Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933
   Passed on 12 May 1933, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was intended to tackle the plight of farmers in the Great Depression and to raise the prices of wheat, corn, cotton, and other crops and livestock and return the farmers’ purchasing power to pre-World War I levels. The act was based on ideas developed during the 1920s, particularly the “domestic allotment plan” involving acreage reduction by government allotment. The act designated “basic commodities” that would be covered by “marketing agreements” in which farmers would agree to reduce their output. They would be compensated with funds raised by a processing tax levied on the first domestic processing of the commodity. The act was to be administered by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. Initially some crops had to be plowed under and livestock, including 6 million piglets, were slaughtered, but by 1934, 40 million acres had been withdrawn from production. Amendments to the act extended it to include cattle, sugar cane, and sugar beets in 1934. However, in United States v. Butler in 1936, the Supreme Court ruled that the act was unconstitutional. It was later superseded by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938.
   See also Agriculture; Bankhead Cotton Act; Bankhead Cotton Control Act; Emergency Farm Mortgage Act.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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