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Mr. LOZIER. I understood you to say that that chart represented the usual time for the gathering of the corn crop.
Mr. OLSEN. According to our best information and
Mr. OLSEN. They are based on inquiries that we made. I do not know how many reports.
Mr. LOZIER. According to that table, 45.8 per cent of all of the corn grown in the United States, is gathered before November 1. Do you know, as a matter of fact, that practically, throughout the great Corn Belt of the Middle West, that the corn, three years out of four, matures slowly, hardens slowly. That warm weather continues until the middle of November; the rainfall in November and December is very frequently heavy and the farmers are prevented from gathering their corn crop until midwinter. They can not get into the field because of rain and mud and as a result can not gather much of their corn before the middle of November, and as a matter of fact, actual experience shows that three-fourths of all of the crop of corn in the Middle West is gathered after January 1.
Mr. OLSEN. That does not correspond with our figures, or the facts, as we know them. I would be very glad to have Mr.
Mr. THURSTON. You mean that three-fourths of the corn is gathered after January 1?
Mr. LOZIER. Yes, sir; three-fourths of the corn is gathered after January 1.
Mr. Olsen. That does not correspond with our observation and our figures.
Mr. LOZIER. Probably I should say one-half of the corn crop in the Corn Belt is gathered after January 1. It is true that in the Middle West, during the last few months, the farmers have not been able to get out into their fields to gather their corn because of rains, and muddy fields.
Mr. OLSEN. Well, that may be the condition in some instances.
Mr. LOZIER. And, is it not a fact that in many instances the corn matures slowly and if rains come in the Middle West we are prevented from gathering the corn and binning it, and the rains prevent the farmer from getting out in the field?
Mr. OLSEN. I think that that would be true in some cases.
Mr. LOZIER. And often the farmers can not get into the field during the months of November and December.
Mr. THURSTON. Mr. Lozier, in Iowa, the farmer that did not gather his corn by January 1 is regarded as a very slow, shiftless farmer. I am quite sure that the table there will not reflect the true facts as to the amount of corn gathered either in September or October, as far as the Corn Belt is concerned.
I believe that it is generally claimed that substantially 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the corn produced in the State of Iowa would be gathered in November.
Mr. LOZIER. My observation has been, from living 62 years in the Corn Belt, that not only in Missouri, but in other States, as a rule you can not get into your fields and gather your corn and bin it before the 15th of November or the 1st of December, for the reason that we have copious rainfalls throughout the Corn Belt during that time, which prevents the farmers getting into their fields. You can not get into the field and gather the corn, because you will mire down.
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Mr. THURSTON. Here is the situation we have, Mr. Lozier, in the northern part of the Mississippi Valley. We have snows up there and if they do not gather their corn by the first of the year a considerable part of that corn would break down, blow over and be covered with snow, and it could not be gathered until the winter cleared up in the spring.
Mr. LOZIER. That might be your experience in the northern part of Iowa, but my observation has been in the last 10 years, that at least three years out of five the corn crop matures very slowly and there is danger in gathering and binning corn as long as you have warm weather.
Now, we have hot weather in the Middle West, frequently very hot all through October, and sometimes until the 15th of November or later, and this chart seems to me to be thoroughly undependable because it shows 45.8 per cent of the crop is not gathered by October 1 and one year with another the corn has not matured by that time in a considerable part of the Corn Belt.
Mr. MOORMAN. I note that your chart shows the amount of tobacco that is harvested, or cut in certain months.
Mr. OLSEN. Yes.
Mr. MOORMAN. Can you give me the amount that has been stripped, or is curing in those particular months ?
Mr. OLSEN. I would like to call on another gentleman to answer that question.
Mr. MOORMAN. I beg your pardon.
Mr. GaGE. This, of course, covers the entire United States. Down in Georgia, the tobacco is practically all sold in October, and is on sale in South Carolina and North Carolina, and in September the sales start in Virginia. And as you go north the stripping advances according to the latitude.
Mr. MOORMAN. Advances; you mean that the stripping is later as you go north?
Mr. Gage. Yes; as you go north, the stripping is later. In Wisconsin they probably strip late in December. Well, they are stripping in December.
