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Marketing Research Report No. 191, August 1957.
Retail costs were originally computed from prices collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, weighted
housefurnishings prepared by the BLS.
was in effect from August 1933 to January 1936. The tax on the
Costs and Elliciency in House Packing Western Head Lettuce, California Agri-
cultural Experiment Station Mimeo Report No. 199, September 1957.
1953-54, Marketing Research Report No. 199, October 1957.
Marketing Research Report No. 205, November 1957.
Preliminary Report, AMS-215, November 1957.
Comparative Costs of Alternative Methods for Performing Specific Operations in
Florida Citrus Packinghouses, cleared for publication by Florida Agricultural
REPORTS ISSUED IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS, JANUARY 1957-FEBRUARY 1958
Power and Labor Costs, Agricultural Marketing, February 1958.
Marketing, February 1958.
OTHER DISSEMINATION OF PRICE SPREAD INFORMATION,
JANUARY 1957-FEBRUARY 1958
look Conference, November 1957.
USDA Television Service Package Program No. 190, Why Marketing Re-
June 13, 1957 (based on Miscellaneous Publication No. 738).
November 28, 1957 (based on Miscellaneous Publication No. 710).
tion No. 712).
lication No. 733).
lication No. 711).
Line PROJECTS COVERED BY APPROPRIATION FOR SPECIAL STUDY OF PRICE SPREADS
AND MARKETING PRACTICES, JANUARY 1, 1957-FEBRUARY 1958
OC 1-13. Flaxseed storage practices related to deterioration, costs, and returns
OC 1-22. Quarterly measurement and analysis of margins, costs, and efficiency
in distributing fluid milk and cream products for 80 selected plants.
in distant cities.
0C 1449. Economic and engineering studies of fruit and vegetable handling,
packing, and packaging.
OC 1–59. Evaluation of economic effects of trading stamps and other promotional
devices. OC 1-61. Development of improved costing procedures for poultry-slaughtering
plants. 00 2–53. Extent and effects of major labor-employment practices on the costs,
adequacy, and structure of agricultural marketing. OC 3-1. Marketing situation and outlook reports. OC 3-2. Development, maintenance, and analysis of farm-to-retail price spreads
and other marketing statistics on entire marketing process. OC 3-14. Providing statistical and economic information relating to the marketing of agricultural products.
PROJECTS INITIATED OC 1-38. Marketing costs and practices for peaches. OC 1-45. Marketing margins for oilseeds and animal fats used in the manufacture
of food products. OC 1-62. Costs of marketing fresh citrus fruits grown in Florida and Texas. OC 1-63. Margins, costs, and trade practices in marketing chicken fryers, eggs,
and turkeys in the San Francisco area. OC 1-64. Buying turkeys from producers on the basis of ready-to-cook weights
and grades. OC 1-65. Effects of keeping and utilizing proper records on the costs and efficiency
of processing and distributing dairy products. OC 1-66. Effect of dating regulations on costs of milk processing and distribution. OC 1-67. Margins, costs, and trade practices in marketing frying chickens, eggs,
and turkeys in the Northeastern States. OC 1-68. Analyzing price spreads, margins, and costs for grain and feed products, OC 1-70. Costs and efficiency in marketing eastern apples. OC 1-71. Costs and efficiency in operating alfalfa dehydrating plants. OC 1-73. Marketing costs and efficiency and the organization of the California
date industry. OC 2-99. Marketing of products of class III milk in the New York milkshed. OC 2–100. Effect of marketing changes upon marketing costs and upon demand
and consumption of poultry meat. Projects completed OC 1-40. Handling practices and marketing costs for Florida sweet corn. OC 1-42. Power and labor utilization in cottonseed oil mills. OC 1-47. Impact of St. Lawrence seaway on costs of marketing agricultural
products, with emphasis on grain and grain products.
INFLUENCE OF PRICE ON VOLUME OF FOODS CONSUMED
Mr. WHITTEN. Dr. Paarlberg, I think it will get us into a real depression if raw material prices continue to go down and down. It is my belief that it has led to depressions in the past. It disturbs me to see the press and many national leaders argue that the thing to do is spend more money on defense contracts. Defense contracts, at best, may be essential to our safety, but the defense dollar never contributed an earned income dollar to the Nation in history. It is a dead weight that we have to carry and it would be so much more sound, in my judgment, to see that the base of our economy, which is the raw material level, got its fair share of the national income dollar.
You and the Secretary constantly insist that by reducing the prices to the farmer you will increase consumption. Now it is my understanding that the lack of food is not what is bothering the United States, that we rather eat too much.
If the people in Florida gave away the citrus on the trees, or the people growing tomatoes in my State, around Crystal Springs, gave them away, or if the fellow producing cotton in my section just gave it to the mills, under our system I honestly wonder whether there would
be any increased consumption at all. It might shift from potatoes and hamburger to steak, but in total quantity of food consumed or in clothes worn, the average fellow would wear one suit a day. If the farmer gave it all away, I doubt if you would increase consumption 3 percent.
And under our system the commission man goes down to Florida and buys citrus and ships it north, and everybody marks it up to the point that they can get by with and still sell it. You might have a sittle drop in the citrus-fruit market the first 2 weeks but, so help me, after that if it were all given away the retail price would be right back at the thing which controls it, and that is buyer resistance.
Now do you still believe that reductions in these prices would increase consumption ?
Mr. PAARLBERG. Putting the whole thing together, in the aggregate, a reduction in price will be accompanied by a much, much smaller increase in consumption of agricultural products.
If you dropped the overall average price of farm products by 10 percent in the short run, the consumption would go up—well, different researchers have come out with different figures. I have heard figures like 1, 2, 3 percent—I don't know exactly what it would be. Now, over time, this figure would become larger as people became adjusted to it, as new markets were developed, export markets would grow.
Mr. WHITTEN. Well now, let's put it this way. Let's don't get export mixed up with this. There has never been any connection between export and support. Insofar as the law is concerned, there has never been any tie between export prices and support levels, has there!
Mr. PAARLBERG. The CCC operations permit exports at competitive prices.
Mr. WHITTEN. Let's take your family, the neighborhood in which you live or anywhere in this country. Now, you may have some lazy people, you may have some indigent people, you may have some elderly people, but is there anybody that doesn't eat about as much now as they would if the prices were different.
Will a change in prices change what you eat?
MI:. PAARLBERG. It will change what you eat. Given more time the changes will be larger.
Here is what would happen. They would consume more of highly palatable and highly nutritious foods like beef, livestock products in general. These products take a lot more in the way of human labor and land to produce a man's food supply than do some of the other products.
So that if the overall level of prices was dropped, as you indicated, and some time went on to permit the adjustments, we would consume, I think, pretty near the same amount of calories. We would consume more proteins, we would consume more meat and milk and eggs. We would consume more
Mr. WHITTEN. You are talking about changes now. Mr. PAARLBERG. We would consume more fruits and vegetables. We would consume probably less of wheat, potatoes, and similar foods.