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From the Archives: The Agricultural Adjustment Act

By Noelle Pope, summer intern

The below document, sent to Walter Brown in 1933, details one of the programs designed to aid farmers during the Great Depression, the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This Act was designed to raise agricultural prices by reducing crop surpluses. Fewer crops meant that agricultural prices would rise, which provided farmers with more income. The Agricultural Adjustment Act also paid subsidies to farmers for cutting back on crop production. The economic conditions of farmers improved greatly because of this act and they earned more when they sold their produce.


United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Adjustment Administration

Washington, D. C.

November 16, 1933.

“Dear Sir:

I am glad to have this opportunity to tell you of our plans to

increase further the income from flue-cured tobacco in 1934 and 1935.

You, and over ninety thousand other flue-cured tobacco growers, signed

a preliminary contract to reduce tobacco acreage and production in 1934

and 1935. This was a splendid record and was very encouraging. The

advance in the price of flue-cured tobacco after the markets opened on

September 25 was almost entirely due to the signing of the preliminary

Agreement. The agreement on your part to reduce the crop next year was

our most effective argument in negotiating the marketing agreement with

The domestic buyers.

The formal contract will be ready for your signature within a few

days. Your county agent will notify you as to the time and place for

signing this contract. When you have executed this contract, in accord-

ance with your previously signed agreement, you will qualify for cash

payment under the terms and provisions thereof. If you did not sign a

preliminary agreement, you may still execute the formal contract by

calling at your county agent’s office, and qualify for cash payments.

You will be interested in the provisions of the contract. Under it

you will receive as a first payment seventeen dollars and fifty cents

per acre for the tobacco land taken out of production and a second payment

based on the sales value of your 1934 crop. In addition, if you sold

tobacco prior to and including October 7, 1933, you will receive a payment

which is intended to equalize, as nearly as possible, the returns received

for tobacco sold prior to the inauguration of the adjustment program, and

tobacco sold after October 7.

To maintain the price advance that has been secured and to enable

you to get your cash payments quickly, it is essential that you sign your

contract promptly.

It is the policy of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to

offer tobacco growers a production control program under which those who

participate will receive more dollars net than those growers similarly

situated who do not participate, not only this year, but for as long as

the program is continued.


Henry A Wallace

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