• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Copyright
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 The industry in Florida
 Method of study
 Opinions about existing progra...
 Opinions about alternative control...
 Familiarity with and participation...
 Summary
 Acknowledgement






Group Title: Mimeo report - Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Florida - 59-11
Title: Producers' opinions of the flue-cured tobacco acreage control and price support program
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071996/00001
 Material Information
Title: Producers' opinions of the flue-cured tobacco acreage control and price support program
Series Title: Agricultural economics mimeo report Department of agricultural economics. Florida agricultural experiment station
Physical Description: 34 p. : ; .. cm.
Language: English
Creator: Covey, C.D
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1959
 Subjects
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Ch.D. Covey.
Funding: Agricultural economics mimeo report ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00071996
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 67671267
clc - 000489574

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Introduction
        Page 1
    The industry in Florida
        Page 2
    Method of study
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Opinions about existing program
        Page 5
        Acreage size and additional acreage
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
        Program equitability
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
        Program likes
            Page 11
        Program dislikes
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
        Program discontinuation
            Page 15
        Program improvements
            Page 16
            Page 17
    Opinions about alternative control methods
        Page 18
        Acreage increases and support price reductions
            Page 18
        Minimum size allotments
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
        Poundage allotments
            Page 21
            Page 22
        Allotment rentals and transfers
            Page 23
            Page 24
    Familiarity with and participation in the program
        Page 25
        Producer familiarity with committemen
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
        Producer participation in elections
            Page 28
            Page 29
        Producer understanding of program objectives
            Page 30
            Page 31
    Summary
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Acknowledgement
        Page 34
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida




June 1959


Agricultural Economics Mimeo Report No. 59-11




Producers' Opinions
of the
Flue-Cured Tobacco
Acreage Control
and
Price Support Program

by
Charles D. Covey






Department of Agricultural comics
Florida Agricultural Experi et Station "
Gainesville, Florida cSM









- CONTENTS


Page


Introduction.........**..*.,* ..** .....*,.**.......**....*............*.....

The Industry in Florida....***..*...**...* ......,*..,........................ 2

Method of Study.......... ............................... ........... 2

Opinions about Existing Program ..........*.., *.....,..................* 5

Acreage Size and Additional Acreage 5
Program Equitability 8
Program Likes 11
Program Dislikes 11
Program Discontinuation 15
Program Improvements 16

Opinions about Alternative Control Methods .................................. 18

Acreage Increases and Support Price Reductions 18
Minimum Size Allotments 18
Poundage Allotments 21
Sliding Scale Allotment Adjustments 21
Allotment Rentals and Transfers 23

Familiarity with and Participation in the Program *.........*.....*.....*...... .. 25

Producer Familiarity with Committeemen 25
Producer Participation in Elections 28
Producer Understanding of Program Objectives 30

Summary *...o.,......... **0......**.....**..*..........****..******* *** 32

Acknowledgments .,.......... .............3..,,,......,...4....... 34










PRODUCERS' OPINIONS OF THE FLUE-CURED
TOBACCO ACREAGE CONTROL AND
PRICE SUPPORT PROGRAM1


by


Charles D. Covey2


Introduction


The formulation of agricultural policy is a dynamic process. Those individuals charged

with the responsibility of drafting and implementing agricultural policy should continually

evaluate present policy legislation to determine if it is in keeping with ever changing needs

and should examine the feasibility of alternative measures in relation to new goals. Agricul-

tural policy will continue to be formulated whether or not adequate, factual information is

available. Recognition of this fact magnifies the importance of information contributory to

rational policy decisions.

Presumably tobacco farmers are keenly aware of the fact that the acreage control and

price support program has directly affected their economic welfare. This study was undertaken

to provide some insight into the farmer's evaluation of the tobacco program which imposes

certain restrictions on individual actions.


1An analysis of data obtained in connection with Florida contributing project 796,
supported in part by IRM-1 funds. The original draft of this publication was part of a thesis
presented to the Graduate Coun;il of the University of F1oride in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the deg-ee of i/Mter ci Science in Agriculture.

2Assistant in Research, University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Stations.








The Industry in Florida


Viewed from the national or state level, flue-cured tobacco production in Florida is

not a major industry. Florida has about 1.9 per cent of the national allotted acreage, and

produces about 1.5 per cent of the total production of flue-cured tobacco. By way of con-

trast, North Carolina alone accounted for about one-third of the total production of flue-

cured tobacco in 1957.

In 1954 the gross sales of flue-cured tobacco in Florida amounted to 14.8 million dollars.

This was 3.2 per cent of all farm products sold in the state during 1954. However, in the nine

county sample area, flue-cured tobacco is the largest single agricultural enterprise. In 1954

gross sales from tobacco in this area amounted to 12,8 million dollars. In these nine counties,

which contain 88.5 per cent of all flue-cured tobacco acreage in the state, gross income from

tobacco was 48.0 per cent of the value of all farm products sold and 71.2 per cent of the value

of all crops sold during 1954.

Method of Study


The opinions expressed in this study were obtained by personal interview from 176 flue-

cured tobacco producers in nine North Florida counties. The producers were chosen from a

probability sample of all flue-cured tobacco allotment holders in the nine counties.3

3The data used in this study were obtained as part of another study which did not include
producers of over 15 acres of tobacco. Thus, the opinions expressed here do not represent those
of producers harvesting more than 15 acres of tobacco. However, the number of allotment
holders with over 15 acres represents only 0.4 per cent of the total allotments and 4.2 per cent
of the total acreage in the state.








The Industry in Florida


Viewed from the national or state level, flue-cured tobacco production in Florida is

not a major industry. Florida has about 1.9 per cent of the national allotted acreage, and

produces about 1.5 per cent of the total production of flue-cured tobacco. By way of con-

trast, North Carolina alone accounted for about one-third of the total production of flue-

cured tobacco in 1957.

In 1954 the gross sales of flue-cured tobacco in Florida amounted to 14.8 million dollars.

This was 3.2 per cent of all farm products sold in the state during 1954. However, in the nine

county sample area, flue-cured tobacco is the largest single agricultural enterprise. In 1954

gross sales from tobacco in this area amounted to 12,8 million dollars. In these nine counties,

which contain 88.5 per cent of all flue-cured tobacco acreage in the state, gross income from

tobacco was 48.0 per cent of the value of all farm products sold and 71.2 per cent of the value

of all crops sold during 1954.

