAA also became involved in assisting farmers ruined by the advent of the Dust Bowl in 1934.In 1936 the Supreme Court, ruling in United States v. Judge Harlan Stone responded for the minority that, "Courts are not the only agency of government that must be assumed to have capacity to govern."Further legislation by Congress restored some of the act`s provisions, encouraging conservation, maintaining balanced prices, and establishing food reserves for periods of shortages.Congress also adopted the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, which encouraged conservation by paying benefits for planting soil-building crops instead of staple crops. Filburn (1942).During World War II, the AAA turned its attention to increasing food production to meet war needs. The AAA did not end the Great Depression and drought, but the legislation remained the basis for all farm programs in the following 70 years.

Watch the video: - INFOGRAPHIC ANIMATED HISTORY - The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933


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