The general meaning of “growing” and “harvesting” of agricultural commodities is explained in §§ 780.117 and 780.118 of subpart B of this part 780, where the meaning of these terms as used in the Act's definition of agriculture is fully discussed. As there indicated, these terms include the actual raising of the crop and the operations customarily performed in connection with the removal of the crops by the farmer from their growing position, but do not extend to operations subsequent to and unconnected with the actual process whereby the agricultural commodities are severed from their attachment to the soil. Thus, while transportation to a concentration point on the farm may be included, “harvesting” never extends to transportation or other operations off the farm. The “growing” of shade-grown tobacco is considered to include such work as preparing the soil, planting, irrigating, fertilizing, and other activities. This type of tobacco requires special cultivation and is grown in fields that are completely enclosed and covered with cheesecloth shade. The leaves of the plant are picked in stages, as they mature. The leaves are taken immediateIy to a tobacco barn, located on the farm, where they are strung on sticks and dried by heat. Before the drying process is completed, the leaves are allowed to absorb moisture. Then they are dried again. It is not until the end of this drying operation that the leaves are packed in boxes and taken from the farm to a building plant for further processing (see Mitchell v. Budd, 350 U.S. 473). Under the general principles stated above, “harvesting” of shade-grown tobacco is considered to include the removal of the tobacco leaves from the plant and moving the tobacco from the field to the drying barn on the farm, together with the performance of other work as a necessary part of such operations. Subsequent operations such as the drying of the tobacco in the barn on the farm and packing of the tobacco for transportation to the bulking plant are not included in “harvesting.”
Title 29 published on 2012-07-01
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