The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas on September 12, 1971 · Page 46
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The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas · Page 46

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Hutchinson, Kansas
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Sunday, September 12, 1971
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Page 46
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Total 1971 Crop Production in U.S. May Set Record Page 8 The Hutchinson News Sunday, September 12, 1971 By DON KENDALL AP Farm Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - A call by the Nixon administration for greater productivity to help solve the nation's economic problems comes at a time when U.S. agriculture's vaunted productive efficiency is losing momentum. Agricultural productivity in the United States, measured by output in relation to labor and capial required, rose remarkably between 1940 and 1960 as new methods, improved seed, fertilizer, pesticides and mechanical devices took hold. A decade ago, according to Agriculture Department data, farm productivity was 50 per cent higher than in 1940. But in the 1960s the productivity index dipped and surged again repeatedly as costs of production or inputs increased. At the end of the decade the index was only slightly higher than in 1950. Rose 3 Per Cent Two Economic Research Service specialists, Donald D. Durost and L. Don Lambert, say productivity in the decade of the '60s rose only 3 per cent, versus 26 per cent in 1950-60 and 18 per cent in 1940-50. Their report, included in the current issue of the ERS publication, "Farm Index," points out also that actual farm production — the total output of farm crops livestock and other products — rose more than 13 per cent in the 1960s. There is no danger, the report says, of U.S. farmers losing their capacity to produce, in large part because much land still remains idle under government production-control programs. Last year, some 50 million acres were idled. In 1971, however, • more flexible policies have returned millions of acres to crop production. In fact, the USDA says, farmers expect to harvest about 303 million acres this year, 13 million more than in 1970 and the most since 1960. Total crop output is expected to set a new record. Costs Also Increase But total production is far from the whole story. The costs or production in terms of land, labor and money also have risen, thus meaning smaller gains in productivity. Durost and Lambert say no one can be sure whether this trend is temporary or permanent. "Generally," they report, "technological developments spark productivity increases. Major ones-like the transition from horses to tractors, and from open-pollenated to hybrid corn—have repercussions lasting for decades." But in the decade of the '60s there was no major scientific breakthrough for U.S. agriculture, despite a steady over-all improvement in farming methods. The agriculture community has pointed with justifiable pride to the technological ad- 1 vances and improved efficiency of the past. President Nixon, after announcing his new economic policies, said in Illinois recently: "No other segment of America's economy can match the rise in productivity of America agriculture during recent years. I am confident that American farmers and American agriculture will continue their remarkable performance in the months and years ahead." The ERS economists are not so confident in their report, saying: "As the size of a farm operation increases, at first the costs per unit of output go down. At some point, the least- cost level of production is reached. . . "Obviously, it takes a bigger field or a bigger hen house to efficiently use modern equipment." Thus, in the process of growth since World War II many farms kept on expanding beyond that point of least-cost production, they say. "By producing more units they were able to mate a lower profit per unit or production and still have a larger total income," the report says. "These farms tended to hold down the average increase in the productivity index of all farms." Can productivity increases begin rising sharply again? Durost and Lambert speculate only mildly: "Even though many farms have achieved maximum economics of scale with present technology, the point of least- cost production could shift again with technological breakthroughs." Cover More Miles In Shorter Time CHICAGO (AP) — Family vacationers traveling by automobile this summer will do about 57 per cent of their driving on the interstate highway system and then will cover more miles in less time than it took 10 years ago. Comparing driving time maps in two Road Atlas editions of Rand McNally annuals shows that driving time from Chicago to San Francisco has been cut by 15 hours. Rose Bowl Tour The News' Rose Bowl tour at the end of this year promises to be popular. Almost a score of persons have reserved space on the tour so far — and the-first announcement was made only a week ago. The brochure shows more fringe benefits and more attractions than any previous Rose Bowl tour. The tour departs Dec. 27 and heads southwest. The big day will be Jan. 1 with the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena and the collegiate football game. The big day starts with breakfast at about 5 a.m. Then buses carry the travelers — and there are hundreds of them — to the grandstand along the parade route. After the parade the buses take the travelers to the stadium with box lunches provided. Buses are waiting after the game to return the travelers to downtown Los Angeles. One of the features of the Rose Bowl will be the appearance of Lawrence Welk at the head of the parade. The News tourists will also be guests at the Welk Palladium show the night before. Prospective t r a v e 1 e rs are urged to send in their $50 for each reservation to the News' Travel Editor. The Travel Editor also will send brochures upon application. Pool Art Used for Earning Expenses DETROIT, Mich. (AP) Chuck Olewnik and his friend Jerry Snyder have invented a novel way to earn money to pay for their college expenses. They paint pictures on pool bottoms A local landscaping company let them paint on the bottom of a pool being exhibited in a local shopping mall to test the popu larity of the idea. "The response was amazing," a company official said. An astrologist stopped to ask if they would be willing to paint the signs of the zodiac. Several other people inquired about family crests or the possibility of having their initials painted on the bottom. A special rubber-based paint is used to withstand the chemicals used in othe water. Two coats are aplied. It takes about two days for the paint to dry thoroughly enough for the pool to be filled and used again. .7 Worried about a career or even a Better Job? ?????? 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