Method of Study


The opinions expressed in this study were obtained by personal interview from 176 flue-

cured tobacco producers in nine North Florida counties. The producers were chosen from a

probability sample of all flue-cured tobacco allotment holders in the nine counties.3

3The data used in this study were obtained as part of another study which did not include
producers of over 15 acres of tobacco. Thus, the opinions expressed here do not represent those
of producers harvesting more than 15 acres of tobacco. However, the number of allotment
holders with over 15 acres represents only 0.4 per cent of the total allotments and 4.2 per cent
of the total acreage in the state.








The nine sample counties represent a contiguous production area as shown in Figure 1.

From the records of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee, the producers

were classified within each county by size of allotment. An attempt was made to obtain approx-

imately the same number of producers in each acreage size group. An equal number of inter-

views in each group was not obtained because some producers rented additional acreage (Table 1).

Consequently, classification by harvested acres shifted some producers who rented additional

acreage into a larger size group.


TABLE 1

DISTRIBUTION OF FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS
INTERVIEWED BY COUNTY AND BY NUMBER OF
HARVESTED ACRES


Number of Harvested Acres
County 0- 1.60- 3.10- 4.60- 6.10- 7.60- 9.10- Total
1.59 3.09 4.59 6.09 7.59 9.09 15.09
Number of Producers
Alachua 2 2 2 3 5 4 7 25
Baker 1 1 .. 0. 1 .. .. 3
Columbia 6 4 4 .. 3 1 1 19
Gilchrist 1 3 1 .. .. 5
Hamilton .. 2 .. 5 7 6 10 30
Lafayette 1 3 2 4 1 2 2 15
Madison 6 3 5 3 1 2 2 22
Suwannee 5 9 9 6 7 7 6 49
Union 1 1 4 .. 1 1 .. 8
Total 23 28 27 21 26 23 28 176






















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! I .-. NASSAU.


- -- ", .. .... ......L.. ". .... ......... -, 7








--- .. HOLV S /I
duJf: f \
.- -.---- .,- -.. .
I__-I







L E LA

S 'OL ANO






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M JOYA A' MAUI! A 'r
PASC KIK.I. .
j 5 i _
OSCEOLA








LI r.-! y
S T .....Oi ES .... -






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i












Fig. 1 .--Location of the nine flue-cured tobacco

producing counties in Florida used in the sample.
----- -- -























producing counties in Florida used in the sample.











Opinions about Existing Program


Acreage Size and Additional Acreage

Florida farmers are overwhelmingly of the opinion they don' t have enough tobacco acre-

age. In response to the question of whether they had enough tobacco acreage, 157 farmers, or

94 per cent, gave "no" as an answer (Table 2). When asked how much additional acreage they

could handle with their present facilities, the number of additional acres asked for by these 157

producers was usually equal to or less than their present acreage. This appears to be in line with

existing facilities based on the fact that most of them had produced about twice as many acres of

tobacco in 1947. The fact that many producers asked for somewhat fewer additional acres than

their present allotment suggests that their requests may have been influenced by increased current

yields per acre and labor procurement difficulties, as well as existing facilities.

In the smallest acreage group(0-1 .59 acres), the relatively larger number who asked for

more acreage than they now harvest suggests this group is experiencing the impact of inefficient re-

source use and inadequate income more acutely than those tobacco producers with larger allotments.

After determining the amount of additional tobacco acreage the producer thought he

could handle, he was asked why he had decided on this amount. In almost all instances, the an-

swers were in terms of the availability of either adequate labor, barn space, or equipment (Table 3).

Nearly 65 per cent of the respondents indicated adequate barn space and/or equipment was

available for additional acres of tobacco. This appears to confirm the general belief that the

acreage control program has resulted in considerable unused physical resources in the production

of tobacco. Although only four producers explicitly stated they would be willing to invest the

capital necessary to handle the additional acreage asked for, the general impression obtained by











Opinions about Existing Program


Acreage Size and Additional Acreage

Florida farmers are overwhelmingly of the opinion they don' t have enough tobacco acre-

age. In response to the question of whether they had enough tobacco acreage, 157 farmers, or

94 per cent, gave "no" as an answer (Table 2). When asked how much additional acreage they

could handle with their present facilities, the number of additional acres asked for by these 157

producers was usually equal to or less than their present acreage. This appears to be in line with

existing facilities based on the fact that most of them had produced about twice as many acres of

tobacco in 1947. The fact that many producers asked for somewhat fewer additional acres than

their present allotment suggests that their requests may have been influenced by increased current

yields per acre and labor procurement difficulties, as well as existing facilities.

In the smallest acreage group(0-1 .59 acres), the relatively larger number who asked for

more acreage than they now harvest suggests this group is experiencing the impact of inefficient re-

source use and inadequate income more acutely than those tobacco producers with larger allotments.

After determining the amount of additional tobacco acreage the producer thought he

could handle, he was asked why he had decided on this amount. In almost all instances, the an-

swers were in terms of the availability of either adequate labor, barn space, or equipment (Table 3).

Nearly 65 per cent of the respondents indicated adequate barn space and/or equipment was

available for additional acres of tobacco. This appears to confirm the general belief that the

acreage control program has resulted in considerable unused physical resources in the production

of tobacco. Although only four producers explicitly stated they would be willing to invest the

capital necessary to handle the additional acreage asked for, the general impression obtained by









interviewers working on this study was that most farmers would be willing to invest the capital

necessary to handle more tobacco acreage.


TABLE 2

ADDITIONAL ACRES OF TOBACCO WANTED, BY NUMBER OF HARVESTED
ACRES, 157 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957a


Harvested Acres
Acres
Wanted 0 1.60- 3.10- 4.60- 6.10- 7.60- 9.10- Total
1.59 3.09 4.59 6.09 7.59 9.09 15.09


Number of Producers

0 1.4 12 12 5 1 1 1 .. 32

1.5- 2.9 9 13 8 5 6 5 3 49

3.0- 4.4 2 2 8 8 6 5 1 32

4.5- 5.9 .. .. 1 4 7 1 2 15

6.0- 7.4 .. .. .. 1 4 3 8

7.5- 8.9 .. .. .. 1 .. 1 3 5

9.0- 9.9 .. .. .. 2 .. 3 5

10.0 19.9 .. 1 .. .. 2 6 9

Over 19.9 .. .. .. .. ., .. 2 2

Total 23 28 22 19 23 19 23 157

aThe entries above and to the right of the diagonal line roughly indicate those
requests which were equal to or less than the acreage harvested in 1957. Those below and
to the left of the line, roughly indicate requests which were larger than the 1957 havested
acres.












