Effects of the Great War upon Agriculture in the United States and Great Britain

By Benjamin Hibbard H. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
Federal and State Aid in Production and Marketing

PRODUCTION

Since the United States has substantially always been a country of surplus food production, the government has not felt the necessity of using extreme measures in its stimulation. Nevertheless, so far as production is concerned, the government has in an educational way done very much to put agriculture on a solid basis and at the same time stimulate its progress. The value of this work is clearly brought out in the recent events in connection with the efforts to encourage agricultural production during the years of the war. It has been comparatively easy to turn the machinery of the Department of Agriculture to the work of stimulating the amount of farm produce. This is being done even to the extent of encouraging production through exhortation and demonstration, without much regard to soil conservation. War is a time of destruction; of using lavishly the goods at hand with little thought as to whether or not there will be ample supply in the future. The questions requiring immediate attention are of greater consequence than those more remote.

The problems of production and conservation are perhaps equally important in the realization of results for a given year. At least they are both of primary importance. War was declared on April 6, and it became evident to the President and his advisers that food was destined to be needed in much more than ordinary quantities within the year following. Although agricultural operations were well along, so far as plans and planting

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Much information used in writing this chapter is in the form of letters and miscellaneous publications from State Councils of Defense and other public officials.

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