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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK Number 12$ Wednesday, May 1$, 1952 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 'WH E A T • The U .S . winter wheat crop is now forecast at 986 m illion bushels, or $0 m illion bushels more than indicated a month ago, according to the u .S.D .A . This compares with 6$5 m illio n bushels produced la s t year and a 19$l-50 average of 800 m illion bushels* In general, says the Department, weather conditions during A pril favored growth an,d development of the crop throughout most of the country. The most important factor contributing to the continued improvement in the crop has been the rather generous A pril r a in fa ll over much of the important southwestern wheatproducing areas* The Texas winter wheat crop is forecast at 38,071,000 bushels, or 10 per cent over the A pril 1 fo recast. This production forecast is more than double the extremely short crops of the past 2 years, but s t i l l lower than for any other year since 19$1. Production la s t year was only 17,307,000 bushels. Winter wheat production in Oklahoma is forecast at 78*5 m illion bushels, vs. 38.9 m illio n la s t year and a I 9I4I-F 0 "average of 71.7 m illion bushels. New Mexico expects to harvest about 1.1 m illion bushels, compared with 786,000 in 1951. The announcement of an upward revision in the winter wheat crop la s t -week caused some weakening in wheat prices* No. 1 hard wheat sold Tuesday, May 13, on the Fort Worth market at a top price of $2.67 per bushel, compared with $2.75 a week e a r lie r . COTTON Spot cotton prices are fluctuating within a rather wide range. On Tuesday, May 13, Middling l5/l6-inch cotton on the Dallas market closed at 38.30 cents per pound, compared with 37.90 a week e a rlie r and a peak of $1.95 la s t month. Revised estimates of cotton production in the Nation la s t year show Texas production at $,061,000 bales” - 38 percent above the 1950 crop. Production in Louisiana -was estimated at 760,000 b ales, up 78 percent from 1950; Oklahoma, $62,000 bales, up 91 percent; New Mexico, 272,000 b ales, up $5 percent; and Arizona, 803,000 bales, up 70 percent. Cotton planting is very active in ce n tra l, eastern, and southeastern counties of Texas and is gaining momentum in the High and Low Rolling P la in s. Chopping is under way in the Coastal Bend, while the crop in the Lower V alley is blooming. LI VESTOCK Hog prices are risin g seasonally, and are higher in Fort Worth th is week than at any time since la s t October. Tuesday’ s top price was $20.75 per cwt. , compared with $19.00 a week e a rlie r and $17.25 a month ago. This rise may be attributed also to the expectation of a curtailment in pork production in the next few months. Prices of c a ttle and calves on the Fort Worth market are holding near the levels of the past several weeks. Good to Choice slaughter steers generally are bringing a top price of $3$.00, with occasional lo ts up to $35*00. Spring lambs are se llin g th is week up to $30.00, the highest since the post-Eastern decline which carried top prices to $27.50 per cwt. The U .S . Department of Agriculture says that prospects for the next 2 or 3 months are for seasonally risin g prices for a l l meat animals except the higher grades of c a t t le , which may decline at the time of peak marketing th is spring. Prices of Page 2 /’ . .. . ; ;• c a ttle and lambs seem lik e ly to remain below la s t year, but prices of hogs may rise to or above the same months of 1951# Commercial meat production in Texas in March totaled almost 70 m illion pounds, according to BAE estim ates. Production in the f i r s t quarter of 1952 was up 15 percent from a year e a r lie r , POULTRY AND EGGS The b roiler market in Texas has recovered most of i t s loss which occurred in late A p ril and early May, Grade A birds in East Texas are bringing as high as 28 cents per pound th is week - 10 cents over the low reached th is month. Quotations in South Texas' range from 25 cents to 2? cents per pound. Prices of other classes of poultry, which reacted downward when the broiler market crashed, have not recovered as have b r o ile rs. Heavy hens on the Fort Worth market th is week were quoted at 16 to 19 cents per pounds, compared with 20 to 2 h cents la s t month. Egg prices are holding steady. Egg production in Texas during A pril totaled 315 m illion eggs> or the same as during the same month la s t year,. F A R M- I N'C O M E « U .S, farmers’ net income in 1952 is expected to be about the same as or somewhat smaller than in 1951* says the >Department of A griculture. Gross farm income, -which was lit percent higher in 1951 than the year before, seems to be levelin g o ff with lower average prices la rg e ly o ffse ttin g increased output* Cash receipts from farm marketings, the principal element of farmers’ gross income, may be s lig h tly higher than in 1951$ with average growing conditions, volume production may be a new record, ’• ' In the f ir s t two months of 1952, cash receipts from farm marketings in Texas totaled $26l m illio n , compared with $2l;0 m illio n in the same months of la st year. In other states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve D is tric t: Oklahoma, $79 m illio n , ’up $8 m illion' from January-February 1951$ Louisiana, $R8 m illio n , up $2 m illio n ; Arizona, $88 m illio n , up $37 m illion; and New Mexico, $32 m illio n , up $9 m illio n , ’* MI SCELLANEOUS . . The Texas peach crop is estimated at only 1*95*000 bushels, compared with 696,000 bushels la s t year and a 10-year average of 1,327,000 bushels. Weather la st winter was unfavorable for peach production. The BAE index of farm prices in Texas rose in A pril for the f i r s t time since November. The index was 3 ^ h ~ ^ mPa-r e d with 3A5 in March and a record 399 a year ago* I t appears, however, that most of th is gain resulted from a rise in cotton prices, and th is gain has since been more than lo s t , judging by spot quotations on the Dallas Cotton Exchange, Total milk equivalent of dairy products manufactured in Texas in March was 5 percent below March 1950; production in the f i r s t quarter was also down 5 percent below la s t year and AO percent below the average of comparable periods in 1935-39, ^ •; Milk production on Texas farms in A pril is estimated at 296 m illio n pounds - the same as a year ago. Research Department