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Jap Eviction Brings Threat of Crop Losses

Unless American farmers immediately take over 225,000 acres of Japanese and Japanese-American farm lands crop losses running into millions of dollars are threatened, L[awrence]. I. Hewes Jr., regional director of the Farm Security Administration, warned today.

“It is mandatory the land be kept in production,” said Mr. Hewes. “Losses are already occurring and within the next four to six months heavy losses threaten such crops as tomatoes, celery, spinach, peas, onions, garlic and snap beans. The poultry business is suffering, too.”

Acting through the Army’s Wartime Civilian Control Administration, nearly 6000 farms formerly held by Japanese have been listed as available for farming by Americans. But so far only about 1000 farmers have expressed interest in operating the lands. The Japanese farms are worth nearly 70 million dollars, not counting crop values.

Mr. Hewes urged farmers to inquire immediately at the Farm Security “service centers,” at U.S. Employment Service offices and the WCCA about the lands. One hundred FSA agents are helping farmers acquire the land and make loans to keep up production, he said.

Reports that new operators are plowing up Japanese crops have been received, the administrator said, reminding the army has declared plowing up of crops or refusing to keep up cultivation to be an act of sabotage.

The San Francisco News
March 28, 1942

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