In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary of Agriculture may cooperate with other branches of the Government, State agencies, private research organizations, purchasing and consuming organizations, boards of trade, chambers of commerce, other associations of business or trade organizations, transportation and storage agencies and organizations, or other persons or corporations engaged in the production, transportation, storing, processing, marketing, and distribution of agricultural products whether operating in one or more jurisdictions. The Secretary of Agriculture shall have authority to enter into contracts and agreements under the terms of regulations promulgated by him with States and agencies of States, private firms, institutions, and individuals for the purpose of conducting research and service work, making and compiling reports and surveys, and carrying out other functions relating thereto when in his judgment the services or functions to be performed will be carried out more effectively, more rapidly, or at less cost than if performed by the Department of Agriculture. Contracts under this section may be made for work to be performed within a period not more than four years from the date of any such contract, and advance, progress, or other payments may be made. The provisions of section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31 and section 6101 of title 41
shall not be applicable to contracts or agreements made under the authority of this section. Any unexpended balances of appropriations obligated by contracts as authorized by this section may, notwithstanding the provisions of section 5 of the Act of June 20, 1874, as amended (31 U.S.C., sec. 713), remain upon the books of the Treasury for not more than five fiscal years before being carried to the surplus fund and covered into the Treasury. Any contract made pursuant to this section shall contain requirements making the result of such research and investigations available to the public by such means as the Secretary of Agriculture shall determine.