View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

Number 186





Wednesday, Ju]1' 22, 1953

The Secretary of Agriculture announced last week that the national
wheat acreage allotment tor 1954 will be 62 1 000 1 000 acres. This compares with
?7,560,060 acres pl8rited for the 1953 crop. The reduction is made, says the
Secretary, because this year's total supply of wheat will far exceed domestic and
export demands.
The Secretary has fixed August 14 as the date for a nationwide referendum
to determine whether or not farmers will accept wheat marketing quotas. Present
legislation provides that, if producers accept marketing quotas, the wheat crop
will be supported at 90 percent of parity. On the other hand, if producers reject
quotas, they will be eligible ror price support at on~ 50 percent of parity. At
least two-thirds of the farmers voting in the referendum must approve the controls
for them to become effective.
The new acreage allotment will be apportioned among the states, and the
state allotments among the counties, on the basis of the acreage seeded for the
production of wheat during the preceding 10 years, with adjustments for abnormal
weather and for trends in acreage.
Acreage allotments will be in effect whether or not quotas are approved.
But only those farmers who plant within their allotments are eligible for price
support assistance.
Spot wheat prices made significant gains last week. No. 1 hard wheat
closed on the Fort Worth market on July 17 at $2.43 1/4 per bushel, compared with
$2.35 3/4 one week earlier.
The Bureau of Agricultural Economics in Austin reports this week that
irrigated cotton in northwest Texas is beginning to bloom. Dry-land prospects in
this part of the State remain poor, however, with more moisture needed to prevent
additional abandonment of acreage. In the counties along the Upper Coast the crop
is maturing fast, and ginning has started in some counties. Hot, dry weather has
caused bolls to open premature]3 in the Coastal Bend and south Texas. Growers in
the Lower Valley have made excellent progress in harvesting a short crop.
Domestic mill consumption of cotton in June averaged 37 1 100 bales per
working day, . according to the Bureau of the Census. This is slightly less than
the comparable figure for May but is substantially above the 34,800 bales per day
reported in June 1952.
In the first 11 months of the current season, mills consumed 8.7 million
bales, compared with 8.4 million in the August-June period last year. Domestic consumption for the season ending July 31 probabl¥ will total close to 9.5 million
bales, compared with 9.2 million in 1951-52 and 10.5 million in 1950-51.
Spot cotton prices are fluctuating within a very narrow range, and current
market quotations are not greatly different from those of a week or 2 weeks ago.
Livestock prices rose sharply last week after a long period of decline.
The factors contributing to this advance include the Government's drought-aid
program, a pickup in demand for stockers and feeders, a rise in consumption of

meat following earlier price declines, and the rains which fell over many parts
of the Southwest.
Good and Choice slaughter steers ~ yearlings sold in Fort Worth last
week at prices ranging up to $23.50 per cwt. Fat calves of Good and Choice grades
sold up to $20.00, while fat cows drew as high as i15.oo.
Good and Choice fat-iaiiibs joined the advance at Fort Worth last week and
brought prices ranging up to $23.SO, while stocker and feeder lambs sold as high
as $17 .00.
Hog prices on the Fort Worth market hit a new 5-year high of $27.00 per
cwt. about midweek but closed out the week at about $26.50.
The number of cattle on feed July 1 in the 11 Corn Belt states is estimated
to be 8 percent larger than the-riuDibe'r on feed a year earlier, according to the BAE.
This is the largest number on feed on July 1 for the postwar years. Considering the
information available on several important states outside the Corn Belt, says the
BAE, it appears that the number of cattle on feed July 1 for the country as a whole
was up 4 to 5 percent from a year ago.




The Department of Agriculture has issued a statement intended to clarify
the basis of farmers' and stockmen•s eligibility for Goverrunent-owned feeds under
its drought feed prograiii:
The Eurpose of ~ drought ~ program, says the Department, is to maintain basic foundation herds for those bona fide farmers and stockmen who do not
have finances to purchase feed at prevailing market prices to maintain such herds
and remain in the livestock business with a reasonable chance for successful operations. Operators of commercial feed lots are not eligible for assistance under the
More specifically, to be eligible for feed at reduced prices, a fanner or
stockrnan must, first, have less than a 30-day supply of feed to maintain his fowidation herd and, second, farmers and ranchers must not have the financial ability to
remain in business and satisfactorily maintain their herds unless they can purchase
feed at prices substantially below the prevailing market price.



Farm wa~e ~ in the Nation around July 1 were about 1 1/2 percent
higher than the year earlier, according to the BAE.
Louisiana, irizona, and New Mexico showed slight increases in average
farm wage rates on July 1, as compared with a year earlier.
Probably because of the effect of the drought on demand for farm labor,
farm wage rates in Texas and Oklahoma on July 1 averaged slightly lower than a year
ago. A spot check in Texas shows, for example, that the average farm wage rate per
day, without board or room, on July 1 of this year was $5.70, compared with $5.90
a year ago. Where workers were employed by the hour the comparable hourly wage was
65 cents, compared with 68 cents last year.

MI S C E L L A N E 0 U S
Broiler markets in Texas were mostii steady last week. Broilers or fryers
weighing from 2 1/2 to 3 pounds generally brought from 29 to 30 cents per pound.
Two cars of Choice 12-month Texas wool, Good French combing and staple
length, sold locally L?.st week at $1.80 per pound, clean basis, according to PMA.
On the farmers' market in Dallas this week, good quality tomatoes sold
for $4.50 to $5.00 per bushel. Texas watermelons were quoted at 2 to 3 cents per
pound. Elberta peaches of good quality and size are bringing $3.75 to $4.00o
W. M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist