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Vol. II






Number 7

Dallas, Texas, July 15, 1947


The need for increased construction, both
residential and nonresidential, in urban com­
munities has been given so much publicity
since the end of the war that it is not gen­
erally realized that rural communities also
arc poorly supplied with homes and other
necessary farm buildings. There is a shortage
of adequate housing on the farms. Estimates
indicate that only a third of the houses farm­
ers lived in at the time of the 1940 census are
in fair to good shape today. Another third
need extensive repair and renovation. The
final third are so far gone that repairing
them would cost more than they are worth.
There is also need for repair and construc­
tion of barns, sheds, poultry houses, and
many other buildings, due partly to the lack
of repair of such buildings during the war
period and partly to recent changes in the
pattern of agriculture which have increased
the number of these buildings needed.
Although the urgent need for improved
rural dwellings was relieved somewhat by the
migration of about five million people from
farms during the war years, rural housing
facilities are still far from adequate. Con­
struction and renovation of farm houses since
1940 have not been sufficient to increase or
even maintain the number of habitable dwell­
ings, and the return of many farm families
since the end of the war has increased the
demand for more and better houses.
An adequate supply of comfortable, at­
tractive farm dwellings would aid in stabil­
izing the farm population and in increasing
the efficiency of the farms. This fact was
emphasized in a recent address by Mr. R. L.
Thornton, Dallas banker, before the Dallas
Agricultural Club. Mr. Thornton pointed out




that houses on farms are in very poor con­
dition, as compared with the average city or
town dwelling, and that the unpainted farm
houses with cracked walls, leaky roofs, and
without the modern conveniences of light and
water and sanitary installations, offer little
inducement to young people to stay on the
farm. As a result, many of those who would
make the best farmers desert the farms and
leave the most poorly qualified to till the land.
Poor housing also makes it difficult, if not
impossible, for the farm owner to obtain
desirable tenants or laborers, since the quality
o f housing usually is closely related to the
quality and efficiency of the tenant or farm
worker. Therefore, in addition to the longrun benefit of encouraging more ambitious
youths to remain on farms, better housing
should be of immediate aid to many landowners in securing more satisfactory tenants.
It has been frequently demonstrated, particu­
larly during the war period when the short­
age of farm labor was severe, that the land­
lord with good houses to offer has less diffi­
culty in securing the best tenants that are
available. Such tenants farm the land more
efficiently and thus secure a larger return
for both themselves and the landlord.
The trend toward greater diversification
and mechanization in many areas, which was
accelerated by the war, has created the need
for a great number of new farm structures
other than houses. The addition of livestock
enterprises to numerous farms has made it
necessary to provide buildings for them. The
inclusion of feed crops in the expanded pro­
duction plans of many farms has created the
need for barns, cribs, and granaries so that
the feed may be stored without loss or waste.



Tool sheds and storage barns also are needed
to house the greatly increased numbr of farm
machines. Installation of stationary equip­
ment, such as feed mills, power plants, milking
machines, and cooling equipment, is also re­
quired to handle efficiently the increased and
diversified production of modern farms.
Mr. Thornton, in the address above men­
tioned, raised a significant question regarding
the financing of farm construction. The Gov­
ernment dees much, he said, for the benefit
of the farmer, but there is no governmental
agency which assists farmers specifically in
financing home construction in the manner
that the Federal H ousing Administration
helps the urban dweller who wishes to build
a home. If there were, it could do much to
alleviate the present serious shortage of ade­
quate farm dwellings. Referring to the gov­
ernm ent-guaranteed loans now offered
through the F.H.A. for erection of homes in
the cities, Mr. Thornton expressed the belief
that "hundreds of millions of dollars in city
banks would be invested in new, well equipped,
modern farm residences if banks and other
lending agencies were given a similar guaran­
tee.” Doubtless banks in rural communities
would respond in like manner.
Shortages and high costs of labor and ma­
terials have been serious obstacles to under­
taking extensive construction of all types of
farm buildings. As these obstacles are over­
come, needs will remain for credit adapted
to the requirements of builders of rural homes
and other farm structures. The supplying of
such needs will afford commercial banks and
other private lending institutions an oppor­
tunity to invest idle funds safely even without
government guarantees and, at the same time,
to contribute to the betterment of living
conditions on the farm.

Assets of Formers Show Wide Disparities
According to a full and final report of a
study of the financial conditions of American
farmers made by the United States Depart­
ment of Agriculture, farmers’ equities in
farm real estate and other farm assets, both
physical and financial, on January 1, 1946,

amounted to $93,185 million, or 92 per cent
of the total value of all their assets.* This
compares with equities of $43,682 million in
1940, or 81 per cent of total assets. The value
of all physical assets of farmers at the begin­
ning of 1946 was $81,472 million, or nine
per cent above that of 1945. The increase
has been due largely to a rising price level,
however. The liquid assets of persons living
on farms increased during 1945 to $20,050
million. Deposits and currency amounted to
nearly $14 billion and United States Savings
Bonds to more than $5 billion, each showing
a gain of approximately 25 per cent during
the year. Farm debts were reduced by $668
million during 1945, with the aggregate m ort­
gage indebtedness on real estate falling to
$5,081 million, or nearly four per cent for
the year.
Such statements based on the composite
or average, however, do not reveal the wide
disparity of financial conditions among farm ­
ers, and the Department warns against an
unduly favorable interpretation of these data.
It points out that liquid assets were con­
centrated in the hands of a comparatively
small segment of the farm population. About
10 per cent of the farm operators held 70
per cent of the farmer-owned demand de­
posits and about 75 per cent of the United
States Savings Bonds, while about half of
them had neither deposits nor bonds to their
credit. It calls attention also to the probabil­
ity that farmers who have heavy debts have
low cash reserves and that those who have
high cash reserves have small debts.
President Proclaims July 20-26 a s Farm
Safety Week
The President has named the week begin­
ning July 20 as National Farm Safety Week
and has urged farm people to observe the
week by giving serious consideration to meth­
ods of preventing accidents. Proving the need
for greater safety on the farm are certain
rather startling facts. Every day more than
50 farm inhabitants in the United States die
as a result of accidents; every minute some
farmer is disabled by an accident; each year
* United States Department of Agriculture, Miscellaneous
Publication No. 620.

there is an accidental death in one out of
every 3 50 farm families. On the basis of a
survey made in January 1947 by the Bureau
of Agricultural Economics regarding losses
resulting from farm accidents, it is estimated
that the 210,000 accidental injuries suffered
by persons on farms during the last three
months of 1946 cost a total of $8,750,000 for
medical, dental, and hospital services and
accounted for a loss of 4,500,000 man-days
from usual activities.

Price Support Programs
The United States Department of Agri­
culture has announced that prices of oats,
wheat, and grain sorghums will be supported
by government loans and purchases during
1947. Oats grading No. 3 or better will be
supported at 63 cents per bushel. The loan
and purchase rates for the 1947 wheat crop
will vary with location, grade, and quality.
For No. 1 wheat the terminal market rate
will be $2.11 per bushel at Galveston, Hous­
ton, and New Orleans. The loan and pur­
chase rates for grain sorghums will vary also,
with $2.58 per 100 pounds as the rate an­
nounced for No. 2 grade or better at these
three markets.
Loans on oats and wheat will be available
until December 31, 1947, and on grain sor­
ghums until February 28, 1948. All loans
will mature on April 30, 1948, or earlier on
President's Conference on Land Values
The dangers inherent in the present high
level to which farm land values have risen,
and the degree of responsibility for this situa­
tion shared by both public and private credit
agencies through their lending policies, have
become quite generally recognized. For the
purpose of reviewing the current inflationary
trends in land values, Secretary of Agriculture
Anderson, at the request of the President,
recently called a national conference of rep­
resentatives of farm lenders, farm organiza­
tions, and government agencies. This group,
meeting in Washington June 9, adopted the
following resolution:


Recognizing the unusual character of
the farm income and the farm land price
situation at the present time, it is agreed
that the Department of Agriculture, the
State Colleges, farm organizations, lend­
ing agencies, and their associations should
discourage borrowing to speculate in
farm land or borrowing to buy land at
prices which are not justified by long­
term income prospects.
Lending agencies represented at the
meeting agreed that loans on farm land
should be based on an appraisal of the
normal earning capacity of the farm over
a long period of years.
Further it is urged that educational
efforts call particular attention to the
more rapid rise which has occurred in
the prices of farm lands of low produc­
tivity and land which is hazardous for
crop and grazing uses. Also emphasis
should be placed upon the favorable
weather in recent years which cannot be
expected to continue indefinitely.

