The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Soil Bank

Modified: Sunday, 19 October 2014 19:02 by admin - Categorized as: Government Programs
The Soil Bank was a Federal program created in the 1950s with the goal of "retiring" plots of land from use for commercialized agricultural products, whether through direct means (growing grains, corn or cotton) or indirect (pasture land for grazing cattle). Farmers who were willing to stop using land were compensated by the federal government.

The stated purpose of the Soil Bank retirement was to protect land from damaging erosion. An unstated purpose was price controls. By stifling production, it kept prices high.


Speech Relevance

From 'Encroaching Control':
We adopt a program to curb the production of farm surplus and then make it so financially attractive to produce a surplus that today we own enough wheat to bake 25 loaves of bread for every human being alive in the world. In the nearby state of New Mexico, citizens have learned that they can lease state-owned land for 25 cents an acre and immediately apply for and receive $9 an acre in Soil Bank payments to not plant that land. And all of the farm mess involves 20%, one fifth of agriculture.


Source Links

Soil Bank Act (Wikipedia)

Soil Bank: A Winning Bet (Time Magazine, Aug. 13, 1956)

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