TABLE 3

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON THIS AMOUNT
(ADDITIONAL ACRES OF TOBACCO)?" BY NUMBER OF HARVESTED ACRES,
157 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Harvested Acres
Response 0- 1.60- 3.10- 4.60- 6.10- 7.60- 9.10- Total
1.59 3.09 4.59 6.09 7.59 9.09 15.09

Number of Producers

Adequate labor available 11 8 8 7 7 8 4 53

Adequate barn space and/or
equipment available 15 21 22 20 18 17 21 134

Cheaper to produce
this amount 2 6 .. .. 3 .. 2 13

Willing to invest necessary
capital 2 .. 1 .. 1 4

Other, miscellaneous 1 2 .. .. .. .. .. 3

Total 31 37 30 27 29 25 28 207a

OSome respondents gave more than one answer.


Those producers who said that adequate labor was available for the additional acreage

wanted may have been using the past labor situation as the basis for their response. With the

declining agricultural population in this area, it is doubtful that the labor necessary to handle

widespread increases in acreage would be available.













Program Equitability

Most tobacco producers feel that the acreage control program is being administered

fairly by the local county committee (Table 4). There is apparently no significant difference

of opinions about the fairness of the program between producers with different acreage size,

age, color, or in different counties.4 The fact that there is no perceptible difference of opin-

ion on this question between counties indicates the program is operated with about equal fair-

ness in all nine counties. There was, however, a significant difference of opinion about the

fairness of the program between producers with different levels of management ability (Table 5)05

Apparently there were relatively more dissatisfied producers in the lower management levels

than there were in the higher levels of management.

There were forty-eight producers, or 27 per cent, who felt the program was not fair in

their counties. When asked how the program was unfair, fifteen producers could not or would

not give any reason for their answer. Of those responding to the question of how the program

was unfair, fifteen said their committee favored some growers over others. There were

fourteen producers who said the program was not fair because the tobacco acreage was not

allotted according to the number of acres presently under cultivation.6 This complaint was

4Use of the word "significant" in this publication indicates that the data referred to has
been subjected to a Chi-square test of significance.

5Relative management ability was determined by testing the producer's familiarity with
recommended tobacco production practices and other accepted general farming methods.

6Allocating allotment acreage on the basis of cultivated land was tried with other
commodity control programs and eventually was changed to allocation on a historical basis.
Presumably this was changed on the basis of equity considerations.













particularly heard among the younger, more aggressive producers who have been buying and

clearing land. In addition, four growers said that large producers exerted undue influence

on the committee.


TABLE 4

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "DO YOU THINK THE TOBACCO PROGRAM IS
FAIR IN THIS COUNTY?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


County Response Total
Yes No No Opinion Not Ascertained

Number of Producers

Alachua 23 1 .. 1a 25

Baker 2 1 .. .. 3

Columbia 12 5 2 .19

Gilchrist 4 1 .. .. 5

Hamilton 22 7 1 .. 30

Lafayette 12 3 .. .. 15

Madison 12 9 1 .. 22

Suwannee 30 17 2 .. 49

Union 4 4 .. .. 8

Total 121 48 6 1 176


X2 = 18.62, not significant at the 90

aNot included in Chi-square test.


per cent level.












TABLE 5

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "DO YOU THINK THE TOBACCO PROGRAM IS
FAIR IN THIS COUNTY?" BY LEVEL OF MANAGEMENT ABILITY,
175 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response Level of Management Ability0 Total
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Number of Producers

Yes 1 2 1 1 10 15 23 30 37 120

No .. .. 5 3 6 3 14 8 9 48

No opinion .. 1 .. 1 1 1 2 .. .. 6

Not ascertained .. .. .. 1b 1

Total 1 3 6 5 17 19 39 38 47 175


X2 = 22.15, significant at the 95 per cent level.

aOne indicates low management ability, 9 indicates high management ability.
btot included in Chis4uare f&st.

The farmer's concept of program fairness is most likely conditioned by his own experi-

ence with the county committee and by the size of his tobacco allotment relative to that of

his neighbors' Furthermore, allocation of acreage through the Relationship Reserve probably

created resentment among some producers, particularly among those who didn't receive any

additional acreage from this source.7


7Each year the county committee is assigned allotment acreage called the Reserve for
Relationship Adjustments. If, in the judgment of the county committee, a producer needs
additionatacreage to make his allotment fair and equitable in relation to other farms in the
community, it is granted out of this reserve, subject to approval by the state committee.












Many of the producers who said the program was fair were quick to point out that, in

their opinion, this had not always been the case in the past. This notion of past unfairness

probably stems from the fact that in previous years county committeemen had considerably

more acreage in the Relationship Reserve to allocate to producers.8 In more recent years,

county committees have had very little acreage to allot.


Program Likes

When compared with program dislikes, there was a noticeable lack of variety in the

reasons why producers liked the acreage control and price support program. More than 92 per-

cent of those producers responding to the question of what they liked about the tobacco program

said it was the price received for their tobacco which they liked the most (Table 6). A rela-

tively small number said they generally liked the program, but did not give any specific

reasons why. The three producers who gave price stability as their reason for liking the

program said this stability was responsible for the dependability of tobacco as a cash crop.

Price stability and cash crop dependability seems to have been implied by most of those pro-

ducers who said they liked the prices received for their tobacco.


Program Dislikes

There are certain aspects of the acreage control and price support programs which

farmers do not like. The most common complaint, heard from the tobacco farmers interviewed,

was their dislike of the substantial acreage reductions which have taken place over the past

1n 1952 the state Relationship Reserve was 111 acres, or .015 acres per allotment,
while in 1952 the Relationship Reserve was 19 acres, or .003 acres per allotment.
while in 1957 the Relationship Reserve was 19 acres, or .003 acres per allotment.












Many of the producers who said the program was fair were quick to point out that, in

their opinion, this had not always been the case in the past. This notion of past unfairness

probably stems from the fact that in previous years county committeemen had considerably

more acreage in the Relationship Reserve to allocate to producers.8 In more recent years,

county committees have had very little acreage to allot.


