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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK Number 119 Wednesday, A p r il 9? 1952 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas COTTON Spot cotton markets strengthened la s t week; on Wednesday, A pril 2, Middling l5/l6-inch cotton on the Dallas market closed at ).|.1»95> cents per pound the highest since early January. Quotations th is week were a few points lower. The PMA reports that trading in southwestern spot cotton markets la s t week generally was slow but tended to increase during the la tte r p art. Inquiries were not too numerous. The demand was very se le ctiv e , and q u alities in demand were in scarce supply. Prices fo r cotton during March 19.52 averaged about 10 percent lower than a year earTTer,"while cloth prices averaged about 29 percent below the March 1951 le v e l. The ratio of prices of unfinished cotton goods to cotton prices in March was one of the lowest cloth-cotton price ratios of record. On the basis of present prospects regarding consumption and exports, the USDA estimates that the U .S. carry-over of cotton on August 1, 1952 may be smaller than the 2.3 m illion bales on August 1, 195l5 which was the smallest in 26 years. The USDA has announced that price support lo ans on 1952-crop cottonseed w ill be available at $66.UO per ton'for basis grade (TOO) and that in areas where a purchase program may.be necessary, purchases w ill be made at $62.i;0 per ton. The loan rate 'on 1951-crop cottonseed was $65.50 per ton, and the purchase price was $61.50. Prices for 1952-crop cottonseed w ill be supported by means of loans, purchase agreements, and purchases of cottonseed and cottonseed products. TRUCK CROPS In a report on conditions in Texas vegetable areas in the second h a lf of March, the BAE says that dry weather prevailed in the early sections, with strong winds in most areas. A severe cold sp ell the morning of March 2k caused heavy loss of tomato acreage in east Texas and in the Yoakum area, with damage extending south into the F alfu rrias section. There was also loss of watermelon acreage and heavy le a f burn in cantaloupe and cucumber crops, while maturity of the south Texas onion crop was retarded. F a irly good rains have been received extending from east and central counties to the coastal counties and scattered areas of the Lower V alley , and they have been esp ecially b e n e ficia l to tender crops. Although f a i r ly good showers were received in the Lower V alley , the water supply for irrig a tio n continues low. In Louisiana , a l l commercial vegetable crops were improved by rains the la s t 2 days of March, but progress of some crops was retarded by cool night temperatures. Warmer weather in Arizona the la s t week of March accelerated planting of cantaloupes and watermelons, which is nearing completion. L I V E S T O CK Prices of hogs and c a t t le on the Fort Worth market continue steady to weak, although spring lamb prices have risen sharply in response to the Easter demand. The top price paid for hogs on A pril 3 was $16.75 per cw t,; th is is the f i r s t time hogs have dropped th is low in about 2 years. The top price th is week is $17.00. Page 2 Good and Choice slaughter steers and yearlings are bringing $28.50 to $33.50, with occasional lo ts up to $3^.00 and odd head reaching $35.00. Medium and Good stockers and feeders are s e llin g at $26.00 to $32.00; a few Choice yearlings sold th is week at $3 3 . 00 . . ' A fter s’e veral months in which the lamb market had been r e la tiv e ly quiet, there was a marked pickup in lamb buying th is week. Choice U5-55-lb. spring lambssold as high as SI4O.QO per cw t., which is the highest price ever paid for springers on .the Fort Worth market. Goats dropped $1.00 on the San Antonio market la s t week. Medium shornAngoras cleared at $11.50 to $13.00. Kids sold from $U*50 to $7.50 per head. WO O L AND MOHAIR Loan ra tes on "shorn wooT" and purchase prices fo r "pulled"wool'! under the 1952 wool™*price support program are based on the national average support level of 51|.2 cents per pound of wool, grease b a sis, for the 1952-53 marketing year. The program on shorn wool for the current season w ill operate as previously announced, on February 20, through nonrecourse loans, which w ill be available through December 31* 1952. Business in the Boston wool market continues slow, although prices are holding re la tiv e ly steady, as indicated by the few sales made. Meanwhile, prices , continue to decline in ' some o f the leading foreign markets. There was no trading in Texas :w©ol la s t week. The mohair market was also stagnant; most offers of 90 cents to the mohair growers in Texas were withdrawn, while some buyers were reported offering 75 cents. '■ ■ •;- - ‘ Average weekly consumption of 'apparel wools in January 1952 was less than 5.8 m illion pounds, according to figures ju st released. This compares with a weekly average of 6.3 m illion pounds -in December and 8.1 m illion pounds in January 1951 / . ^ h ' ;; ; , • T $ : MI SCELLA IE 0 US The USDA has reported that l.t i b illio n dollars was- invested in CCC price .support program loans ~ and: inventories as of February 29* 1952 and that the Corporation sustained a net realised loss of ]j0 m illion dollars in carrying out th is .program during, the f i r s t 8 months of the current f is c a l year, which ends June. 30* 19.52, ^ ' • ' B roiler prices in east and south Texas dropped at the end of March to 2It cents per pound, which compares w ith '31 to. 32 cents in January. Prices th is week are- around 25 cents. I t is reported that many b ro iler producers are unable to make a p r e fit at current market p rice s. Generally speaking, feed p ric es are high or r is in g , while b roiler prices are declining. . Flaxseed p rices have been dropping for four consecutive months. Flax seed on the Minneapolis market f e l l la s t week to $3.90 per cw t., compared with ’a peak of $lt, 6l in January. Meanwhile, fla x in south Texas is nearing m aturity, with favored sections which received moisture in recent weeks reporting improved prospects. Pecans are reported le a fin g out and blooming over the Edwards Plateau and central counties of Texas, although the recent freezes apparently caused some damage. Late peaches are blooming in central and northern counties of the S ta te , while i t appears that early blooming v a rie tie s were damaged severely by low temperatures in la te March. W. M. P r itc h e t t A g r ic u lt u r a l Economist