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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK Number 106 Wednesday, January 9j 1952 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas FARM PRICE TRENDS The mid-December l ocal market price report issued la s t week by the BAE o ffice in Austin gives p r ic e s . of a l l important farm commodities in Texas on December 19, with comparisons as of a year e a r lie r . Increases for the 12-month period then ended are reported fo r a l l grains except rice and for potatoes, hogs, veal calv es, poultry, dairy products, hay, and citru s f r u it s . Prices of r ic e , cotton, cottonseed, peanuts, beef c a t t le , lambs, eggs,and wool were lower. The mid-December index of prices received by Texas farmers fo r a l l agricu ltu ral commodities, at yob% of i t s 1910-16 base, was down 1 point from November but 3 points above December 1990. The December index of 369 compares with la s t year’ s high of 399 in A p ril and a low of 363 in August and September. Although farm commodity prices in Texas at the end of 1991 averaged near the same level as a year e a r lie r , the average for the year was su bstan tially above that of 1990. The U .S . ind£x of prices paid, in te re s t, taxes, and wage rates in Dec ember was 1% above December 1990 and \2% above June of the same year. The index of prices received by farmers in December was 1% above the index of prices paid by farmers. P'R I C E C E I L I N G S The O ffice of PrLce S ta b iliz a tio n la s t week announced price ce ilin g s designed to r o ll back ,the price of I r i s h pota to es some 9 to 10%, e ffe c tiv e Jan uary 19. The GPS D ire cto r•claims that "the brake th is regulation w ill apply to potato prices w ill save the consumer m illions of d o lla rs” . This was the f i r s t OPS regulation -setting ce ilin g s in the fresh vege table f ie l d . However, OPS says a sharp watch is being kept on the risin g prices of several other vegetables, including le ttu c e , carrots, cabbage, spinach, tom atoes, and ce lery. I t was only several years ago that the Government was supporting the price of Ir is h potatoes through the p r ice support program carried on by the CCC. However, the support price was established in lin e with certain price rela tio n ships that existed in 1910-llu In the meantime, potato growers had m ultiplied yields per acre, thus cutting costs of production to such a low le v e l that the support price made potato growing very p ro fita b le . With prices supported, and no re strictio n s on acreage, production soared. CCC losses from i t s potato program became very heavy and the Agency was the target of considerable c r itic is m . There afte r, the price support program was dropped. With no price guaranteed, potato growers cu rtailed acreage. Within a very short time the potato supply situ atio n changed from one of surplus to one of shortage. I t is for th is reason that the OPS has decided to place price c e ilin g s on th is commodity. The OPS th is week ro lled back price c e ilin g s on wool, wool fu tu res, and mohair. Raw wool ce i l i n gs were cut an average of s lig h tly more than 20Wi The new c e ilin g on average- 6lxT s , clean b a sis, is $ 2 .6 6 per pound, compared with a previous $ 3 . 39 . Wool futures c e ilin g s were cut from $ 3.22 for exchange standard wool to $2,66 on the New York Cotton Exchange, Mohair price c e ilin g s were cut from $2.28 per lb . fo r o rig in a l bag kid to $1 . 7 8 . The new wool p r ic e ' c e ilin gs are about kO'% higher than current market prices. The newer c e ilin g s could mean about $1.00 per lb . to the sheep r a is e r , compared with a December 19 U .S. average price of 63 cents. AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK Number 106 Wednesday, January 9, 1952 Page 2 C 0 T ~T 0 N Spot cotton market quotations continued to show wide fluctu ations from day to day, although closing prices fo r the past several marketing days have been near those of the past month. On Tuesday, January 8 , Middling l5/l6~inch cotton closed on the Dallas Cotton Exchange at 1*2.10 cents per l b . , or 1 cent below the December peak reached a month e a r lie r . Cotton has been moving into trade channels f a i r ly rapidly in recent weeks. Reported sales in the 10 spot markets fo r the August-December period to ta l almost 6 m illio n bales, or s lig h tly under the corresponding 5 months la s t season. CCC loan entries reported through December 27 this season totaled 835*000 b ales, with repayments at 266 , 0 0 0 ■b ales, leaving loans outstanding on about 569,000 b ales. During December, CCC loan redemptions totaled over 200,000 bales,w hile in the same month reported entries amounted to about 30,000 bales. World production of cotton during 1951-52 is nowestimated at about 33 m illion bales, which is about equal estimated world consumption of cotton. GRAINS A fter declining during the la tte r part of December, p r ices on the Fort Worth grain market advanced during the f i r s t week of January. On Tuesday, Jan uary 8 , No. 1 hard wheat closed at $2.76-J per b u ., up \ cents from a week e a r lie r . No. 2 barley at $1.76 per bu. was up 2 cents. No. 2 white oats brought a top price of $ 1 . 21* per b u ., up 3 cents. Corn prices in Fort Worth.on Tuesday were above a week e a r lie r although below the peaks of la s t week. No. 2 yellow corn on Tuesday closed at $2.23-and No. 2 white corn at $2.53 per b u ., both fr a c tio n a lly below the January 1* le v e l. Grain sorghums rose 5 cents per cwt. in the past week and on Tuesday were upto $ 3 ,1 5 7 or as high as they have sold in almost 1* years. TRUCK CROPS Conditions in Texas during most of the second h a lf of December were generally favorable for commercial vegetables, says th is week’ s BAE truck crop report from A ustin. Losses from low temperatures over the week end of December 16 were not extensive. There is need for rain in most non-irrigated sections. Good progress has been made in planting the Lower V alley early spring potato and tomato crops and some watermelon acreage has been planted in the F a lfu rria s section . Supplies of hardy type vegetables from Texas D is tr ic ts are expected to be available in good volume by the middle of January, with cabbage showing the greatest increase in tonnage. L I V E S T O C K Receipts of c a ttle at Fort Worth la s t week were up considerably from the previous week and trading was slow on most c la sse s, according to PMA reports. Prices were weak to lower on some grades. Slaughter calves found a steady market a l l week but stockers were in poor demand and prices were weaker. Hogs were steady to strong, with marketings up sharply. Supplies of sheep and lambs were lig h t with prices up 50 cents to $ 1 .0 0 over the previous week’ s clo se. W, M. Pritchett Agricultural Economist