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AGRIC ULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK Number lib Wednesday, A p r il 2 , 19?2 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ‘ ' F A R ;M P R I C E I N D-B-'x E S The index of prices received by farmers, as reported by the IJ. *S. Depart ment of A griculture, was at 288% of the 1910- 111 average as of March 15. This index, which is reported at the end of each month, re fle c ts the over-all price picture for farm products. The mid-March figure was one point "less than in February and 23 points less than in March 1951. This level is the lowest reported since December 1950. Price increases were recorded for truck crops, f r u it , and food grains, but these were more than o ffse t by declines in prices for dairy products and meat animals. The index of prices paid by farmers, including in te re st, taxes, and wage rates, remained unchanged from February at the record high of 288% of the 1910-llj. average. Higher prices for household furnishings, building m aterials, f e r t i li z e r , and tractors were o ffse t by lower prices- for feeder liv esto ck , feed, food, cloth in g, and motor supplies. This index is now 3% higher than in March 1951. The parity ra tio - a measure of the purchasing power of farm products remained at 100, unchanged from February. I t is 11 points below March 1951. COTTON Middling l5/l6-inch cotton on the Dallas market was quoted at I4I.UO cents per pound on Tuesday of th is week - up 15 points .from a week ago and nearly 2 cents from a month ago. Cotton tra d ing continues moderately a ctiv e , with reported sales in the 10 markets' higher th a n in most recent weeks. The improved demand for cotton te x tile s has been an important facto r in the recent upturn in cotton p rices. Trading has been more active in the cotton te x tile market during the past 2 weeks, and there are reports that the volume of sales has been the largest in several months. Prices strengthened somewhat, and increased orders from the Army Quartermaster Corps for cotton ducks have given the market a much stronger tone. Disappearance of a l l kinds of cotton in the U .S. during the f i r s t 7 months of th is seasorTXAugust 1951-February 1952) is indicated at 9.5 m illion b ales. This compares with 8.9 m illion in the corresponding 7 months of la s t season. The increase over a year ago has been en tirely in the export trade, with exports through February to ta lin g s lig h tly more than h m illion bales, compared with 2,6 m illion for the comparable period la s t season. Domestic consumption for the f ir s t 7 months of the current season’ is reported' at 5 .5 m illion b ales, compared with 6 .3 m illion a year e a r lie r . Total disappearance for the entire 1951-52 season may exceed 15 m illion b ales. Cotton planting in the Lower Rio Grande V alley is reported to be 60 to 75% complete, with not over of the acreage up to a stand. Some additional moisture has been received in the V alley and Coastal Bend sections during the past few days, but additional moisture w ill be needed. I t is expected that the dead line date of March 31 for planting in the V alley w ill be extended. U n o fficia l reports from Washington indicate that cotton acreage in the Nation may f a l l short of the 28 m illion acres requested by Secretary of "Agriculture Brannan. This prediction is based on the fa c t that f e r t iliz e r sales in the prin cip al cotton-producing states are running about 10% below a year ago. In past years the volume of fe r t iliz e r sales has been a rather accurate indicator of cotton acreage. Page 2 GRAI NS Grain prices on the Fort Worth Grain and Cotton Exchange are generally unchanged from a week ago. No. 1 hard wheat closed Tuesday, A pril 1, at $2.7!? per bushel; No.. 2 barley at $1,70; No. 2 white oats at $ 1 .lit-3A 5 and No. 2 yellow corn at $2.3-3-1A • Sorghum grain closed at $3*12 per cwt. A trade report on the winter wheat' crop indicates that production may e a sily exceed that of la s t year, but much depends upon the weather during the next few weeks. Excessive moisture, packed s o il, and insects in the eastern part of the Winter Wheat Belt are reducing prospects, while drought, high winds, and insects continue to plague the crop in the West and Southwest. L I VES TOCK Livestock prices on the Fort Worth market were steady to strong in active trading on Tuesday of th is week. Most classes of livesto ck recovered much of the loss registered during the previous week. On Tuesday, A p ril 1, prices of slaughter steers were generally CO cents higher than on Monday, with most Good steers and yearlin gs se llin g from $28.30 to $31.30. A load of Choice steers brought $31* Medium and Good stocker steer yearlings .sold from $26 to $31. Calves were fu lly steady, with Good to Choice kinds s e llin g at $30 to $3U. The ho g market was 23 to 30 cents higher than on Monday, with Choice l80-260-lb., hogs s e llin g from $16.73 to $17.30. Sprin g lamb prices were strong follow ing Monday*s $2.00 advance. Good and Choice kinds sold for $29 to $30. Good and Choice shorn slaughter lambs were quoted at $23*30 to $ 26 . 3 0 . Prices fo r 'mature goats on the San Antonio livesto ck market were a l i t t l e lower than la s t week, but prices for kids were unchanged. Culled-to-Medium mature goats brought $10 to $12.30. Stocker goats sold at $12 to $12.30. Most kids sold from $3 to $7 per head. POULTRY AND EGGS Prices paid for poultry and eggs on the Fort Worth market remain generally unchanged. 0n"Tuesday of this week, top grade commercial fryers brought 23 to 27 cents per pound; light-w eight fow ls, 18 to 20 cents; heavy hens, 20 to 23 cents; and roosters, 11 to 13 cents. Graded and candled eggs were quoted at $10.30 per case. MI S CELLANE0US There has been l i t t l e a c tiv ity during the past week in the mohair market. However, buyers offered 90 to 93 cents per pound for adult mohair in Texas, but no sales were reported. Carl H. Moore A gricultural Economist