Program Likes

When compared with program dislikes, there was a noticeable lack of variety in the

reasons why producers liked the acreage control and price support program. More than 92 per-

cent of those producers responding to the question of what they liked about the tobacco program

said it was the price received for their tobacco which they liked the most (Table 6). A rela-

tively small number said they generally liked the program, but did not give any specific

reasons why. The three producers who gave price stability as their reason for liking the

program said this stability was responsible for the dependability of tobacco as a cash crop.

Price stability and cash crop dependability seems to have been implied by most of those pro-

ducers who said they liked the prices received for their tobacco.


Program Dislikes

There are certain aspects of the acreage control and price support programs which

farmers do not like. The most common complaint, heard from the tobacco farmers interviewed,

was their dislike of the substantial acreage reductions which have taken place over the past

1n 1952 the state Relationship Reserve was 111 acres, or .015 acres per allotment,
while in 1952 the Relationship Reserve was 19 acres, or .003 acres per allotment.
while in 1957 the Relationship Reserve was 19 acres, or .003 acres per allotment.











TABLE 6

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO FARMERS IN THIS AREA LIKE ABOUT
THE TOBACCO PROGRAM?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED
TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response Total
Couy Prices Received Price Sciablity Like Program Not
for Tobacco of Program in General Other Ascertained

Number of Producers

Alachua 23 .. 2 .. 25

Baker 1 1 .. 1 3

Columbia 14 1 2 .. 2 19

Gilchrist 5 .. .. .. .. 5

Hamilton 27 .. .. .. 3 30

Lafayette 13 .. 1 .. 1 15

Madison 20 .. 2 .. .. 22

Suwannee 43 1 .. 2 3 49

Union 7 .. .. .. 1 8

Total 153 3 7 2 11 176



several years (Table 7). Of the 165 producers responding to the question of what they dis-

liked about the program, 65 per cent referred to acreage reductions as their most compelling

dislike (Table 8). There were nine producers who said that tobacco allotments should be taken

away from those people who do not depend upon them for the greater part of their income. This










feeling was usually directed at people outside of agriculture who bought farms and then either

rented out the tobacco allotment or placed it in the Soil Bcnk. When questioned further on

this point, most were quick to admit this feeling did not apply to widows and retired farmers

who rented out their allotments. Very likely, the producers who expressed~ disapproval of the

proviskin which permits the accumulation of tobacco acreage through the purchase of farms and

the producers who favored taking allotments away from those who do nct depend on them for a

livelihood, were aiming this criticism at the scme group of absentee owners of tobacco allotments,


TABLE 7

SIZE CHANGES OF 1WO SAMPLE TOBACCO ALLOTMENTS USING
YEARLY FLUE-CURED FACTORS, FLORIDA, 1948-57


Year Factor Percentage Increase Sample
or Decrease Allotments

Per :t~nt Acres Acres
1947 *... e... 10.00 5.00
1948 0.7248 -27,52 7.25 3.62
19 49 1.0508 5.08 7.62 3.81
1950 1.0030 0.30 7.64 3.82
1951 1.1474 14.74 8.77 4.38
1952 0.9997 0.03 8.76 4.38
1953 0.9200 8,00 8.06 4.03
1954 1.0017 0.17 8.08 4.04
1955 0.9429 5.01 7:67 3.04
1956 0.88 1 -11 89 6.76 3.38
1957 0.8001 -19.99 5.41 2.70


allotments are multiplied by this number to accorinish the yearly increase or
decrease in allotment acreage as determined by the Secretary of Agricultu:e.

Source: Records of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee,
State Office, Gainesville, Florida.










14


TABLE 8

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO FARMERS IN THIS AREA DISLIKE
ADOUT THE TOBACCO PROGRAM?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED
TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


County

Response C 0 -
I--0
V i0 0 i
S a 0


Recent acreage reductions

Ownership of allotments by
those who don' t depend on
them for a living

Florida does' t have its
fair share of tobacco
acreage

Restriction of freedom

Accumulation of tobacco
acreage by purchase

Allotments not based on
the amount of cultivated
land

Non-support of undesirable
varieties

Support price not
high enough


23 2 11 3 16 10 13 25 4 107


* t


1 1 1


0. .* 1


.. .. 1


.. i


.. 1


.. 4 2 9


.. 3 2


.. 2 1 1 1


.. 1 1


.. 6

S 6


0.. .. 3


.. ** *o. 2


*.. .. .. *.. .. 2


5 .. .. .. *. 1 ..


.. 3


.. 2


.. 1


Other, miscellaneous


.. 4


.. 7 2 3 10 1 28


Not ascertained


1 1 1 1 2


.. 1 3 1 11


25 3 19 5 30 15 22 49 8 176


- -- -


Total








The small number of producers who thought Florida did not have a fair share of the total

flue-cured acreage did not seem to know why Florida should have more, except that it would

add to their own allotments. A number of producers felt program objectives and administra-

tive policies were determined in North and South Carolina, because of the large number of

producers and acreage in that area.

There were only six farmers, or 3.6 per cent, who said they resented being told what

to do under the program. Apparently tobacco farn.ers in general are not too concerned over

restrictions imposed by the program. Further support of this notion, in an indirect sense, is

evident from the general agreement among farmers that some form of government program for

agriculture will continue in the future. In a recent survey of 472 farmers in states of the

Cornbelt, Dairy, Great Plains, and Southern regions, 71 per cent of those farmers interviewed

said they expected to have some type of government price support program in agriculture for

at least the next fifteen years.9


Program Discontinuation

It is the general belief of farmers in those areas affected by price supports and acreage

controls that the government has some responsibility in the area of farm prices and income.10

There appears to be widespread agreement among Florida tobacco producers that the acreage

control and price support programs should not be abolished (Table 9). This belief is held des-

pite the fact that farmers have experienced appreciable acreage decreases under the program.

Apparently tobacco farmers are willing to live with the program and submit to acreage reduc-

tions rather than risk receiving lower prices and incomes.

9Gene McMurtry, J. C. Bottum, R. L. Kohis, and J. 0. Dunbar, Farmer's Attitudes
Toward the Income Problem and itsSolution, Purdue University Agricultural Experiment Station,
Mimeo EC-157, August 1958, p. 9.
10lbid., pp. 10-13.











