« PreviousContinue »
Dr. Kinney, back in 1958—and I have been on this subcommittee for a number of years—we decided that we would build a laboratory in the State of Kentucky and not have the Federal Government build it. The State of Kentucky constructed the laboratory which is now being used for tobacco research.
I doubt that in the 50 states you can point out another state where the state, with its own funds, constructed a laboratory to be used along similar lines.
As you know down through the years, the Federal Government builds laboratories. The State of Kentucky built this laboratory. They put on the ballot an increase in taxes that now produces about $4 million a year for tobacco research in this facility.
In this bill we have had a small amount of crop production research in the last four or five years. As was pointed out a few moments ago, you know the total is about $5 million for all tobacco research.
Now you come in the 1982 fiscal year budget and say we make a slight reduction so far as tobacco research is concerned.
This $5 million is scattered around the United States. A little of it is in Kentucky. A little of it is in North Carolina. Some of it is in Maryland. Some of it is in Pennsylvania.
My contention, Dr. Kinney, has been all through the years that if tobacco is a serious matter concerning the health of our people then we ought to do something about it.
I am Chairman of another subcommittee. In that bill we have the money for the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education and for the Department of Labor.
HEALTH RELATED TOBACCO RESEARCH We have $1.9 billion for the National Cancer Institute. We have $51.9 million for smoking and health. All through the years—and the members of this Committee will tell you this—while serving as Chairman of that subcommittee-I have never asked them to reduce it one penny.
When they come in and ask for an increase, I have recommended it. I have believed all down through the years if this is something that concerns the health of our people, we ought to do something about it.
That is the reason why in that bill I have never made a suggestion for a decrease.
Then I have come in here year after year and all we have asked for is $5 million-a small amount. Last year it was $1.4 million reduction. We had to put it back in the bill.
You gentlemen know this. We even had trouble getting you to spend it. First when the question came up, they asked the budget officer. “We complied with the wishes of the Committee. They put the money back. We are spending that money.”
I checked it and found out that was not true, Dr. Kinney. For several years we have put this small amount back in here. It pertains not only to crop production research, but it pertains to tar and nicotine.
If it is something that affects the health of our people, we ought to do something about it. I asked the last Secretary, Mr. Bergland. Dr. Kinney, regardless of what justification you use, Mr. Bergland responded a couple of years ago to me this way. I said: “Mr. Secretary, why do you do it?" He said: “You know, they are pointing the finger at tobacco." I said: “Certainly they are. That is why we are trying to do something about it."
On the Committee that I am Chairman of, we do not make a penny reduction. It runs into the billions, Dr. Kinney.
In this bill you again make a reduction of, I believe, $1.4 million-$1.2 million. You call it the Carter budget or you call it our new President's budget. Regardless of what you call it, gentlemen, you are making a mistake.
I say to you seriously that you are making a mistake.
I am going to ask the Committee to restore this money. It puts us in a position of increasing one item, cutting another one.
We started this program in 1958_$1.5 million. That is where we started it. I say to you, gentlemen-and I will say it again to you next year.
I have completed 27 years, Dr. Bertrand. I am going to stay here awhile if our people let me come back.
Let me say to you gentlemen that you do a fine job. The first subcommittee I served on was this one. You are making a mistake and it is a serious mistake.
You are doing a fine job in agriculture. You have done a good job all down through the years in agricultural research. I commend all of you. You are dedicated. You are experienced and well-qualified people.
We pay our way as we go. In the tobacco program since it started years ago, it has cost the Federal Government less than $150 million.
Check back sometime, Dr. Bertrand, and see what wheat has cost us. You would not believe it. Corn and the other agricultural commodities.
We have paid our way down through all the years. If this commodity is injurious to the health of our people, we want to do something about it.
We have been fair and honest in Kentucky about this matter. I am serious about it. I hope the Committee goes along and restores this small amount.
Dr. BERTRAND. Mr. Natcher, we understand and certainly appreciate your continued support of our research and education efforts.
Mr. NATCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have been very good to me.
Mr. TRAXLER. You are always very brief, but more importantly, you leave this Committee in absolute awe over your oratorical skills. It is always delightful to hear you. Never was there a more eloquent speaker for his constituency.
Mr. MYERS. Or more persistent, I might add. [Laughter.] Mr. TRAXLER. Is there any coincidence that the tobacco research funds began the year you came on the Committee?
Mr. NATCHER. Strictly coincidence, I think. (Laughter.]
Mr. M-ERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Bertrand, Dr. Kinney, and the rest of your colleagues here, I was sitting here thinking about the Department of Agriculture.
It was formed both by the Executive Branch as well as Congress to serve American farmers to help them produce the food and fiber we need. We do not produce much fiber on farms anymore. I think it might be well to take fiber out. Most of the fibers that people are wearing today, I am sorry to say, are man-made fibers rather than farm-produced fibers.
Nevertheless, the Department of Agriculture was created to assist farmers in being able to supply our basic food needs for our country and now for export.
Through the years I have noticed that the Science and Education Administration in the Department of Agriculture has begun to serve some other master rather than basically helping the farmer.
I think the problems the farmers now have include the need for germplasm and similar basic research in helping farmers to develop seeds and fertilizers and technique to produce more per acre. This is very necessary if we are to meet our bank payments and get enough production to offset the expenses of producing a crop.
There is also pest management and all the other problems that farmers have. Some of the basic problems are insects and other diseases as well as weeds. We talked about that briefly.
What are you doing now to help farmers to reduce the weed population? A couple of us were down in Latin America a couple of weeks ago. We saw the bean crop coming on.
Do they not drill beans? We have row crops almost every place in the United States because we had to get the weeds out of the beans. We just cannot produce enough beans to offset the weeds. The weeds grow faster than the beans.
