The Autumn Garden dramaturgy: 1949 agriculture

Table of Contents

Agriculture

The Rust cotton picker of 1927 goes into mass production at Allis-Chalmers Corp. in Milwaukee and Ben Pearson, Inc., in Pine Bluff, Ark., displacing plantation workers in many Southern states and spurring the movement of more blacks and poor whites to northern cities.

The Brannan Plan advanced by Denver-born Secretary of Agriculture Charles F. (Franklin) Brannan, 45, proposes to increase food production without taking the profit out of farming. Employing a formula used by sugar beet and wool producers, the plan pays farmers directly the difference between the market price of a commodity and the price needed to give the farmer a fair profit; it gives the consumer the benefit of lower prices produced by greater supply but provides no payment for the 2 percent of farm operators who earn more than $20,000 per year and sell 25 percent of U.S. farm products. Brannan Plan supporters compare it to the minimum wage law of 1938 and Social Security law of 1935, but opponents call it socialism and Congress votes it down. The Price Parity Act passed October 31 supports wheat, corn, cotton, rice, and peanut prices at 90 percent of 1910-1914 levels through 1950, 80 to 90 percent through 1951, 75 to 90 percent on a sliding scale thereafter.

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