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Definition: Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

New Deal program to restore U.S. agricultural prosperity during the Great Depression. Established by an act of Congress in 1933, the AAA sought to curtail farm production of certain staples, in order to raise prices. It also established the Commodity Credit Corp., to make loans to farmers and to purchase and store crops in order to maintain farm prices. The program had limited success before it was declared unconstitutional in 1936.

Event: Agricultural Adjustment Administration

Start Date: 1933

End Date: 1936

Definition: government agency

Significance: regulation (government), agriculture

Related Event: New Deal

Related Place: United States

Keywords: regulation, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, New Deal, United States, government agency, agriculture


Summary Article: Agricultural Adjustment Administration
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(AAA), former U.S. government agency established (1933) in the Dept. of Agriculture under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal program. Its purpose was to help farmers by reducing production of staple crops, thus raising farm prices and encouraging more diversified farming. Farmers were given benefit payments in return for limiting acreage given to staple crops; in the case of cotton and tobacco coercive taxes forced (1934–35) farmers to cut the amounts that they marketed. In 1936 the Supreme Court declared important sections of the act invalid, but Congress promptly adopted (1936) the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, which encouraged conservation by paying benefits for planting soil-building crops instead of staple crops. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 empowered the AAA in years of good crops to make loans to farmers on staple crop yields and to store the surplus produce, which it could then release in years of low yield. Soil conservation was continued, and farmers could by two-thirds vote adopt compulsory marketing quotas (as they did for cotton and tobacco). In World War II the AAA turned its attention to increasing food production to meet war needs. It was renamed (1942) the Agricultural Adjustment Agency, and in 1945 its functions were taken over by the Production and Marketing Administration.

  • See Nourse, E. G. et al., Three Years of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1937, repr. 1971);.
  • Perkins, G. V. L. , Crisis in Agriculture (1969).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018