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AGRICULTURAL NEWS 01 TRlL ’“rTT’TpTf Humber '111 - • Wednesday, March 5 , I 952 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas F A R M_^_P_R I C E___ L E V E L The USDA' reports- ThaF sharp "oecTTnes' in" prices received for truck crops, cotton, cottonseed, oats, eggs, wool, and lambs, together"withWemaJl but general declines in prices of many other commodities during the month ended February 15, 1952, dropped the Index of Prices Received by U. S. farmers 11 points, or nearly b%, to 289 (1910-14 - 100). This is 8% below the a ll-tim e peak of 313 established February a year ago but w ell above any other February of record. During the same period the Parity Index (Prices paid for commodities^ in te re st, taxes, and farm wage rates) rose 1 p o int. At 288$ of it s 1910-14 average, the P arity Index was i|$ higher than a year agp.. As a resu lt of the drop in prices received by farmers and a rise in Prices paid by farmers, the Parity Ratio dropped to 100. This means that prices received by farmers generally were on a p a rity basis with prices paid. Beginning with Ju ly 1950 the P arity Ratio was continuously greater ’than 100 u n til February. The Index of Prices Received by Texas farmers•at mid-February stood at 350G o f i t s 1910-lU base, compared with 355 in January and a record 399 in A pril 1951. WO O L AND MO PI A I R Total wool production "in the u. 3 . m 1'9"5I', shorn and pulled, amounted to about 250 m illio n pounds, ac cord in g to the BAE. This is s lig h t ly higher than in 1950 and is the f i r s t year since 19 l|2 that wool, production has increased over the previous year. Of the to ta l wool produced in 1951, 225 m illion pounds were shorn and 25 m illion pounds were pulled wool. The 225 m illion pounds shorn in 1951 compares with the record 388 m illio n pounds i n . 19 lt2 . Shorn wool produced in Texas in 1951 to taled h8 , 712,000 pounds, compared with 5l,U80,000 in 19p04 This decline resulted from both the reduction in number of sheep shorn and the average weight per fle e c e . The 7.3 pounds per fleece la s t year, is lower than in most recent years and compares with a national average of 8,2i| pounds and the Western States average of 9#22 pounds. Wool production in Oklahoma rose la s t year, while production in New Mexico and Arizona declined; no chang‘e"*was reported for Louis ia n a . U. S . farmers and' ranchers la s t year received about $225 m illio n .from sale of wool; th is is about 99.5 cents per pound. Cash r eceipts in 1950 at 57.3 cents"*per pound to taled $123 m illio n . Cash receipts for wrool in Texas rose from $33 m illion in 1950 to more than $U9 mi 111 on in TH51• Prices received per pound in Texas averaged 0I4 cents in 1950 ; $ 1 .0 1 in 1951. Mohair production in the U. S. la s t year rose about 101, which indicates that the liq u id a tio n o f ’goats came Wfter shearing time. Production totaled lli,573>000 pounds, compared with 1 3 , 2)45,000 in 1950. A ll but about 21 or 3% of the Nation’ s mohair output is produced in Texas. Cash receipts from sale of mohair la s t year totaled $17,188,000 - 71^ over 1950. Prices per pound averaged $1,18 v s. 76 cents in 1950. There was no improvement in business conditions in the Boston -wool market la s t week, according to the PMA. Only occasional lo ts of wool were sold. A small quantity of average 12 -months Texas wool sold in the lo c a l market la s t week at around $1 .5 5 per pound, clean b a sis. AGRICULTURAL UJ1WS OF THE WEEK Number rilt. * Wednesday , March 5 , 1952 ~ Page- ? A few scattered small lo ts of mohair were bought in Texas la s t week at $1 .0 0 for adult and 0 1.2 5 for kid mohair. " These prices are about 1 - 1 /2 cents below the previous week® COTTON The spot cotton market was a " l i t t l e ” stronger la te la s t week and early th is week than" Tt"had been on most marketing days of the previous 2 weeks. Market analysts o ffer l i t t l e explanation for the rise except for covering actions by those who previously sold short at higher p ric e s. On Tuesday, March U, Middling l5/l6~inch cotton on the Dallas Cotton Exchange closed at 39*85 cents per pound, compared with 39*70 a vreek e a rlie r and 39.30 two weeks ago. There have been declines recently in prices of c otton fu tu res, esp ecially for contracts for delivery a fte r harvest of the 1952 crop begins. For example, October 1952 futures closed Tuesday, March b , on the New Orleans market at 36.18 cents per pound, compared with 37*70 a month e a r lie r and above 39*00 during much of January* Cotton is coming up in the Lower Rio Grande V a lle y . I t was feared that the lig h t fro s t on February 27 had destroyed the crop that was up at that time# However, i t now appears that the crop apparently escaped with very l i t t l e damage, GRAINS There was considerable s e llin g in the Nation’ s cash grain markets during the past week and prices f e l l to the lowest' le v e ls in several months. I t is claimed that the moisture received' over the winter Wheat Belt was an important factor in the d eclin es. On Tuesday, March li, No. I hard wheat closed on the Fort Worth market at $2.71-3/14 per bushel - 1 cent under a”~week e a rlie r and lower than at any time since November 2. In December i t sold as high as $2.83 per bushel, Prices of other grains on Tuesday were near the same le v e ls as a week e a rlie r aTEHoiigh’ "Eelow "previbus weeks. Barley and sorghum grain were unchanged. The weakness in the grain market is more apparent in wheat futures quotations. The closing price for Ju ly futures on the Chicago market on Tuesday was $2.1+3-3/U per bushel, compared with $ 2 .U7-5/8 on February 23. The trade in Texas and Louisiana r ic e 'markets was slow la s t week a l though prices held steady, according to the PMA. Demand for seed, p a rtic u la rly Zenith } indicates there may be a s h ift from long to medium grain v a rie tie s th is year. Grain sorghum planting in the commercially important Coastal Bend area is gaining- m6mentumj~according to th is week’ s BAE crop report. Corn p la n ting is gettin g started in central Texas but wet s o il is delaying fie ld work in most eastern and southeastern counties. POULTRY Wholesale poultry markets weakened further la s t week. "Top grade com m ercial fryers on the Fort Worth wholesale market brought 28-29 cents on Tuesday, March li - l"c"ent below a week e a r lie r . B roilers in East and South Texas brought 27 and 28 cen ts, resp ectively - 2 cents under a week ago. Egg markets la s t week were steady to firm a fte r having declined seasonally since November and December. There were advances of 1/2 to 2 cents for large extras on some of the central markets. W. M. P r it c h e t t A g r ic u lt u r a l Economist