United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 19, 2020

§ 608.
Powers of Secretary
(1)
Investigations; proclamation of findings
Whenever the Secretary of Agriculture has reason to believe that:
(a)
The current average farm price for any basic agricultural commodity is less than the fair exchange value thereof, or the average farm price of such commodity is likely to be less than the fair exchange value thereof for the period in which the production of such commodity during the current or next succeeding marketing year is normally marketed, and
(b)
The conditions of and factors relating to the production, marketing, and consumption of such commodity are such that the exercise of any one or more of the powers conferred upon the Secretary under subsections (2) and (3) of this section would tend to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter,
he shall cause an immediate investigation to be made to determine such facts. If, upon the basis of such investigation, the Secretary finds the existence of such facts, he shall proclaim such determination and shall exercise such one or more of the powers conferred upon him under subsections (2) and (3) of this section as he finds, upon the basis of an investigation, administratively practicable and best calculated to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter.
(2)
Agreements for adjustment of acreage or production and for rental or benefit payments
Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall provide, through agreements with producers or by other voluntary methods,
(a)
For such adjustment in the acreage or in the production for market, or both, of any basic agricultural commodity, as he finds, upon the basis of the investigation made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter, and to make such adjustment program practicable to operate and administer, and
(b)
For rental or benefit payments in connection with such agreements or methods in such amounts as he finds, upon the basis of such investigation, to be fair and reasonable and best calculated to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter, and to make such program practicable to operate and administer, to be paid out of any moneys available for such payments or, subject to the consent of the producer, to be made in quantities of one or more basic agricultural commodities acquired by the Secretary pursuant to this chapter.
(3)
Payments by Secretary
Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall make payments, out of any moneys available for such payments, in such amounts as he finds, upon the basis of the investigation made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, to be fair and reasonable and best calculated to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter:
(a)
To remove from the normal channels of trade and commerce quantities of any basic agricultural commodity or product thereof;
(b)
To expand domestic or foreign markets for any basic agricultural commodity or product thereof;
(c)
In connection with the production of that part of any basic agricultural commodity which is required for domestic consumption.
(4)
Additional investigation; suspension of exercise of powers
Whenever, during a period during which any of the powers conferred in subsection (2) or (3) is being exercised, the Secretary of Agriculture has reason to believe that, with respect to any basic agricultural commodity:
(a)
The current average farm price for such commodity is not less than the fair exchange value thereof, and the average farm price for such commodity is not likely to be less than the fair exchange value thereof for the period in which the production of such commodity during the current or next succeeding marketing year is normally marketed, or
(b)
The conditions of and factors relating to the production, marketing, and consumption of such commodity are such that none of the powers conferred in subsections (2) and (3), and no combination of such powers, would, if exercised, tend to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter,
he shall cause an immediate investigation to be made to determine such facts. If, upon the basis of such investigation, the Secretary finds the existence of such facts, he shall proclaim such determination, and shall not exercise any of such powers with respect to such commodity after the end of the marketing year current at the time when such proclamation is made and prior to a new proclamation under subsection (1) of this section, except insofar as the exercise of such power is necessary to carry out obligations of the Secretary assumed, prior to the date of such proclamation made pursuant to this subsection, in connection with the exercise of any of the powers conferred upon him under subsections (2) or (3) of this section.
(5)
Hearings; notice

In the course of any investigation required to be made under subsection (1) or (4) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall hold one or more hearings, and give due notice and opportunity for interested parties to be heard.

(6)
Commodity in which payment made

No payment under this chapter made in an agricultural commodity acquired by the Secretary in pursuance of this chapter shall be made in a commodity other than that in respect of which the payment is being made. For the purposes of this subsection, hogs and field corn may be considered as one commodity.

(7)
Additional payments to producers of sugar beets or sugarcane

In the case of sugar beets or sugarcane, in the event that it shall be established to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Agriculture that returns to growers or producers, under the contracts for the 1933–1934 crop of sugar beets or sugarcane, entered into by and between the processors and producers and/or growers thereof, were reduced by reason of the payment of the processing tax, and/or the corresponding floor stocks tax, on sugar beets or sugarcane, in addition to the foregoing rental or benefit payments, the Secretary of Agriculture shall make such payments, representing in whole or in part such tax, as the Secretary deems fair and reasonable, to producers who agree, or have agreed, to participate in the program for reduction in the acreage or reduction in the production for market, or both, of sugar beets or sugarcane.

(8)
Pledge by rice producer for production credit of right to rental or benefit payments

In the case of rice, the Secretary of Agriculture, in exercising the power conferred upon him by subsection (2) of this section to provide for rental or benefit payments, is directed to provide in any agreement entered into by him with any rice producer pursuant to such subsection, upon such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines will best effectuate the declared policy of this chapter, that the producer may pledge for production credit in whole or in part his right to any rental or benefit payments under the terms of such agreement and that such producer may designate therein a payee to receive such rental or benefit payments.

(9)
Advances of payments on stored nonperishable commodity

Under regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture requiring adequate facilities for the storage of any nonperishable agricultural commodity on the farm, inspection and measurement of any such commodity so stored, and the locking and sealing thereof, and such other regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture for the protection of such commodity and for the marketing thereof, a reasonable percentage of any benefit payment may be advanced on any such commodity so stored. In any such case such deduction may be made from the amount of the benefit payment as the Secretary of Agriculture determines will reasonably compensate for the cost of inspection and sealing but no deduction may be made for interest.

(May 12, 1933, ch. 25, title I, § 8, 48 Stat. 34; Apr. 7, 1934, ch. 103, § 7, 48 Stat. 528; May 9, 1934, ch. 263, § 14, 48 Stat. 676; Mar. 18, 1935, ch. 32, § 7, 49 Stat. 46; Aug. 24, 1935, ch. 641, §§ 2, 4–7, 49 Stat. 751, 753–762.)
cite as: 7 USC 608