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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS Wednesdey- 1 January 13, 1954 Number 211 L I V E S T 0 CK Choice fed steers and yearlings sold in Fort Worth on Monday of this week at $21 to $22, one load-ii22.5o, according to the USDA. Utility cows cleared from $10.00 to $12.00, a few commercial $12.~0 to $13.SO. A few loads of Good feeder steers brought. $16.~0 to $17 • .,0, Choice to $18.SO. Good and Choice slau£hter calves sold mainly from $16.00 to $19.00, a few higher, Utility and Commercial" $12.ooto $15.~0. Choice butcher ~ogs moved at prices ranging up to $26.00 1 Medium to Choice butchers brought $ 3.00 to $25.25. Good and Choice milk-fed lambs sold at $19.00. Good and Choice wooled lambs turned from $18.50 to $19.00. Good and Choice shorn slaughter lambs moved at $17.~0 to $18.SO. Medium and Good feeder lambs sold from $15.00 to $18.00. U.S. Department of Agriculture beef ~rchases last year, totaling about 250 million pounds, diverted an estimated-i3b5',~o head of lower-grade cattle from normal trade channels. About 90 percent of the beef purchased was slated for use in school-lunch operaticns and by other institutional outlets. Commercial meat production in Texas in November totaled over 112 million pounds, or 29 percent mere than a yearearlier, according to AMS. In the U the year-to-year gain was 14 percent. In the first 11 months of 1953, there were 1,533,000 head of cattle slaughtered in conunercial plants in Texas, versus 1,066,000 in the same months of 1952. The canparable figures for calves, in that order, were 1,191,000 and 775,000; hog~ 1,339,000 and 1,825,000; and dhetp ~lambs, 772,000 and 627,000 head. Practically the same trends were evi en in other southwestern states. The USDA gives ~ feed conditions in Texas on January 1, 1954, a rating of 67, which is in the range of poor but-which is above the 63 a year earlier. A rating of 75 is about average for this date. The January 1 ratings for Ari1.ona and New Mexico were 65 and 66, respectively, each of which was much below average. Sales of ~ from CCC stocks, under ~ emergency· ~ program set up last July, continued in volume through December. Through December 11, orders for nearly 600,000 tons of cottonseed meal, pellets, and slab had been approved by County USDA Drought Committees, of which over 400,000 tons had been shipped. Orders for mixed feed totaled about 103 1 000 tons and for hay, 1,274,000 tons. Orders also had been approved for about 11 million bushels of corn and 15.5 million bushels of oats. .s., C 0 T T 0 N Spot cotton prices have moved up a few more points during the past week and are now very close to CCC loan levels. Some qualities are quoted above loan values in local markets. Cottonseed prices, on the other hand, declined in Texas last week, averaging $51.80 per ton, or 86 cents lower than in the previous week. CCC loan entries reported in the week ended January 1 totaled 195,800 bales, compared with 200 1 200 in the preceding week and 296,200 two weeks earlier. Loan entries for the season through January 1 were 5,554,100 bales. This excludes 86,500 bales, the notes for ~hich had been returned to lending agencies for correction. Loan re~ayments through January 1 this season were 54,400 bales, leaving loans oUt'Standing on 5,499,100 bales of 1953-crop cotton. Through January 1, CCC recei ed 876,225 bales of Texas cott on and 137, 115 bales of Oklahoma cotton into the lo:m prog:ram. Since January 1, loan ent ries have been heavy, and it is reported ~hat l ocal lending agencies and cooperatives have received a deluge of loan app],icaticns . The USDA S8',YS that the supp1y 2f cotton in the U.S. for the 1953-54 season is estimated at 21.9 mill ion bales, disap~arance is forecast at about 12.J million. This would leave a c~-over on August 1, 1954, of about 9.6 million bales, compared with 5.5 millOila year earlier . About 6.S million bales of this c~·over probably will be held by CCC under the price support program. Export of cott on during the current season is expected to increase moderately over t he 3 million bales exported in 1952-53. Loans and grants from the U.S. Government to finance cotton exports during the 1953-54 sea.son" amount to ~3 million as o? December 29, which, i f complete:cy used, would finance about 1 1/2 million bales. ana FARM REAL ESTATE Farm real estate values in the United States as of November 1, 1953, were lower tnan-i:n-J\!lY in practica!ly all states, according to a report released last week by the USDA. Three-fourths of the states showed declines of 2 to 4 percent, but values were down 5 percent or mofe in 10 states. In st ates lying wholJs" or part'.cy" within thi~ Federal Reserve District, percentage declines were as follows: Arizona 1, Louisiana 2 1 New Mexico 3, Oklahoma 5, and Texas ?· Fann land values in the United States in November averaged 6 percent below a year-ea.r!!6r. Percentage declines in states of this District were: Arizona lO, Louisiana 2, New Mexico 91 Oklahoma 9, and Texas 4. Although considerable decline in fann land values has occ~red in the Southwest. in the past year, they still average relative]¥ high. Percentage incre.=:.ses over 1935-39: Arizona. 153, Louisiana 135, New Mexico 218, Oklahoma 157, Texas 145, and United States 147. Probably fewer fanns were sold dll.ring the summer and fall of 1953 than during any comparable period since 1939, says the report. This represents a continuation of the downward trend in sales activity that has prevailed every year since 1947, except 1950 when the Korean outbreak caused a temporary upturri. Reduced farm income and uncertainty as to future levels of income are given as probab~ the major factors contributing to the sluggish market for fann land this past summer and fall. Not only were fanner-buyers hesitant to assume large debts with a declining farm real estate market in prospect, but more stable economic conditions have largely checked the interest of the investor-buyer in farm land as an inflation hedge. Interest rates on new f arm-mort~age money have generally increased in all parts of the country d\ir"fiig the past years, reflecting the higher interest yields on Government and corporate securities. In this connection, a recent survey of interest rates on farm mortgages in several midwestern states, made by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, shows that the most common rate charged there by commercial banks is 5 percent. Only a few bankers expected interest rates to show any further advances during 1954. W. M. Pritchett Agricultural Economist