TABLE 9

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WOULD YOU BE IN FAVOR OF
ABOLISHING TOBACCO CONTROLS AND PRICE SUPPORTS?"
BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCiERS,
FLORIDA, 1957


Resoonse
County .."-- Total
Yes No Don'C IKnow

Number of Producers

Alachua 1 23 1 25
Baker .. 3 .. 3
Columbia 1 17 1 19
Gilchrist .. 5 .. 5
Hamilton 5 25 .. 30
Lafn)latte 3 12 .. 15
Madison 3 18 1 22
Suwannee 1 47 1 49
Union 2 6 .. 8

Total 16 156 4 176



Program Improvements

Nearly 65 per cent of the farmers interviewed believed the tobacco program could be

improved, while 20 per cent admitted they didn' t know whether it could be improved or not.

However, of the 114 producers who thought the program could be improved, only seventy-six

had any positive suggestions to offer (Tuble 10).

In answer to the question of program improvements, thirty-three producers said that

acreage not tended by the owner should be taken away and redistributed among those producers

who were producing tobacco for a substantial portion of their livelihood. It will be recalled







17


TABLE 10

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME NEEDED
IMPROVEMENTS (IN THE TOBACCO PROGRAM)?" BY COUNTY, 114
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957



County
Responsea c
16. 0
S.0 0i i


Number of Producers


Redistribute acreage not tended
by owner
Increase the number of acres
Establish minimum size allotments

Allot acreage on the basis of
cultivated land

Raise the support price

Adopt poundage control

Distribute tobacco acreage on
basis of need

Early measurement of tobacco

Provide some. recourse from
administrative mistakes

Reverted acreage should not be
lost by the county

Provide for the buying and
selling of allotments

Develop new markets for tobacco

Don' t know
Not ascertained
Total


1 1 0.. 3

go .. 00 I0 3

.. .. 0. *. 1


I I

1.

1.


& 0

*0 00


*. s s o I


1


2 33
1 14
1 8


8

S 5

S 3


1 3

S 2


S*. .. 2


.@ ** .. .. o *0 l0 2


.. *0. 9 .. .00 0. I I0 1

.. .. 1 s.. .. .. .. I 1

5 .. 3 .. 3 1 3 8 1 24
2 .. .. 4 2 1 5 .. 14


12 2 14 4 24 10 16 32 6 120b


"Some of the suggestions are provided
additional legislation.
bSome respondents gave more than one


for in present regulations, others would require


-- --










from Table 8 that nine producers gave an almost identical reason for disliking the program.

Assuming suggestions for improvement can be associated with dislikes, the above responses

imply that actually more than :nine producers disliked the aspect of the program which permits

the retention of allotments by those who do not engage in tobacco production.

Opinions about Alternative Control Methods


Acreage Increases and Support Price Reductions

When tobacco producers were asked what they thought of the idea of an increase in

acreage but a lower support price, the usual response was, "Why should I raise more and get

less for it?" In fact, this proposal was flatly rejected by 81 per cent of the producers inter-

viewed (Table 11). The unfavorable response to this question indicates that farmers are aware

of the necessity of reducing acreage to maintain prices and income.


Minimum Size Allotments

The acreage control program does not provide a minimum size allotment for flue-cured

tobacco producers. Minimum size allotments have been in effect for burley tobacco producers

since 1943 when Congress established a minimum allotment of one-half acre. The 1957 tobacco

regulations provide that, in the case of burley tobacco, the farm acreage allotment shall not be

less than the smallest of (a) the 1956 allotment, (b) fifty-hundredths of an acre, or (c) 10 per

cent of the cropland in the farm, provided that no 1956 burley tobacco allotment of seventy-

hundredths of an acre or less shall be reduced more than one-tenth of an acre, and no 1956

burley tobacco allotment of eight-tenths., of an acre or more will be reduced to less than six-

tenths of an acre."

"1Commodity Stabilization Service, U.S.D.A., Tobacco Marketing Quota Regulations,
1957-58 Marketing Year, Section 725.817










from Table 8 that nine producers gave an almost identical reason for disliking the program.

Assuming suggestions for improvement can be associated with dislikes, the above responses

imply that actually more than :nine producers disliked the aspect of the program which permits

the retention of allotments by those who do not engage in tobacco production.

Opinions about Alternative Control Methods


Acreage Increases and Support Price Reductions

When tobacco producers were asked what they thought of the idea of an increase in

acreage but a lower support price, the usual response was, "Why should I raise more and get

less for it?" In fact, this proposal was flatly rejected by 81 per cent of the producers inter-

viewed (Table 11). The unfavorable response to this question indicates that farmers are aware

of the necessity of reducing acreage to maintain prices and income.


Minimum Size Allotments

The acreage control program does not provide a minimum size allotment for flue-cured

tobacco producers. Minimum size allotments have been in effect for burley tobacco producers

since 1943 when Congress established a minimum allotment of one-half acre. The 1957 tobacco

regulations provide that, in the case of burley tobacco, the farm acreage allotment shall not be

less than the smallest of (a) the 1956 allotment, (b) fifty-hundredths of an acre, or (c) 10 per

cent of the cropland in the farm, provided that no 1956 burley tobacco allotment of seventy-

hundredths of an acre or less shall be reduced more than one-tenth of an acre, and no 1956

burley tobacco allotment of eight-tenths., of an acre or more will be reduced to less than six-

tenths of an acre."

"1Commodity Stabilization Service, U.S.D.A., Tobacco Marketing Quota Regulations,
1957-58 Marketing Year, Section 725.817










from Table 8 that nine producers gave an almost identical reason for disliking the program.

Assuming suggestions for improvement can be associated with dislikes, the above responses

imply that actually more than :nine producers disliked the aspect of the program which permits

the retention of allotments by those who do not engage in tobacco production.

Opinions about Alternative Control Methods


Acreage Increases and Support Price Reductions

When tobacco producers were asked what they thought of the idea of an increase in

acreage but a lower support price, the usual response was, "Why should I raise more and get

less for it?" In fact, this proposal was flatly rejected by 81 per cent of the producers inter-

viewed (Table 11). The unfavorable response to this question indicates that farmers are aware

of the necessity of reducing acreage to maintain prices and income.


Minimum Size Allotments

The acreage control program does not provide a minimum size allotment for flue-cured

tobacco producers. Minimum size allotments have been in effect for burley tobacco producers

since 1943 when Congress established a minimum allotment of one-half acre. The 1957 tobacco

regulations provide that, in the case of burley tobacco, the farm acreage allotment shall not be

less than the smallest of (a) the 1956 allotment, (b) fifty-hundredths of an acre, or (c) 10 per

cent of the cropland in the farm, provided that no 1956 burley tobacco allotment of seventy-

hundredths of an acre or less shall be reduced more than one-tenth of an acre, and no 1956

burley tobacco allotment of eight-tenths., of an acre or more will be reduced to less than six-

tenths of an acre."