Mr. MOORMAN. Do you not know, as a matter of fact, that a very great portion of the tobacco, even in Kentucky is not being stripped at all before the first of the year, and a very great percentage of that is not stripped even by January 1? And that the farmers can not determine either the quantity or the quality of it because they have not gone into stripping, and could not, therefore, have the information and would not be able to give an approximation of its value.
Mr. Gage. Their sales begin sometime in November, in Kentucky.
Mr. MOORMAN. That may be true; that may be true that their sales begin. I am talking about the bulk.
Mr. ĞAGE. I think that the bulk of the stripping would be completed by January 1.
Mr. MOORMAN. In other words, I want to ask you, as representing the Department of Agriculture, are you willing to say that that is true with the average tobacco crop, in Kentucky, and on the date of December 1, that the grower could give that information to the enumerator when he came around taking the census?
Mr. GAGE. Yes; I think so.
Mr. MOORMAN. I do not think so always.
Mr. Gage. The census, at no time, reports the yield unstripped. It reports in leaf and by the end of the year it is pretty well known what the yield is to be.
Mr. MOORMAN. Until it is stripped and hauled how can the grower know how many pounds or the character, or anything like that? :
Mr. GAGE. I think that our people will be able to get a very good estimate as to the number of pounds at that time.
Mr. MOORMAN. Well, you are not taking the census at all different times of the year. Do you think that that will give you a fair indication, if you take it as of the first of the year?
Mr. GAGE. January 1 was when we took it the last time, in 1925 and the 1920 census, and I think that we got a fairly accurate report.
Mr. OLSEN. I would like to say in regard to this table: I think in the main that it is a fairly accurate representation of the facts. There may be a difference of opinion as to whether or not, as between different months of the year, one year would be better than the other, but I think in the main it represents about what the situation is.
The crop reports of the department show that most of the crops are harvested by the end of the year.
There are a few important crops, as the discussion has brought out that are not completely harvested by January 1. In the case of large cotton crops, considerable cotton may be harvested in some sections after January 1. Fortunately, reliable and readily available data on cotton production are provided by the monthly ginning figures of the Census Bureau.
The tobacco crop may not all be stripped by January 1, but what has not been sold has been cut and is in the barns by that date, and the farmer knows from long experience how his crop is going to strip out. He is in position therefore to give on Janaury 1 an exceedingly close estimate of his crop in terms of leaf tobacco.
With the citrus fruits-citrus fruits are harvested almost at all seasons of the year and for that reason one date would probably be as good as another, but the department can get the production of that fruit from the car-lot movement records which it keeps.
Peanuts: Most of the peanuts are gathered and marketed before the end of the year. Sometimes there is a hangover allowed to stay in the stack to cure. But you can usually get a pretty accurate report on peanuts by the end of the year.
Mr. LOZIER. With the citrus fruit, the Valentia are harvested at one time and the Naval are harvested at another.
Mr. OLSEN. Yes; as I say, that is true of the citrus-fruit industry. Yet, as I pointed out, we have our carload-movement reports of citrus fruits, so we are able to get the information from that.
The same question arises in connection with the small amount of rice that is carried over to the following year. That is relatively a small amount and has little effect upon the total figures.
I think that we could get all of this data more easily about December 1 or January 1 than we could April 1.
Mr. MOORMAN. I did not hear what you had to say with regard to cattle feeding. Mr. OLSEN. I was coming to that.
The CHAIRMAN. You think that you could get more accurate information on January 1 than on April 1?
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Mr. OLSEN. I think that you could.
The CHAIRMAN. You have advanced the idea of forgetfulness on the part of the farmer-
Mr. OLSEN (interposing). In the first place, January 1, the yield of most crops is pretty well known.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, is it not known in April?
The CHAIRMAN. Does the farmer not know what his previous year's harvest was on April 1?
Mr. OLSEN. He knows it, with most crops, before April. The bulk of the harvest is in by January 1, and the farmer can make adequate reports on his production then.
The CHAIRMAN. Aside from the forgetfulness on the part of the farmer, which you have advanced, what other reason do you have for preferring January 1?
