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agricultural news of the week

Wednesday, June 1+, 1952

Number 127
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
The index of prices received by U .S. farmers for a l l farm commodities at
mid-May was 293 (1910-lITlr 100*7, compared with 2*90 a month earlie r and a record
high of 313 in February 1991, according to the USDA. P ra c tic a lly a l l the increase
in the index from A pril to May was due to a sharp rise in hog p rices, which in turn
was largely th e .re su lt of the Government’ s buying of pork products for the expressed
purpose of stim ulating hog prices.
Other commodities showing price increases from A pril to May were calves,
wool, corn, soybeans, most f r u it s , potatoes, and cabbage. Lower prices were re­
ported for dairy products, poultry and eggs, cotton, hay, wheat, oats, barley,
sheep, lambs, tomatoes, and onions.
The index of prices paid by farmers at mid-May.stood at a record high of
289 - unchanged from A p ril. Farm liv in g costs held steady during the month, whereas
lower feed prices p a r tia lly o ffse t higher seed, farm’ supply, and machinery p rices.
Spot cotton prices have been moving up irregu larly since mid-May. On
Tuesday, June 37 Middling' 1.9/l6-inch cotton closed on the Dallas market at 39.39
cents per pound, compared with 3 U9 a week earlier and 37.80 on May liw
The rise in cotton prices is probably due to many influences, but one
contributing factor*Ts~the delay in planting of the new crop in some areas, because
of either too much or too l i t t l e rain . Heavy rains in the Low Rolling Plains and
Cross Timbers areas of Texas la s t week interrupted planting and made i t necessary
to replant a large acreage. Moreover, insects are attacking the crop in many sec­
Cash wheat prices have been declining almost steadily since they h it the
skids almost a month ago. On Tuesday of th is week, No. 1 hard wheat closed in Fort
Worth at a top price of $ 2 . 93 - 3 /U per bushel, compared with $ 2 . 6l - l /2 a week ago and
a peak of $2.79 in early May.
The wealmess in wheat prices re fle c ts the generally good prospects for a
large wheat crop th is year 5 the weather in the past few days has favored harvesting
operations, and the q u ality of the grain is reported good.
Another factor in the wheat price situation is the fa ilu re of the recent
meeting in Washington at which representatives of the wheat importing and exporting
nations were going to attempt to renew the International Wheat Agreement, under
which the U .S . for the past several years has been guaranteed a market for a sizable
lo t of wheat. However, the U .S. and Canada want a higher price for the grain under
any new agreement. Under the IWA soon to expire, the U .S. has been s e llin g wheat
far below the market le v e l, and the balance has been paid by the U .S . Government as
a wheat export subsidy.
Sorghum grain prices are s t i l l r is in g , in contrast to the decline in wheat
prices. TEe growing importance of th is commodity for industrial uses is undoubtedly
a factor in the present price situ a tio n , although the demand for th is grain for liv e ­
stock and poultry feed has been heavy. ' Sorghum grain closed Tuesday on the Fort
Worth market at $3.39 per cw t., compared with $3*18 a month ago.
Prices of other grains are showing re la tiv e ly l i t t l e change, except for
day-to-day flu ctu atio n s.

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The hog market in Fort WorUh was weaker la s t week, following termination'
of the Government’ s pork buying program, but prices reacted upward again th is week,
reaching a top price of $21.75 on Tuesday of th is w e e k . This is as high as they
have been since la s t August, except for one day la s t month when $22.00 was paid.
C attle prices in Fort Worth are holding generally steady, according to
d a ily market reports Issued by the PM . There has been some noticeable weakness
in prices of fa t c a t t le , although th is was minor.
Prices of spring l ambs rose th is week; Good and Choice slaughter spring
lambs drew $28,00 to $ T %OOf with two lo ts reaching $30.00 per cwt. U t ilit y and
Good shorn lambs and yearlings brought $22.00 to $2lu00. Common to Good feeder
spring lambs sold as high as $ 2 3 . 00 .
A du ll trade developed in the goat division of the San Antonio market la s t
week, with prices down about $1,00 per cwt.
Commercial livesto ck slaughter in Texas is running fa r ahead of la s t year.
In the f i r s t U months of 1982, the to ta l liv e weight of" c a ttle slaughtered was
256.6 m illion pounds, vs. 223.6 m illion a year ago. C a lf slaughter covered 78.5
m illion pounds, vs. 73.1 m illion in the Januarv-April period la s t year. Hog
slaughter accounted fo r 200 m illion pounds, v s . l6p m illion a year ago. Slaughter
of sheep and lambs rose to 9 m illion pounds, liv e weight b a sis, v s. 7 m illion in
the f i r s t 1; months of 1951.
The PMA reports that a couple of cars of origin al bag, average 12-months
wool were sold in Texas la s t week at around $1.60 per pound, clean b a s is .” A fa ir
weight of 12-months wool was sold at clean prices estimated from $1.65 to $1.70,
landed Boston, while 8-months wools were bought at estimated clean prices from
$1.50 to $ 1 , 60 , delivered.
The la s t reported accumulation of about 50,000 pounds of mohair was sold
in Texas la s t week at $1.05 for adult and $1.30 for kid mohair.
A N D____E G O S
B ro ilers sold in East Texas th is week at 25 to 26 cents per pound for
birds under"3 pounds; heavier weights and roughs were discounted. In South Texas,
a l l weights up to 3 .2 5 pounds brought 26 cents.
Top grade commercial fryers are bringing 25 to 27 cents per pound on the
Fort Worth whole salesman keL""tFiis week - 1 cent below a week ago. Heavy hens are
quoted" at rl5 to 18 cents - unchanged.
The few turkeys available are bringing 25 to 28 cents per pound.
Egg markets aTe holding steady.
Cottonseed o il prices are moving up again. The commodity was quoted in
Fort WorthTEIs"'week as""high as 12-1/8 cents per pound, which compares with 10-1/2
a month ago and a low of 9-5/8 in late A p ril.
The BAE reports that a f a ir ly good pecan crop is in prospect in Texas,
with l i t t l e insert damage to date.
The flaxseed market has weakened since early May; the closing Minneapolis
quotation on Tuesday of" th is week was $3.91 per cw t., compared with $3*99 about, a
month ago and a peak of $lu6l in early January.
Research Department