Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938

Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938

The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 was legislation in the United States that resulted from the unconstitutionality of previous New Deal farm legislation (Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933) and the success of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act passed in 1937.

During the first session of the 75th United States Congress an extension of the soil conservation plan was given consideration. Through the summer of 1937 hearings of farm leaders were conducted in various states; but the second session adjourned while the farm bill was still in the hands of a conference committee. In his message of January 3, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt emphasized the work of the conference committee and hoped that a "sound, consistent measure" would be adopted. After some debate in Congress the President, on February 16, signed the measure providing "for the conservation of national soil resources." The Soil Conservation Act was to be continued as a permanent farm policy; and to promote the program, national land allotments were to be fixed at a point "to give production sufficient for domestic consumption, for exports, and for reserve supplies." To give farmers an incentive to operate within the allotments, payments were to be made by the Government. In order that "an adequate and balanced flow of agricultural commodities" might be maintained, the statute established an ever-normal granary program through a system of nonrecourse loans [ [ "History of Agricultural Price-Support and Adjustment Programs, 1933-84"] , United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service] . "Four research laboratories are to be established at Peoria, Illinois, in the New Orleans area, in the Philadelphia area, and in the San Francisco area, to study farm needs. And if two thirds of the farmers participating in the program agreed, marketing quotas in tobacco, corn, wheat, cotton, and rice might be fixed by the Secretary of Agriculture. [Laws of Congress, 75th Cong., 3rd Sess., Chap. 30; Congressional Record, 75th Cong., 3rd Sess., Appendix, p. 810.
Pre-1994 hard copies of the Congressional Record may be located through the [| Government Printing Office website] .


*Dictionary of American History edited by James Truslow Adams, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940


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