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Increase (for market development, agricultural, and forestry research).
The appropriation requested for 1965 is based upon, and would be restricted to, purchase of those foreign currencies which are determined by the Treasury Department to be available in amounts in excess of normal U.S. requirements. For 1965, excess currencies are expected to be available in only seven countries-Burma, United Arab Republic (Egypt), India, Israel, Pakistan, Poland, and Yugoslavia. It has been determined, through surveys of the scientific capacity of foreign institutions and evaluation of research proposals submitted
by the institutions, that the appropriation requested for 1965 can be used to finance research beneficial to American agriculture in five of these seven countries.
Oversea research utilizing foreign currencies under sections 104 (a) and (k) of Public Law 480 supplements and complements that financed by regular dollar appropriations. These foreign research projects do not duplicate or displace domestic research conducted by the Department or its cooperators, nor do they reduce the need for regular dollar appropriations for such research.
The estimate of $5 million in 1965 would provide additional financing in five excess currency countries-$2 million in India, Poland, United Arab Republic (Egypt), and Yugoslavia for market development research and $3 million in India and Israel for agricultural and forestry research, of which $100,000 is for translation of scientific publications. It would permit obtaining translations of a wide variety of scientific findings, now available in several foreign languages, that would benefit agricultural and forestry workers in the United States. This project is intended to be in addition to, and not displace, the translation activities conducted by the National Science Foundation which only partially meet the Department's needs.
The following statement presents the request for this appropriation on a funds available basis. Amounts for 1964 and 1965 include carryovers from prior years.
1 Allocation from "Translation of publications and scientific cooperation, Executive Office of the President."
The following tables show the distribution by country of the estimates for (1) new obligational authority and unobligated balances brought forward for 1965, and (2) estimated expenditures for 1964 and 1965. The tables do not reflect conversion of foreign courrencies which may become possible in fiscal year 1965. If such conversion should be possible, the Department would request conversion of a portion of these currencies to finance research in selected foreign countries having capabilities for effective research.
Estimated obligations, fiscal year 1965, by country and project
Estimated expenditures by country, fiscal years 1964 and 1965
1 Includes expenditures under previous allocations from the appropriation "Translation of publications and scientific cooperation, Executive Office of the President," as follows: 1964, $470,000, and 1965, $520,000. These amounts have been included in order to provide a single consolidated schedule of all expenditures relating to the special foreign currency program.
Current activities and trends.—Marketing the products of the farmers in this country is a vast enterprise. These products pass through a succession of facilities between the farm and consumers. In this process they are subject to deterioration and spoilage, must be transported from one facility to another and handled and rehandled, stored until needed, protected from insect infestation, and placed where consumers can get them. Consumers are becoming more discriminating in their demands, with increasing insistence on dependable quality and unquestioned safety in foods. The gap between producer and consumer must be bridged by an efficient distribution system.
Marketing efficiency has improved only about one-half as fast as efficiency on the farm. The marketing research program of AMS is aimed at finding ways to improve the efficiency of the marketing system, hold down marketing costs, and minimize deterioration and spoilage. It focuses attention on two major and important problem areas. One deals with quality, its identification, measurement, and improvement and its protection from time of harvest until the commodity is consumed. The other is concerned with developing improved equipment, facilities, work methods, techniques, and practices for the efficient handling and movement of the commodity from the farm to the market and to the ultimate consumer.
Marketing research continues to benefit the grading and inspection activities for which AMS is responsible. Quality evaluation research is closely linked to the development of improved instruments and methods for measuring significant quality characteristics of agricultural products. By using instruments to eliminate or supplement human judgment in the grading and inspection process it is possible to increase the accuracy and objectivity and lower the cost of that operation.
Programs concerned with establishing quality standards and operating grading and inspection services are benefiting from new knowledge of factors constituting quality in different agricultural products and the methods and devices for identifying and measuring quality which are being developed through research programs. For example, studies are underway to provide guidance for poultry inspectors in identifying the relationship between various disease syndromes and the antemortem and postmortem quality characteristics, to mechanize the analysis of seed crops for purity, to improve methods for mechanizing the cleaning of eggs in the grading and packing line, to develop a fundamental method for determining moisture content in grain and other agricultural products which is not dependent on drying, and to evaluate cotton fiber testing instruments and techniques for measuring cotton fiber quality characteristics. Projects completed during the past fiscal year which directly affect AMS marketing service programs include methods and equipment for the rapid meas
urement of the oil content of soybeans and cottonseed, sorting beans and other commodities by electronics, determining the influence of bovine age on meat characteristics and grade, development of optimum handling and shipping procedures for grapefruit moving to foreign markets, and obtaining new factual information on factors affecting pork palatability.
While consumers, farmers, and the public are strongly affected by the marketing system, many of the marketing problems do not get solved by such groups or in their interest unless some agency with a public responsibility takes the lead. AMS is able to get data from firms which private agencies cannot get. It can make impartial analyses of the problems and develop and recommend unbiased alternative solutions without being concerned with promoting one particular brand or system. It is often the only agency with sufficient knowledge of the entire marketing system and of the individual pieces to know best how to fit them together. Knowledge of what has been done in one part of the country with one commodity, or in one segment of the industry, can be used to advise others and prevent duplication of efforts that have already been done elsewhere. Ideas can be tried out which may hold forth better hope of immediate profit to a specific firm or group. In short, it helps develop technical and other improvements in marketing and bring about their adoption for the sole purpose of making the marketing system do a better job.
No attempt is made under the program to do all of the marketing research needed. The efforts are directed toward neglected areas, finding solutions to important problems of regional or national concern and serving as a catalyst and stimulus to get other agencies and firms to do research. Much of this research is conducted in cooperation with the land-grant colleges and under contract. The program is thus provided with the benefit of research resources and facilities which would otherwise not be available, permitting the application of a higher degree of specialization to specific marketing problems.
