Reconversion of Agriculture

November 11, 1944

Report Outline
Looming Problem of Postwar Surpluses
Farm Surplus Problem After World War I
New Deal Crop Control-Surplus Disposal Programs
Postwar Readjustment of Farm Production

Looming Problem of Postwar Surpluses

Expansion of Agriculture's Capacity to Produce

Problems of readjustment in agriculture are likely to prove as difficult of solution as the twin problems of reconverting industry to peacetime production and providing full employment for American labor after the war. The productive capacity of American farms has been increased during the war by approximately 40 per cent. A smaller expansion during World War I upset the agricultural-industrial balance and plagued the country with continuous surpluses of agricultural products for almost two decades.

Restoration of controls developed during the 1930's will provide an answer to some of the problems of readjustment in agriculture, but it is generally agreed that the only overall solution to the dominating problem of agricultural surpluses is to be found in a huge postwar expansion of effective demand for foods and fibers both at home and abroad.

Surplus Food Stocks When War Ends in Europe

Possibilities of immediate surpluses when the war ends in Europe already exist in the stored food supplies of the armed forces and the War Food Administration, War Mobilization Director Byrnes reported to the President, Sept. 7, 1944, that six million tons of food other than wheat will be available from United States, British and W. F. A. supplies to meet the immediate postwar needs of the armed services and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. “It seems, therefore,” the report added, “that European requirements will be met without very large drafts on United States production.” The W. F. A. is following a policy of buying no more food than is actually necessary to meet foreseeable demands, but it keeps a working balance of some two million tons of foodstuffs.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World War II Demobilization
Nov. 18, 1950  Conservation of War Materials
Jan. 04, 1946  Future of Light Metals
Jul. 21, 1945  Aid to Displaced War Workers
Dec. 06, 1944  War Veterans and Employment
Nov. 11, 1944  Reconversion of Agriculture
Jul. 28, 1944  Priorities in Demobilization
May 16, 1944  Termination of War Contracts
Jan. 17, 1944  Lend-Lease Settlements
Nov. 30, 1943  Disposal of Surplus War Materials
Nov. 11, 1943  Military Government of Occupied Territory
Oct. 22, 1943  Government War Plants
Sep. 27, 1943  Termination of War Controls
Aug. 21, 1943  Demobilization
Farm Loans, Insurance, and Subsidies
Farm Produce and Commodities