Brannan Plan

December 7, 1949

Report Outline
Farm Prics and Farmer-Labor Politics
Evolution of Federal Policy on Farm Prices
Brannan Plan for Permanent Farm Policy
Controversy Over Administration Farm Plan
Special Focus

Farm Prics and Farmer-Labor Politics

Efforts to Consolidate Farm-Labor Alliance

The Brannan Plan of farm income support, although rejected by the Democratic Congress in 1949, is being actively promoted by the Truman administration as a principal issue for the 1950 congressional campaign. Administration leaders are convinced that the backing of dirt farmers can be won for the plan despite opposition from the country's largest farm organizations. And they believe that arrangements which promise lower prices for food, without depressing living standards on the farms, will receive strong endorsement from consumers in the cities.

The primary purpose of the Brannan Plan is to stabilize farm income at the high levels attained during and after the war, but this objective has been obscured by controversy over its provisions for dealing with perishable farm commodities. Under these provisions (1) the full crop would be sold by producers for whatever price it would bring in the open market; (2) the government would make up, through direct production payments, any difference between what the farmers received and the level at which the crop was to be supported. Under the present program, government purchases or loans withhold part of the crop from the market when prices of either perishable or non-perishable commodities are being supported.

Candidates in urban areas have always had difficulty in explaining how the interests of city voters are served by a system which requires tax contributions from them to maintain high prices for food. Stories of eggs rotting in storage and newsreels of potatoes being burned to prevent price declines have made city-dwellers more conscious of the inequities of the existing farm program than at any time in the past. But under the Brannan Plan, the housewife is now being told in Democratic party publicity, she would “pay only once-in taxes; not twice-once in taxes and the second time in an artificially high retail price,” to maintain prosperity on the farms.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Farm Policy
Nov. 02, 2018  Organic Farming Boom
May 01, 2012  Farm Subsidies
Dec. 02, 1994  Farm Policy
Aug. 05, 1994  Genetically Engineered Foods
Mar. 25, 1983  Farm Policy's New Course
Oct. 28, 1977  Farm Policy and Food Needs
Apr. 06, 1966  Reversal of Farm Policy
May 02, 1962  Milk Surpluses
Dec. 07, 1949  Brannan Plan
May 01, 1939  Agriculture Under the Trade Agreements
Sep. 20, 1937  Farm Legislation and the Ever-Normal Granary
Nov. 05, 1935  Potato Control Under the A.A.A.
Apr. 25, 1934  Stabilization of the Dairy Industry
Jan. 24, 1930  The Federal Farm Board
Sep. 24, 1928  Wheat Pools in Canada and the United States
Feb. 10, 1927  The McNary-Haugen Bill
Dec. 10, 1924  The President's Agricultural Conference
Farm Loans, Insurance, and Subsidies