Agricultural Adjustment Act | Agriculture

The Agricultural Adjustment Act is a U.S. federal act that placed restrictions in farming by giving planters subsidies for them not to farm some portions of their lands. The subsidies were also given for them to get rid of any excesses in livestock being bred. The goal was actually to bring down surplus of produce or livestock in order to increase the value of these livestock and crops. In order to raise money for such subsidies, the government imposed a tax on farm produce processing firms. The law also paved the way for the establishment of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration which would take charge of subsidy allotment. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was actually considered a pioneering farm law in the United States.To put the law into perspective on why this law came into being, the government wanted to do something to uplift the difficult condition of the farmers especially during the early 1930s. In order to increase the prices of their crops and thus their earnings, the Act helped to eliminate excess supply. Tenant farmers thus were contracted not to plant cotton for instance in the whole area they tilled but only on a portion of the lot. The farmers got subsidies by restricting their production. There were however disadvantages to this Act. It benefitted more the big time food processors and farmers but strongly put the small tenant farmers to a disadvantage as land owners just sought wage labourers instead of full-time farmers.


There was also an Amendment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act known as the Thomas Amendment since it was initiated by Sen. Elmer Thomas. This amendment combined new economics views with that of populist views. Through the Thomas Amendment, the president would be compelled to give powers to the Federal Reserve for the buyout of federal obligations worth US$4 billion every time a currency expansion is desired. If there is a disparity for free market operations, the head of state could also opt to allow the United States treasury to produce up to US$4 billion while reducing the gold component of the dollar by up to fifty percent. The treasury could also accept US$100 million worth of silver priced at least fifty cents/ once as payments for the borrowing of some European countries from the first World War. The Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment or the Thomas Amendment was however seldom used so that the treasury also seldom got payments from such borrowings.


The Thomas Amendment also became the basis of Pres. Roosevelt’s ratification of the Pittmann London Silver Amendment which gave marching orders to the U.S. mints to purchase the whole bulk of silver produced for 64.5 cents. Another striking application of the Amendment happened in 1934 as the president pushed to decrease the gold component of a dollar to just 40.94%. Despite this policy, bulk prices continued to rise.Perhaps, the greatest impact that the Amendment brought was the rise in government control when it comes to monetary policies. The Thomas Amendment actually aimed to bring down the quantity of silver that are held privately and instead increase its circulation in the economy.

Argentina – The Heart of South American Agricultural Trade | Agriculture

Outside of South America, Argentina is probably known more as the birthplace of the Tango and the romanticized icon Evita Peron. In terms of the country’s impact on global affairs, Argentina is also known by historians as an ally to Germany and Italy during World War II – having harbored a number of war criminals – yet in recent years the country has maintained friendly terms with the United States and South American nations once considered political and economic rivals. Trade agreements with South American neighbors have helped Argentina grow as an important agricultural trade partner.As a member of MERCOSUR, one of the largest free trade zones in the world, Argentina is connected with Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay in a common tax applied to all imports brought into the continent, yet the majority of inter-group trading is accomplished with Brazil. While Argentina does not score as high as other countries globally in terms of gross domestic product, it is the third largest economy in the continent, bolstered in part by aggressive growth throughout the twentieth century despite long periods of inflation.


Today, Argentina relies upon its agricultural and tourism industries to maintain the economy, with secondary industries active in mining and construction. Top exports from Argentina to her primary trade partners – among them Brazil, the United States, and Chile – include:Soybeans – Soybeans and byproducts are Argentina’s largest export crop. Approximately 40 million tons of soybeans are produced annually, with the majority exported not for human consumption but for processing into animal feed.Cereal grains – Approximately 13 million metric tons of rice, wheat, and other grains are harvested annually in the country, making Argentina one of the top exporters of cereal grains in the world.Natural gas and petroleum – Despite an energy crisis early in the 21st century that resulted in a short of natural gas reserves, this remains a strong export, high in demand among trade partners.Fruits and vegetables – Citrus fruits are an important crop in the country’s agricultural industry, as well as grapes which are highly prized for wine harvesting.As Argentina is primarily an agricultural nation, imports of an industrial nature are very important to maintain a good balance in the country’s industries. Brazil, the country’s main export partner, provides Argentina with the bulk of their imported goods as well – accounting for nearly one-third of the overall incoming trade. The United States, China, and Germany round out the top import partners, all of whom provide Argentina with the following:


Machinery – For the processing of agricultural products, Argentina relies upon the imports of corresponding machinery.Automotive – While Argentina has a growing automotive industry, the country continues to import popular brands.Electronics – While costs for certain electronic devices are high – smart phones may go for several hundred dollars USD or more – these imports are nonetheless important to help in the modernization of the country.Organic Chemicals – Chemical suppliers from outside the country provide Argentina with needed materials for a variety of uses, from health to production of goods.Argentina continues to work toward building its domestic economy. As a major force in South America, continued relations with other top trade nations may help increase awareness of the nation’s agricultural assets and in turn boost other sectors.