Crossbred Dairy Cows Produce More Milk
Crossbred dairy cows produce more milk
and butterfat than their purebred mothers.
That is the conclusion to be drawn, at least
tentatively, from results of experiments with
cross-breeding conducted by the Bureau of
Dairy Industry at its Beltsville, Maryland,
Experiment Station. Milk production data for
a year indicate that 42 dairy cows of twobreed crosses produced an average of 12,970
pounds of milk, compared with an average of
10,636 pounds for their purebred mothers.
Likewise, the two-breed crosses produced an
average of 588 pounds of butterfat, compared
with an average of 460 pounds for the purebreds. O f the 42 two-breed crosses in the ex­
periment, 33 produced more milk than their
purebred mothers, and 3 8 produced more but­
A further increase in average production
per cow was obtained in the second genera­
tion of crossbred cows. Fourteen daughters of
two-breed cows and purebred bulls of a third



breed produced during a year an average of
14,376 pounds of milk and 644 pounds of but­
ter fat, compared with 12,874 pounds of milk
and 598 pounds of butterfat for their twobreed mothers. Eleven of the fourteen threebreed cows produced more milk than their
two-breed mothers, and twelve of them pro­
duced more butterfat.

versity in Baton Rouge, August 12, 13, and
14. During that time the National Cotton
Council plans to hold a state-wide meeting;
the Louisiana Poultry Improvement Associa­
tion will conduct its annual training school
for flock testers; garden clubs will meet; and
there will be a marketing clinic and other
activities of interest to farmers.

Recent Publications
Tests conducted by the Department of A g­ Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station,
Oklahoma A gricultu ral and M echanical
riculture indicate that an iceless refrigerator
car can maintain temperatures of approxi­
Small Grain Testing Pro­
mately 0° F. under conditions of summer
by Roy M. Oswalt and
heat. It is claimed that this car can be used
for transporting frozen foods and maintain­
ing them in prime quality. A ten-day test
Conservation and Land Use Investigations,
with frozen tangerines demonstrated the abil­ Bulletin B-309, by Harley A. Daniel and
ity of the car to keep frozen foods in good others.
condition. Such a car, when available for gen­
Brush and Tree Removing Machinery, Bul­
eral use, should be of immense help in trans­ letin B-310, by Maurice B. Cox.
porting to eastern and northern markets the
Methods Used in Planting Bermuda Grass
large crops of fresh fruits and vegetables pro­ Roots at Coalgate Pasture Fertility Station,
duced in the Southwest.
Miscellaneous Publication No. 10, by Horace
The car in which the tests were conducted J. Harper.
is equipped with a split-absorption system of
Progress R eports; Feeding Tests w ith
refrigeration. Cooling is achieved by the pas­ Sheep, Swine, and Beef Cattle, 1946-47, Mis­
sage of anhydrous ammonia through cooling cellaneous Publication No. MP-11, by O. B.
coils located in the ceiling of the car. There Ross and others.
are no moving parts in the cooling system.
Will It Grow in Oklahoma? A Summary
of Tests and Observations on the Oklahoma
Adaptation of New and Unusual Crops, Bul­
letin B-307, by L. L. Ligon.
The Fourth Annual Texas Peach and Fruit Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas
Agricultural and Mechanical College, Col­
Show will be held at Stephenville, August 1
lege Station:
and 2. Information concerning awards for
entries in competitive exhibits may be secured
Cotton Varieties in the Loiver Rio Grande
from the county agricultural agent at Ste­ Valley, 1946, Progress Report 1079, by W. H.
Wintering Steer Calves at the Amarillo Soil
The Tenth Annual New Mexico Ram Sale
will be held in the sheep barn at the State Conservation Station, Progress Report 1082,
Fair grounds in Albuquerque, August 12 and by C. J. Whitfield and others.
13. The sale is primarily a grower’s sale, con­
Mineral Supplements in Sorghum Rations,
ducted for the improvement of the sheep and Progress Report 1083, by J. M. Jones and
wool industry of the State. Rambouillet, De- others.
bouillet, Corriedale, Panama, Hampshire, and
Fattening Steers in the El Paso Valley, Prog­
Suffolk rams will be offered for sale.
ress Report 1084, by R. G. White and others.
Copies of these bulletins may be secured
The first postwar Farm and Home Week
in Louisiana will be held at the State Uni­ by request to their respective publishers.
Iceless Refrigerator Car Developed