"1Commodity Stabilization Service, U.S.D.A., Tobacco Marketing Quota Regulations,
1957-58 Marketing Year, Section 725.817








19


TABLE 11

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SUGGESTION
TO INCREASE ALLOTTED ACRES AND REUCE THE SUPPORT PRICE?'
BY COUNTY, 176 rLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS,
FLORIDA, 1957


Respo,'-"5e
County .espo. ..e Total
Favorahbe Unifaverable Don' t Know Not Ascertained

Number of Producers

Alachua 1 22 1 1 25

Baker 1 2 .. .* 3

Columbia 4 11 2 2 19

Gilchrist .. 5 .. .. 5

Hamilton 5 24 1 .. 30

Lafayette 2 12 1 .. 15

Madison 1 19 2 22

Suwannee 5 42 .. 2 49

Union 1 6 1 .. 8

Total 20 143 6 7 176



About 85 per cent of those tobacco farmers interviewed favored the establishment of a

minimum size allotment for flue-cured tobacco (Table 12). However, the farmer's concept

of what the minimum size should be was usually about three acres or the capacity of one barn.

This is somewhat in excess of the 1957 average size allotment (2.22 acres) in the state.












TABLE 12

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF
HAVING A MINiMUM SIZE ALLOTMENT BELOW WHICH A FARMER
WOULD NOT BE REDUCED?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED
TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response Total
County M Total
Favorable Unfavorable Don' Know Not Ascertained

Number of Produce:s

Alachua 20 3 .. 2 25
Baker 3 .. .. 3
Columbia 17 1 1 .. 19
Gilchrist 4 .. 1 .. 5
Hamsnton 25 5 .. ** 30
Lafayette 9 4 2 .. 15
Madison 19 2 1 .. 22
Suwannee 45 3 *. 1 49
Union 7 1 .. 8

Total 149 19 5 3 176



Since the establishment of a minimum acreage size would benefit small producers more

than large producers, a different response to the question of minimum size allotments might be

expected between producers with different size production units. However, no sigr.ifcant

difference in response to this question was noted between proJ!ucers with different sI~; hcr"ertesd

acres. This may stem from the fact that many of the producers, who have been classified as

relatively large producers in this study, think of themselves as sma! producers; hence, are

sympathetic to the idea of minimum size allotments.










Poundage Allotments

Prior to 1939, the tobacco program limited the number of pounds of tobacco a producer

could market from a given number of acres. In 1939 Congress changed marketing quotas for

individual farms to the actual production from the allotted acreage. Following this, the

coniri program did not inhibit producers from increasing inputs and expanding outputs by

more intense production on a given number of acres. As a result of this and other technological

advances, the average yield per acre for flue-cured tobacco in the United States and in Florida

has continuously increased. The average yield for all flue-cured in the United States was

922 pounds per acre in 1939 and 1,481 pounds per acre in 1957.

Nearly 74 per cent of those flue-cured producers interviewed reacted unfavorably to

the proposal to establish poundage or marketing quotas rather than acreage controls (Table 13).

Many of the objections to poundage controls or marketing quotas took the form of

doubts about the fairness of establishing new poundage bases. Many producers felt this type

of control would tend to maintain the status quo to a greater extent than the present acreage

control; moreover, it would inhibit the adoption of new, more efficient production methods

among those.producers whose base was set relatively low. Several farmers said poundage

control might be acceptable if the producers were allowed a two or three-year grace period

during which time they would be permitted to even out good and bad crop years.


Sliding Scale Allotment Adjustments

As an alternative to the idea of minimum size allotments, tobacco producers were asked

what they thought of the idea of a sliding scale of adjustment percentages whereby the allot-

ment acreage of the small producer would be cut a smaller percentage than would the large

producer. This plan would, of course, have much the same effect on the small producer as











would minimum size allotments; however, the burden of acreage reduction would fall more

heavily on large producers as opposed to the average or medium size groups.


TABLE 13

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SUGGESTION
TO CONTROL THE NUMBER OF POUNDS SOLD RATH-ERP THAN THE ACRES
PRODUCED?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response
County Respons. Total
Favorable Unfavora-e Don't Know Not Ascertained

Number of Producers

Alachua 5 18 1 1 25
Ba1er 3 ... .. 3
Columbia 4 14 .1 19
Gilchrist .. 3 1 1 5
Hamilton 5 25 .. 30
Lafayette 3 11 o. 1 15
Madison 4 15 2 1 22
Suwannee 10 38 1 ,, 49
Union 2 6 .. 8

Total 36 130 5 5 176



Nearly 61 per cent of those producers interviewed favored the idea of a sliding scale

of acreage reductions. This is about 24 per cent less than the number who favored a minimum

size allotment for flue-cured tobacco. Port of this difference is probably explained by the

simplicity of the minimum size allotment idea as compared to the idea of a sliding scale of

acreage adjustments.








23

When only those producers who gave a definite response to this question are considered,

a significant difference in response wcs noted between producers with different size harvested

acres (Table 14). There appears to be a tendency for small producers to favor a sliding scale

of acreage reduction while large producers tend to be opposed to the idea.


TABLE 14

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDF.A OF A
SLIDING SCALE OF ACREAGE CUTS WHEREBY THE SMALL PRODUCER
WOULD BE CUT A SMALLER PERCENTAGE THAN THE LARGE
PRODUCER?" BY NUMBER OF HARVESTED ACRES, 166
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Harvested Acres
Response Total
0- 1.60- 3.10- 4.60- 6.10- 7.60- 9.10-
1.59 3.09 4.59 6.09 7.59 9.09 15.09

Number of Producers

Favorable 18 22 18 7 12 15 15 107

Unfavorable 3 6 8 13 11 8 10 59

Total 21 28 26 20 23 23 25 166


X2 = 16.13, significant at the 95 per cent level.