Mr. OLSEN. For instance, you have the question of the shifting of tenants, the moving of tenants.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any more information that you can give us as to why it would be better to have it January 1?
Mr. OLSEN. I will be glad to take that up in a minute. We have been talking about the month of the year for the taking of the census. As a matter of fact, we are interested in census production figures in a general way, but we are more interested in the accuracy of the acreage figures.
We are interested in accuracy; we want to know the production, the number of acres, and we think that we can get more accurate information
The CHAIRMAN. In taking the census you think you canMr. OLSEN (continuing). That is, we think that we can get the information as to production with reasonable accuracy, and I think in some cases probably our figures are considered quite as good as those which the Census Bureau has taken.
The CHAIRMAN. What suggestions do you have to make as to why it should be taken January 1, instead of April 1, if any?
Mr. OLSEN. I think that the same data would apply. I think that the farmer is in a very much better position to give us accurate information around about January 1 than he would be around April 1, because at that time he is preparing to put in his new crops and is thinking of his new crop acreages.
I think that you could get more accurate information around January 1, because he has gathered his crops and he knows what the acreage is.
Mr. LOZIER. How would there be any more confusion in the farmer's mind as to last year's crop than there would be in the mind of the manufacturer as to last year's production.
Mr. OLSEN. Because the farmer is not running his business on the same basis that the manufacturer does. The manufacturer carries books and has a very adequate idea of his production. Farmers do not carry accounts, as a good many of you know, at least many farmers do not. We are meeting that situation more and more, but we know that there is a reasonably large percentage of them that do not keep any record of their accounts.
Mr. MOORMAN. Do you really think that the average American farmer is not sufficiently intelligent to know his acreage, or to know what he raised last year. Do you not think that he is sufficiently
view of "'Wheat he had that he woulde close of the that
intelligent to remember that between December 31 and the 1st of April? Is that your idea of the American farmer?
Mr. OLSEN. I say that the American farmer is exceedingly intelligent. I will say that he does not carry books of account to the extent that manufacturers do, and we can not expect the farmers to give accurate and adequate answers to some of the questions that will be asked them three or four months after the close of the year.
Mr. LOZIER. You do not think that he would know how many acres of oats or corn or wheat he had in last year, or what the production was, in view of the fact that he has access to the elevators' records, and the bank records, which would show what he sold?
Mr. OLSEN. Now may I say that I do not think that those records would give him the necessary information? They would not give the acreage. They would only give accurately the accounts between himself and the elevators and the banks. And, if they were tenant farmers, those figures would not apply.
Mr. LOZIER. Those records are open to him, just the same.
Mr. OLSEN. That is true. In some cases these records will give some information, but not as to production and acreage. The bank records do not give any particular information as to what the farmer produced. They may give what his cash receipts were, but not acreage, production, and other items.
Mr. LOZIER. That is true. But, do you not think that he would be able to give the information on April 1 as well as at the end of the year as to the amount of wheat, rye, oats or corn that he has produced?
Mr. OLSEN. He could give an approximation, yes; give it in a general way; but if you want an accurate census you want to get the report of the farms and a report from the farmer at the time he has the information best in hand. If you can ascertain when that time is that is the best possible time for you to get the figures. Mr. MOORMAN. May I ask the gentleman another question? The CHAIRMAN. Yes, Mr. Moorman. Mr. MOORMAN. Is there any other reason that you know of, or that would have any effect on you, as to why you would prefer this census to be taken in the fall, or January 1, rather than April 1, besides the ones you have indicated here to the committee?
Mr. OLSEN. Yes. The livestock situation must be taken into account when considering the best date for taking the census. A census may be taken when livestock numbers are either at their maximum or their minimum. They are at their minimum toward the end of the year and at their maximum in June or July. Around April 1 they are neither; in fact, at that date it is very difficult to know what the figures represent, because for some regions they will include part or all of the spring crop of pigs, calves, etc., and in other sections the newborn stuff will not be in by that date. Furthermore, a good census of breeding and feeding animals can be had toward the end of the year and this we regard as the all-important figure to obtain, since it affords a basis for determining the potential pro