They are able there somehow to drill very closely so they do not cultivate their soybeans. They do not have the weed population. They use chemicals to reduce that.
Do we have them available to us so we can do that? If so, I would like my farmers to know this.
Dr. BERTRAND. Mr. Myers, we have maintained our research program. In fact, we have increased our research program to meet the needs of the farmer.
The shifts that you are talking about in Science and Education that have occurred over the years are principally in the areas of human nutrition and in a few areas to meet the needs of the action agencies within the Department.
SUPPORT TO ACTION AGENCIES Mr. MYERS. What is this support action requirement, $6,490,000? Dr. BERTRAND. Research to support APHIS. Mr. MYERS. Action agency requirements is APHIS?
Dr. BERTRAND. That is one of them. That is one of the agencies we are referring to in that category of action agency; yes.
APHIS, FSQS-Food Safety and Quality-FNS, and SES all are included." Mr. MYERS. Why do we need all these?
Dr. BERTRAND. We have the responsibility within the Department for doing the research they require.
Mr. MYERS. They do not pay for it?
hogendibility within the Depar
Dr. BERTRAND. No sir, not all of it. Most is in our budget. They communicate their needs to us and we do our best to respond to those needs within our budget.
WEED CONTROL IN SOYBEANS
I would like to call on Dr. Warren Shaw, who I believe is in the room, to answer your question on weeds. Dr. SHAw. We are very proud of our national weed program. We have about 72 of the finest scientists in the country who work with several hundred scientists from the agricultural agencies of the 50 states and the industry. To answer your question about soybeans in the states, we have more than 20 herbicides that are used today for the control of weeds in soybeans. We know the weeds can be controlled more efficiently if we close the rows down from 30 inches down to 18 inches or 20 inches. We know we can control the weeds more effectively if we increase the density of planting in the row. So if we increase the plant population, we reduce tillage and can use selective herbicides, we can do the best job of controlling weeds today of any country in the world. There is no one else who can equal us. I am familiar with soybean weed control. Mr. MYERs. They are getting 55 bushels to 60 bushels per acre down there. We cannot do it. Dr. SHAw. We are doing it, too. Mr. MYERs. Not in my state. Dr. SHAw. Last year some weather was against us, but we can produce 55 bushels of soybeans in some counties in Indiana. I think we do have some 55-bushel yields in Indiana, although the state average if below that.
ROPE WICK APPLICATOR
We have some tremendous new devices. One of them is here today. We call it the rope wick applicator. We discovered this in Mississippi in 1976 and patented it in 1978. There are some 108,000 of those applicators today. We use them on soybeans, on nearly 20 million acres of all crops last year. They control weeds that grow above soybeans. We feel this rope wick applicator— Mr. TRAxleR. Would you hold that up for us? Dr. SHAw. Certainly. [Demonstration given.] Dr. SHAw. This is mounted on the front of a tractor. It is a nylon rope. It can be mounted on the rear of the tractor. It can be adjusted for any height and any weed that passes under it will receive the herbicide. Now if you were broadcasting this, you would use one pound of the herbicide. If you use this, you will use five grams of the herbicide. We saved $100 million last year on 20 million acres of land that were treated with this herbicide. Mr. MYERs. And the herbicide is where? Dr. SHAw. The herbicide is in here. There is no drift, no volatility, and there is no contamination of farm workers. Farm workers
are not exposed to this. There are no residues to hit the soil. There are no vapors released from the rope wick applicator.
Mr. MYERS. What about the soybeans that get caught?
Dr. SHAW. Soybeans do not get caught in the rope wick. You have to have the applicator above the soybeans. There is no drip. So, there-let me show you something else.
If you imagine
Mr. MYERS. You could not do that if you are going to drill unless you get a terribly narrow tractor.
Dr. SHAW. You can go between the rows. These are now shaped like sweeps. They are put on the back and are shaped like a cultivator.
We have other devices here that show how you can handle it. But this gives you a good idea.
Mr. MYERS. I am concerned about what you are doing to help farmers.
Dr. SHAW. Last year by using this device on 20 million acres we saved the farmers of this country $100 million. In addition to that, the yield increases-much of it in soybeans-amounted to $500 million. I want to tell you that this savings is greater than the entire budget that Dr. Bertrand is asking for SEA Agricultural Research.
But the $100 million we saved is greater than all the money ever appropriated by the U.S. Congress for weed research. We saved it in one year.
Mr. MYERS. That is pretty cost-effective. [Laughter.]
Dr. SHAW. Right now we want to make a national commitment to shape this device so we can use insecticides in here. We want to learn how to use fungicides and growth regulators.
This is a very cost-benefit type of approach to delivery of chemicals. You keep them on the weeds or target pests.
Mr. MYERS. Those are the horse weeds and the cockle burrs that grow.
Dr. SHAw. This is a very cost-benefit type of approach to delivery of chemicals. You keep them off the plant and on the weeds.
The herbicide we use is non-selective. It will kill anything that it touches. So we have to keep it above the crop.
We feel there are other opportunities for using this device. We spent $100,000 developing this device. We developed it in two years. We have a patent on it. The Monsanto Chemical Company is spending $500,000 this year to develop a new rope that they designed that is more efficient and also devices that effectively seal the outlets of the boom. They are providing this to 108,000 farmers who have bought the device. They are furnishing it at no cost to them this year in an effort to increase the effectiveness. Mr. WATKINS. Would you yield? Dr. Shaw. Certainly. Mr. WATKINS. Are you able to use this before they go to seed so you will have a lot more effect and next year have fewer weeds?
Dr. SHAW. That is right.
We have beautiful experiments-in Indiana and in Illinois-in which we show if we prevent these weed seeds from being produced and recycled, after three years to six years we can greatly reduce this weed population in the soil.