Allotment Rentals and Transfers

Regulations concerning the renting and moving of tobacco allotments between farms

provide that all of the rented farm must be included in the rotation system of the combined

units. The degree of adherence to this provision depends almost entirely upon the integrity

of the renter and the alertness of the county committee. In order to determine if farmers











considered the present system of renting adequate, they were asked what they thought of

allowing farmers to rent and move allotments from one form to another. Slightly more than

66 per cent of those producers interviewed said they favored provisions for renting and moving

allotments (Table 15). There were eleven producers, out of the 117 favoring the rental pro-

vision, who qualified their answers in terms of the requirement to cultivate at least part of

the rental farm. Of the eleven producers giving qualified answers, five said that the renter

should be required to cultivate the remainder of the farm, and six said that he should not be

required to cultivate any of the rented farm.

While this evidence is by no means conclusive, it does indicate there is some feeling

among tobacco producers concerning the desirability of renting tobacco allotments without

renting the entire farm, or perhaps, even creating a market for the purchase and sale of

tobacco allotments alone. In a recent study of tobacco underplantings in North Carolina, the
12
possibility of creating a market for the purchase and sale of tobacco allotments is discussed.1

In this study it is pointed out that many farmers, who find alternative enterprises more profitable,

plant their full tobacco allotment one year out of two or three in order to retain the tobacco

allotment and hence maintain the added value of their farm accruing from the allotment. A

market for tobacco allotments, freed from land transactions, would reflect the capitalized

value of a "right" to produce not directly related to land values. Separation of allotments from

land would allow a more fluid adjustment in acreages of those producers who found additional

tobacco production more profitable.


12 E. Bishop, W. R. Henry, and A. L. Finker, Underplanting Tobacco Allotments,
Factors Affecting Tobacco Planting Decisions in Forsyth County and the Northern Piedmont,
A. E. Information Series No. 42, Department of Agricultural Economics, North Carolina State
College, March 1955, p. 30.










TABLE 15

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF
ALLOWING FARMERS TO RENT AND MOVE ALLOTMENTS FROM ONE
FARM TO ANOTHER?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response
County Response Total
Favorable Unfavorable Don' t Know Not Ascertained

Number of Producers

Alachua 17 8 .. .. 25
Baker 3 .. .. .. 3
Columbia 14 3 1 1 19
Gilchrist 3 2 ., .. 5
Hamilton 21 9 .. .. 30
Lafayette 6 9 .. .. 15
Madison 12 10 .. .. 22
Suwannee 37 11 1 .. 49
Union 4 4 .. .. 8

Total 117 56 2 1 176



Familiarity with and Participation in the Program


Producer Familiarity with Committeemen

A farmer' s familiarity with members of the County Agricultural Stabilization and

Conservation Committee, seemingly, would give a crude indication of whether he is keeping

posted on current developments in the administration of the program in his county.

Over 45 per cent of those producers interviewed were unable to name one county

committeeman in their county.13 There was a significant difference in response to this question


13Credit was given if they named either the present committeeman or the immediate
past committeeman.










TABLE 15

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF
ALLOWING FARMERS TO RENT AND MOVE ALLOTMENTS FROM ONE
FARM TO ANOTHER?" BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response
County Response Total
Favorable Unfavorable Don' t Know Not Ascertained

Number of Producers

Alachua 17 8 .. .. 25
Baker 3 .. .. .. 3
Columbia 14 3 1 1 19
Gilchrist 3 2 ., .. 5
Hamilton 21 9 .. .. 30
Lafayette 6 9 .. .. 15
Madison 12 10 .. .. 22
Suwannee 37 11 1 .. 49
Union 4 4 .. .. 8

Total 117 56 2 1 176



Familiarity with and Participation in the Program


Producer Familiarity with Committeemen

A farmer' s familiarity with members of the County Agricultural Stabilization and

Conservation Committee, seemingly, would give a crude indication of whether he is keeping

posted on current developments in the administration of the program in his county.

Over 45 per cent of those producers interviewed were unable to name one county

committeeman in their county.13 There was a significant difference in response to this question


13Credit was given if they named either the present committeeman or the immediate
past committeeman.










between white and nonwhite producers (Table 16).

producers, as compared to 41 per cent of the white

county committeeman.


Slightly over 76 per cent of the nonwhite

producers, were unable to name one


TABLE 16

NUMBER OF COUNTY COMMITTEEMEN KNOWN, BY COLOR OF OPERATOR,
176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Number of Committeemen Known
Color of Operator Total
0 1 2 3

Number of Producers

White 64 44 27 20 155

Nonwhite 16 4 1 .. 21

Total 80 48 28 20 176


X2 = 10.12, significant at the 99 per cent level.


At least part of the voting apathy among flue-cured tobacco producers may arise from

the method used to elect county committeemen. In counties which are comprised of more than

one community, farmers do not vote directly for the county -committeemen, but instead, vote on

a slate of community committeemen who in turn nominate and elect the county committeemen

at a county caucus. In a single community county the voting is direct; i.e., farmers vote on

a slate of candidates and three receiving the highest number of votes become the county

committeemen, In the nine sample counties, there were four multiple and five single community

counties. A significant difference was found in the number of committeemen known between











the single community counties and the multiple community counties (Table 17). The percen-

tage of producers who knew one, two, or three of the county committeemen tended to be

higher in the single community counties than in the multiple community counties.. However,

some of the difference shown in Table 17 may be attributed to the fact that single community

counties are usually small counties in which the probability of knowing any of the county

committeemen is greater than it would be in a large county.

TABLE 17

NUMBER OF COUNTY COMMITTEEMEN KNOWN BY TYPE OF COUNTY
AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION COMMUNITY
ORGANIZATION, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Number of County Committeemen Known
Type Total
0 1 2 3

Number of Producers

Single 10 22 17 12 61

Multiple 70 26 11 8 115

Total 80 48 28 20 176


X2 = 34.07, significant at the 99 per cent level.

"Baker, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, and Union Counties.

bAlachua, Columbia, Madison, and Suwannee Counties.










Producer Participation in Elections

Participation in the program referendums every three years appears to be greater than

participation in the yearly election of county committeemen. Over 75 per cent of those

producers interviewed said they had voted in the last program referendum, while 55 per cent

sadc they had voted in the last election of county committeemen (Tables 18 and 19).


TABLE 18

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "DiD YOU VOTE !N THIS YEAR'S ELECTION
FOR COMMUNITY COMMITTEEMEN?" BY COLOR OF OPERATOR, 175
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Response Color of Operator Total
White Nonwhite

Number of Producers
Yes 90 7 97
No 64 14 78
Total 154 21 175

X2 = 4.72, significant at the 95 per cent level.


