ABC Evening News for Monday, Sep 18, 1972
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(Studio) Interview last week with big grain man from North Dakota recalled; happy response said due to fortunate circumstances of North Dakota wheat growers.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner
(Russell Company, Kansas) US-USSR wheat agreement came at bad time for many US farmers, who had harvested `72 crop and sold it for small prices. [1972 harvest film shown.] Prices went up after wheat deal announced. As prices rise, federal subsidy to farmers drops, so farmers caught both ways. [Farmer Paul WHITMER - notes loss of $5000 by early sale before price rise.] Predicament analyzed. Farmers said also unhappy at profits being made by wheat brokers and big agriculture companies [WHITMER - thinks government should have tipped off farmers.] [Farmer Gerald STEINLE - thinks the "big man" knew what was going on, underneath table.] [Farmer Vic HLADEK - thinks likewise.] Criticism of Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz noted. [News clippings, protesting letters shown.] Episode said to have upped criticism; likely to damage President Nixon at polls. [HLADEK - says he voted for Nixon in `68, but thinks he'll switch to Democrats in `72.] Large foreign trade agreements tantalize United States farmers, but if small farmers hurt, as apparently so in this case, the big deals could be economy and polit. damaging.
REPORTER: Bill Wordham