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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK_________________________________ Wednesday, February 6 , 1952
Number 110

Federal Reserve Bank of D allas
While indexes of prices of many groups of commodities continue to move
gradually upward^ the index of prices received by farmers fo r crops and livestock
maintains a very stable p o sition . The monthly index of prices received by U. S.
farmers in -1951 ranged from 291 in September to 313 in March ( 1910 - 1)4 = 100).
On January 15, 1952, the index stood at 300, the same as on January 15* 1951.
The January index was 5 points below that of December.
Lower prices fo r eggs and turkeys, cotton and cottonseed, most meat
animals, and c itru s fr u its during the month, ended January 15, 1952, were p r i­
marily responsible fo r reducing the fa r m price index. Higher prices for b u tterfat
chickens, veal calves, hay, and rice p artly o ffs e t the d eclin es.
Price trends since January 15 indicate that the mid-February index w ill
f a l l below that of January,
The index, of prices paid by farmers continues to rise and. was at a
record 287 on January l5T However, the rise in th is index during the month then
■ ended was due p rin cip a lly to higher prices paid by farmers fo r feeder c a t t le ,
feed, and food, which are farm-produced commodities. There were also increases
in wage ra te s, farm taxes, and in terest payments on real estate mortgages.
As a result of these changes the Parity Ratio (ratio of index of prices
received by farmers to the index of prices paid by farmers including in te re s t,
taxes, and farm wage rates) dropped 2 points and as of January 15, 1952, stood
at 105. This is 5 points below January 1951, which indicates th a t, in so fa r as
price relationships are concerned, farmers are not sharing as well as a year ago.
. The spot cotton market has held re la tiv e ly stable fo r the past 3 weeks
although i t has shown some downward trend as compared with a month ago. On
Tuesday, February 5, Middling l5/l6-inch cotton on the D allas market closed at
i l l .65$ per pound, the same as 3 weeks ago.
Cotton fu tures have shown considerable decline in the past month; th is
is p a rtic u la rly true of futures contracts for delivery of cotton beyond sta rt
of harvest of the 1952 crop. On Tuesday, February 5, October 1952 futures closed
on the New Orleans market at 37.61j.0 per pound, compared with the January peak of
39.68 and s lig h tly higher quotations on scattered days in November and December.
Grain prices weakened th is week. I t is said that th is is due larg ely
to the fa c t that the grain markets have slumped in Februaiy in several of the
postwar years and there has been heavy s e llin g in an ticip ation of a possible
market break in Februaiy 1952.
On Tuesday, February 5, prices of a l l grains on the Fort Worth market
were below a year e a r lie r . Closing prices show wheat o ff 30, barley 10, oats 70,
yellow corn 110, white corn 170 per bushel, and sorghum grain 50 per cwt. Prices
of wheat, o a ts, and com are lower than a month ago.
Rough rice stocks in a l l positions in the U. S. in January 1952 totaled
25.2 m illio n equivalent 100 -pound bags, or about 5 7 $ of the 1951 production.
These holdings were considerably larger than on January 1 of any year fo r which
comparable data are available and r e fle c t the record production of rice la s t

Number 110

Wednesday, February 6 , 19$2_ Page 2

Flaxseed prices rose considerably during November and held re la tiv e ly
stable u n til la te January, then declined sharply. On Tuesday, February 5, f la x ­
seed was quoted in Minneapolis at $1|.22 per cw t., compared with the January top
price of $ l|.6 l.
Stocks of 28.5 m illion bushels o f flaxseed were stored in the U. S. in
January 19^2. Tnis to ta l is about J smaller than a year ago.
CCC reported that as of November 30, 1951., 1.6 m illion bushels of
1951-crop flaxseed had been placed under loan and purchase agreement. This is
nearly 5^ of the estimated production. However, i t is expected that a l l 1951crop seed w ill be redeemed, as the preliminary season average price received by
farmers fo r flaxseed is estimated at $3.59 per bushel, 9 k$ above the suppor t le v e l.
Prices of flaxseed have been maintained above the support le v e l by the demand "Tor
both o i l and meal,
C A S T O R____B E A N S
Castor beans, which were grown in. many parts of the Southwest and West
in 1951, w ill be in heavy demand in 1952, according to the Department of Agri­
culture. Castor o i l is needed fo r m ilita ry purposes and fo r sto ck p ilin g under
the National Stockpiling A ct.
Farmers in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas, and C a lifo rn ia planted
8i|,000 acres in 1951. Hie USDA has asked for 200,000 acres in 1952.
Final estimates of production in 1951 are not yet a v a ila b le . Weather
conditions were poor in Texas and parts of Oklahoma, where yield s were light"and
a considerable amount of shattering occurred before harvest. However, Texas
farmers have found the crop f a i r ly w ell adapted to dry areas and i t is expected
that a larger acreage w ill be planted in 1952.
The U3DA w ill continue it s castor bean program th is year. The p r ic e
to be paid farmers fo r castor beans grown under contract w ill be 100 per pound,
h u lle d -b a sis, or the market price at time of d elivery, whichever is higher^
CCC w ill c a r r y out the program and i t w ill be available to farmers •who enter into
contracts eith er with CCC o r organizations under contract with CCC. Farm*•
machinery, other equipment, ■ and technical guidance w ill be available to farmers
p a rticip a tin g in the program.
Export of castor o i l continues under a llo ca tio n and only 100,000 pounds
are allocated fo r export th is quarter.
There were no sales of Texas wool reported la s t week. However, buyers
were o fferin g Texas growers $1.00 to $1.01 to contract spring mohair. The Boston
market is q u iet.
B roilers and fryers sold in South Texas th is, week at 30 cents per pound,
f .o .b , the farm. The East Texas market was steady with a ll weights at 28-290,
mostly 29.
Current receipts of eggs were lis te d in the Fort -Forth produce market
early th is week at $9.00 to $10.56 per case, with graded eggs quoted at $10.50 to
Unfavorable weather conditions and the reduction in the number of
colonies of bees reduced horey production in Texas during 1951 to 9,U2l|,000 pounds,
compared with the record crop o f 15,650,000 pounds during 1950.
W. M. P r it c h e t t
A g r ic u lt u r a l Economist