In response to both the question concerning voting for committeemen and voting in the

referendum, there was a significant difference between white and nonwhite producers (Tables

18 and 19). In both cases the participation by white producers was greater than by nonwhite

producers.

Management ability appeared to be quite closely associated with election participation

(Table 20). In general, those producers with high levels of management were more prone to

participate in referendum voting.










TABLE 19


RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "DID YOU VOTE IN THE LAST PROGRAM
REFERENDUM (1955)?" BY COLOR OF OPERATOR, 176 FLUE-CURED
TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Color of Operator Total
Response a
White Nonwhite

Number of Producers

Yes 125 8 133

No 30 13 43

Total 155 21 176


X2 = 18.14, significant at the 99 per cent level.


TABLE 20

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "DID YOU VOTE IN THE LAST PROGRAM
REFERENDUM (1955)?'BY LEVEL OF MANAGEMENT ABILITY, 175
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS, FLORIDA, 1957


Level of Management_
Response Total
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Number of Producers

Yes .. 1 2 3 8 13 31 31 43 132

No 1 2 4 2 9 6 8 7 4 43

Total 1 3 6 5 17 19 39 38 47 175


X2 = 27.99, significant at the 99 per cent level.










Producer Understanding of Program Objectives

Do farmers really understand the underlying objectives of the acreage control and price

support programs? When the answers to several questions are considered together, it appears

that, even though they seemingly act contrary to the object ives of the program, tobacco

farmers have a reasonably accurate idea of what the program is attempting to accomplish.

Despite the fact that flue-cured tobacco acreage has been nearly halved since 1947,

89 per cent of those producers interviewed were not in favor of abolishing the control and

price support program (Table 9). Apparently, for most producers, the reduction in acreage

has been more than offset by increased net returns from tobacco. If farmers were receiving

less net return for their tobacco than they did before these reductions, it is not, likely that

they would be so heavily in favor of retaining the control program. Assuming the sample is

representative of all tobacco producers in the nine county sample, it appears that if all pro-

ducers voted in the program referendum, the control program would be retained but not by the

95 per cent or greater margin which has been the case since 1947.

When asked if they thought the price of tobacco would be as high as it was in 1957 if

all farmers were allowed to grow as much tobacco as they wanted, 94 per -cent of those pro-

ducers responding gave a negative reply (Table 21). This indicates that tobacco farmers have

a fair idea of how prices are maintained at the present relatively high level.

Farmers' understanding of the inverse relationship between production and price is

partially demonstrated in the response to the question of what they thought of the idea of

increasing allotted acres and reducing the support price. Although this question did not make

specific reference to the inverse relationship between quantity and price, it does :seem.

noteworthy that not one respondent questioned the implied relationship.






31


TABLE 21

RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, "DO YOU THINK THE PRICE OF TOBACCO
WOULD BE AS HIGH AS IT WAS THIS 'YEAR IF EVERY FARMER W;-RE
ALLOWED TO GROW AS MUCH TOBACCO AS HE WANTED TO?"
BY COUNTY, 176 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCERS,
FLORIDA, 1957


Response
County Response Total
Yes No Don't Know

Number of Producers

A!ochua .. 24 1 25
Baker .. 3 .. 3
Columbia .. 19 .. 19
Gilchrist .. 5 5
Hamilton 4 25 1 30
Lofayette 1 14 .. 15
Madison 1 20 1 22
Suwannee .. 48 1 49
Union .. 8 .. 8

Total 6 166 4 176



Evidently, tobacco producers are able to distinguish the difference between the nature

of their individual economic interests and the common interest they share with all members of

the industry. This conclusion follows from the notable difference in the answers given to two

questions concerning the desirability of increasing tobacco acreage. In response to the ques-

tion of whether the farmer would individually like to have more acreage, 94 per cent of the

producers interviewed gave affirmative answers. On the other hand, 81 per cent were opposed

to increasing tobacco acreage for all producers and reducing the support price.











Summary


This report deals with the opinions of flue-cured tobacco producers in Florida regarding

aspects of the tobacco control program. Since tobacco production in Florida represents only a

relatively small part of the total flue-cured tobacco production, no claim is made that these

opinions are representative of members of the entire flue-cured industry. However, it is felt

that they do reflect the views of the majority of tobacco producers in Florida.

Tobacco producers have considerable unused resources which are in part the result of

acreage reductions. Unused physical resources were given as the principle reason for desiring

more tobacco acreage. Unused capital facilities are more evident than unused labor.

Most producers feel the program is being administered by local committees with an

acceptable degree of fairness. There is some resentment toward absentee allotment owners

but this does not appear to be a vital issue with tobacco farmers.

There appears to be no clear-cut thinking among tobacco farmers concerning how the

present program could be improved even though the majority think there is room for improvement.

Most producers favor the establishment of a minimum size allotment and are almost equally in

favor of a sliding scale of percentage adjustments to favor small producers. On the other hand

they are strongly opposed to establishing poundage or marketing quotas. Two-thirds of the

farmers interviewed favored the present provision for renting and moving allotments from one

farm to another, although there was evidence of some disagreement on whether the entire farm

should be rented and cultivated.

White tobacco farmers tend to participate more in program elections and are more

familiar with county committeemen than are nonwhite producers.






33


Producers like the prices they receive for their tobacco and appear willing to accept

reasonable acreage reductions to maintain relatively high prices. Tobacco producers are

opposed to the idea of increasing the acreage of all producers and at the same time reducing

the support price, while as individuals most of them would like to have more acres. As a group,

tobacco producers generally understand the mechanics of price determination and are in agree-

ment that removal of production controls would result in increased production and lower

tobacco prices.










Acknowledgments


The author is indebted to numerous persons who contributed materially to the comple-

tion oF this publication. Those singled out for special recognition are: Dr. Clyde Murphree

end Mr. Floyd Williams for their guidance and counsel during the early phase of the study;

Mr. O. P. McArthur, State Administrative Officer, Florida Agricultural Stabilization and

Conservation Committee, for reviewing the manuscript and making state and county records

available; and Mrs. Minnie Carr, of the State Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation

Office, for her patient understanding and help in gathering the secondary data used in the study.

Special thanks go to Mr. Levi A. Powell, Sr., for his wise counsel and critical review

of the final manuscript.

Finally, the cooperation of the flue-cured tobacco producers from whom this information

was obtained is gratefully acknowledged.




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