COMMODITIES: Dropping the Prop

For the first time since he took office, Agriculture Secretary Ezra Benson last week cut price supports on an important commodity. He lowered the support level for the 1953 cottonseed crop from 90% of parity to 75%. Benson had declined to make a similar cut in butter in March because the dairy industry opposed it. This time he had the approval of the cottonseed industry, which hoped that lower prices might increase cottonseed use, cut down surpluses. The Agriculture Department has already spent $286 million to buy surplus cottonseed—and another big crop will be coming in.

One reason the Government...

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