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JA July 6,1975 U.S. Agriculture Nearing Another Abundant Cycle (Q ATetr Vorlt Tim*. Strew* CHICAGO - With a record wheat crop already in sight and prospects excellent for huge corn and soybean crops this fall, American agriculture appears headed for another cycle of abundance. Although this will not approach the stultifying surpluses farmers lived with prior to the massive grain sales to the Soviet Union in 1972, a return to bumper grain production this year should have several effects in the coming months, some good and some bad, depending on where you stand. For consumers, weary of three years of rising food costs, here is the hope that supermarket prices will at least level off and some may even decline eventually. But for grain farmers, it will mean the end to three golden years of the highest prices they have ever received. In the futures markets, traders in farm commodities can also expect an end to the wild lurchings of the past three years, and the leveling off of prices. Some of this has already begun. And the army of merchants and supply farmers with their fertilizer, machinery, food, clothing, automobiles and luxuries can expect a return to a cautious buyers' market after many heady months in which farmers swept clean the shelves and showrooms. Wheat, feed grains, and soybeans govern the farm economy. When supplies are tight, grain prices rise and livestock and poultry raisers, who must pay these prices, either cut back their production or lose their overalls in the cost squeeze. When grain supplies grow large enough to crowd the elevators, the market has usually slipped. Cattle, hog, and poultry raisers have usually, in turn, put more animals on the feed as prices dropped. Supplies increase, and meat and poultry prices even- tually come down. DESPITE SOME unusually violent weather over the wheat states this month, the harvest is moving northward with many areas reporting bumper yields on the largest winter seeded acreage in the decade. The Agriculture Department is holding to a prediction of a 1.6 billion bushel winter crop, which would be 16 per cent larger than last year's record. In the upper Middle West, farmers have planted another large spring wheat crop which could add 400 million to 500 million bushels to the winter total, giving the United States a record yield of 2 billion bushels or more. This should provide a healthy reserve by next summer. Growing conditions in the corn belt states, after a very wet spring, have been close to ideal. The forecasters are looking for a bin-busting crop of at least 6 billion bushels -- 1.3 billion bushels larger than last year's crop, which was badly damaged by floods in the spring and a drought in late summer. The country's soybean crop has also started well. Indications point to larger yeilds than last year and with more soybeans now on hand than had been expected, the 1975-76 supply should be more than a sixth larger than last year's. But bumper grain and soybean crops will not bring lower meat and poultry prices immediately. Poultry supplies are still declining after a year of losses and the number of hogs being fattened for market has dropped to the lowest levels since World War II. But the number of cattle grazing on ranches and farms remains at a record 133 million head. At the moment, grass on the Western ranges is still in good to excellent condition and many cattle raisers are holding their animals as the market rises. 4 Pot' Once Flourished In State, Author Says HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Iff) - Although many present-day West Virginians may shudder at the thought, the state was once the site of a flourishing marijuana culture, contends a Huntington man. And furthermore, he says, early inhabitants of European areas from whence many West Virginians came also favored the weed. 1 These points are contained in a book entitled "The Marijuana Fanners," written by an ex-patriot West Virginia who has come home to roost. 'He's Jack Frazier, born and raised at Madam's Creek in Summers County and now a resident of Huntington where he spends his days in a cubby-hole called the Alternative Energy Bookstore. In the preface of the book ($2.95, Solar Age Press, St. Petersburg, Fla.), Frazier lists problems caused by today's mechanized, chemical oriented agribusiness. Society can get back in tune with nature, he says, by considering growing crops as hemp and marijuana, outlawed in the United States since 1939. the book begins by tracing hemp's introduction to North American in the pre-Columbia era. Frazier also says North American Indians, including the Mound Builders of the Ohio Valley area, used hemp for many purposes and that the Picts and Celts who inhabited parts of the British Isles did the same. "Ireland and northern England were inhabited in ancient times by two of the earliest hemp smoking cultures, the Celts and Picts," he writes. "Next to North American, more prehistoric pipes have been found in Ireland and Scotland than anywhere in the world. "These small pipes are commonly in England called fairie pipes or Carl's pipes or old man's pipes. In Ireland'they are likewise known as fairy pipes. They are also called Danes pipes in Scotland, where their common name is elf pipes. They are, in like manner, known as Celtic pipes." The Anglo-Saxons eventually descended upon the Celts and Picts -- as Europeans later descended on the North American in- dians -- and imposed their own preferences on those pre-Christian cultures, according to Frazier's book. Frazier also devotes chapters to "The Hemp Weavers," giving illustrations of how many cultures were attracted to hemp culture for the strength, durability and beauty of the cloth that was woven from its fibers. In the chapter, "Cannabis Paper," he maintains that the nation's paper shortage could be alleviated by extensive cultivation of hemp. * * * THE BOOK also goes into detail on the various aspects of growing hemp for the plant's euphoric properties. In a chapter entitled "Conversations With a Hemp Farmer," a farmer is quoted as saying that, while the potent marijuana is generally considered to be that grown in the Mimalayas and more southerly climates, "I've smoked dynamite grass from Pennsylvania and West Virginia." Admittedly, Frazier's book is not for everyone. But for both curious readers and the, hundreds of West Virginians who smoke marijuana, it contains information entertaining or invaluable, depending on the reader's viewpoint, such as the notion that the unfertilized flowers of female plants, supplemented with wood ash and manure, produce the most potent smoke. Frazier says the book is now in its sec- ond printing, with the first edition selling 3,000 copies. However, to his sorrow, the book is not printed on the hemp paper it extols. "I couldn't find any in this country," he said. You've earned your money, now make it pay, with interest earned where you have a good day. Money's never had it so good! And for goodness sakes. "bank" it where you can enjoy doing it. We want to make even a simple matter like opening a savings account downright delightful. (It's our "Good Day "people - that's the secret). On top of that you'll like our interest. THE NATIONAL BANK OF COMMERCE ,ONE COMMERCE SQUARE Â· CHARLESTON. WEST VIRGINIA MEN/SB* FHERAL fjfcKJM'i" rvSUPANCE CCW=CRATCN i Â£K : *ra3 te/r~^ \ \m *-Â± ^ A m Â·ji, 4 I :; Â· ^ , i 1 /.* Â·4 save up to 20%. 50% ON UPHOLSTERY ONLY - ,Â· If a good sale with genuinely spectacular savings on unquestionably fine furniture is your''cup ;of tea", you'll think the "Boston Tea Party" is happening all over again when you see our display floor! 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