The contributions of a public agency in this broad field are vital to the many groups, organizations, and individuals comprising the private marketing system, which is constantly faced with the need to make adjustments to keep pace with changing marketing organizations and patterns.
Selected examples of recent progress
1. Standardized lighting conditions etablished for grading grain.-A study was completed to find the best lighting conditions and background to use in grading of grain. In order to overcome the wide range of lighting conditions now being used, a basic study of the best lighting conditions needed was undertaken with the hope that a practical solution to the problem could be found. Both objectives were obtained. A relatively inexpensive daylight type of lamp was found to improve the discrimination of classes of grain and of wheat. A better background panel, using pastel colors in place of the standard buff color, was also developed. The Grain Division, AMS, began immediately to remodel and equip their inspection offices for the new system.
2. Treatment procedures developed by AMS protect export grain from insects. The Agency for International Development reports that the malathion grain protective treatment developed by AMS and the proper spraying of ships holds during the past year have practically eliminated complaints from abroad that whole grains exported under Public Law 480 programs arrive at their destination infested with weevils. The malathion treatment, applied to the grain just prior to or during loading, protects the grain against insect infestation during shipment, as well as for several months after it reaches its destination.
3. Market research results basis for poultry regulation amendment to eliminate air-sac contamination.-Research on factors that contribute to air-sac contamination is the basis for an amendment to the "Regulations Governing the Inspection of Poultry and Poultry Products" which states that: "Poultry shall be slaughtered in such a manner that breathing has stopped prior to scalding." The study proved that when chickens enter the scald water too soon the water, which is heavily contaminated with microorganisms, enters the respiratory system and penetrates all the way into the air-sacs and contaminates the adjacent meat. The study also showed that a kosher-style cut, which severs the trachea with the blood vessels, inhibits breathing and infusion of scald water into the respiratory system.
4. Table grapes protected from decay during storage and transport by improved fumigation methods.-Sulfurdioxide, extensively used for decay control in vinifera table grapes during transport and storage, shows a very uneven
distribution in rail cars and in many storage rooms under conventional fumigation procedures. This results in injury where excessive concentrations are present, and lack of decay control where the concentration is not up to standard. Studies with portable fans in conventional refrigerator cars showed that good distribution could be obtained with forced air movement, and proper baffling of open floor spaces. Distribution in thermostatically controlled cars presented other problems of distribution and aeration. Satisfactory distribution in precooling and storage rooms was found to be largely a matter of stacking patterns as related to air volume and direction of air movement. The findings of this research are being increasingly applied by the grape industry with reduced injury and more uniform decay control resulting.
5. Raisins protected during storage by improved drying methods.-To control insects that invade raisins during drying and storage, the practice has been to fumigate them 1 to 4 times while in storage. This practice is costly, and each treatment gives only temporary control. A protective treatment effective for the average storage period of raisins has been developed by the AMS Fresno, Calif., laboratory and has been acclaimed by the industry members as a very practical and useful development.
When the grapes are dried on malathion-treated paper trays they pick up and retain a light residue that will protect them against insect infestation for approximately 1 year. The biological and chemical data developed by the Fresno laboratory are being used to petition USDA and FDA for the approval of the treatment and the establishment of a tolerance. This will permit the industry to begin use of this badly needed protective treatment.
6. Marketing research on peanuts recommends changes in sheller operating speeds. The establishment of an AMS experimental peanut shelling plant provides facilities for obtaining much needed research data for developing improved machinery and operating methods for shelling, cleaning, and sorting peanuts. A study of operating speeds of shellers showed that a sheller speed of 290 revolution per minute commonly recommended and used by the trade is not the optimum speed in many cases. For example, a shelter speed of 225 to 250 revolutions per minute gave a much better outturn of whole kernel peanuts when shelling lots from the three producing areas than did a speed of 290 revolutions per minute. Also, the tests gave good evidence that sheller speeds should be varied between sheller stages for best results. With a difference of some 10 cents per pound between peanuts grading number 2 and those going into oil stock because of split and broken kernels, sheller operators need reliable research results to aid them in operating shellers to produce as many whole kernel peanuts as is practical. 7. Marketing facilities planning assistance furnished in many locations. Metropolitan wholesale markets.-Draft of the report on the study of the food marketing facilities in Boston has been completed. This report sets forth (a) the inadequacies and excess cost of handling food in existing facilities, (b) the amount of floor space needed to handle the products, (c) the best design of the facilities needed and a proper layout for them on an adequate site, (d) an evaluation of possible sites, (e) the estimated costs of the sites and the construction thereon, (f) the rentals that would have to be charged to make the project self-supporting, and (g) the savings in food handling costs that might be expected to result. In view of the desire of the city of Boston to proceed with the redevelopment of the area where more than 250 food wholesalers are located, it is planned to present the findings of the report with the aid of a scale model sometime this winter.
The study authorized a year ago of food marketing facilities in Chicago is proceeding at a rapid rate. AMS personnel are being assisted by those of a contractor who are helping collect data on the flow of products through the various handling operations in Chicago and determine the cost of each of these operations. AMS personnel are collecting the remainder of data, doing all the analytic work in connection with the study, and drawing the conclusions. Other cities in which market facilities planning work was done during the year include Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Bedford, and Springfield, Mass., Milwaukee and Baton Rouge.
Producing area markets: Assistance was provided in planning market facilities outside the major terminal areas for 23 poultry and egg markets, 11 meat and livestock markets and 2 fruit and vegetable markets, covering markets in 20 States.
8. Mechanized chicken parts sizing and packing line developed.-Initial work has been completed on the development of a prototype line, for use by process