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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK Number 217 OF DALLAS WednesdBjy, February 24, 1954 COTTON cotton prices failed to show any gain last week after having risen gradually for several weeks. Closing prices of Middling lS/16-inch cotton on the ten spot markets ranged last week from 34.07¢ to 34.21¢ per pound; the latter price, whi~~ is the highest for the season, also was the top price 2 weeks ago. During the past 2 months,Middling 15/16-inch cotton .2!.! ~ ten markets has increased from 32.39;, as of December 17, to a February high of Jt:21¢. At the lcw point, Middling 15/16-ir.ch cotton was quoted at about 60 points below the CCC average loan rate ir. the ten markets. Prices for Middling 15/16-inch are currently about 120 points above the CCC loan level. CCC !2!!?. entries reported in the week ended February 12 were 56,900 bales, which brought the total thus far this sea.son tc over 6.6 million bales, excludir~ 102,000 bales for which notes had been returned to lending agencies for correction. I10an repayments for the season to this date covered 17u,400 bales. The Agri cul t.ural Marketir. .g Servi.ce (AMS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture reports that producers are offering equities fair;I.y freeJ.l. Prices ranged last week from $2.00 to $10.00 per bale. S~ot L I VE S T 0 CK Prices of some grades of cattle moved lower last week in Fort Worth as cattle receipts over the Nation ran well ahead of the previous week and the comparable week last year. ~ steers and yearlings sold from 50¢ higher to 5~¢ lower. Good and Choice slaughter steers~ yearlings sold from $17.00 to $22.75; Common and Medium from $12.oo to $17.60. Fat cows cleared $10.00 to $12o~O, while Canners and Cutters drew $7.00 to $10o50. -Good and Choice slaughter calves sold from $16.00 t<? $20.00 on the Fort Worth market last week. Common and Medium sold at $10.00 to $15.00. Butcher hogs moved in a narrow range last week and closed mostly 25¢ lower. La.st week's top price was $26.,0. Good and Choice spring lambs sold from $20.(1() to $23.75; culls ranged down to $15.oo. Shorn fat old-crop lambs brought $17.~0 to $19.50, while sane wooled lambs reached $20.00. Stocker and feeder lambs sold from $15.00 to $19050. The top price on Prime fed steers in Chicago last week was $31.65, the highest since last. November. Trading in goats on the San Antonio market last week was somewhat restricted by relatively small supplies. Good Spanish-type and shorn Angora slaughter goats brought $7.50 to $8.00, while Cull and Medium offerings held between $5.00 and $6.75. A few slaughter kids brought $4.00 to $4.,0 per head. Common and Medium stocker goats sold at $4.50 to $5.50 per head. POULTRY Texas broiler markets improved last week, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. Prices in most areas closed at 24-25¢ per pound for 2 1/2- to 3pound birds. Prices general.ly were about 3¢ higher than at the close of the previous week. There were 1,392,000 broiler chicks placed on Texas farms in the week ended February 13 1 which is 2 percent less than the corresponding week a year ago. Week~ placements ran well ahead of year-ago totals for several months prior to about 3 weeks ago. Broiler chicks placed on farms in the 13 principal producing areas in the U.S. totaled almost 15.3 million chicks in the week ended February 13~ which is 1.2 million more than a year earlier. The number of chicks hatched in commercial hatcheries in Texas during January was up 9 percent from the same month a year ago, reports---the AMS office in Austin. Production during January totaled m:tllion. Turkey poilts hatched in commercial hatcheries during January totaled 16,ooo, compared with 6,ooo in January 1953. The mid-J an:uary ~ £!. ~ United States farm poult!l. ration (an average cost of poultry feeds calculated by the USDA) was i3~per cwt., compared with $4.06 a year ago. ~production on Texas farms totaled 217,000 1 000 during January, 4 percent more than in January 1953. Little or no change is reported for Arizona, I1ouisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. 7t MISCELLANEOUS Member bank loans to fanners in this District on December 31, 1953, were greatly different from a year earlier. Loans guaranteed by CCC totaled $235,450,000, or more than five times as much as a year earlier, which reflects the extensive use of the CCC support program by cotton farmers. Other non-real-estate loans to farmers totaled $210,752,000, down 25 percent compared with December Jl, 1952. F2.nn real estate loans amounted to $29,535,000, or 1.6 percent above a year earlier. Irish potatoes ~ not eligible ~ price support ~ season, and while Public law 290 approved by the-President January JO authorized use of Section 32 funds from customs receipts for providing limited assistance to the Irish potato industry, the USDA says that it has analyzed the problem confronting Irish potato prcducers and has concluded that the time is too short and the problem is too big to accomplish any real benefits with a Section 32 program under present conditions in the Irish potato industry. New-~rSp Irish potatoes, Texas grown, are selling on the wholesale market in Dallas at $ • 0 to $2.75 for SO-pound sacks of US No. l washed; size B washed, $2.00 - $2.25, according to Texas Department of Agriculture report. The Secretary of Agriculture announced last week that during the marketing year beginning April 1, 1954, the pricSs of milk for manufacture and butterfat sold by farmers will be supported at 7 percent"9of parity. Under the Agricultural Act of 1949 the Secretary of Agriculture must support dairy prices at a level between 75 percent and 90 percent of parity, the level of support to be whatever the Secretary "determines necessary in order to assure an adequate supply." AMS reports that 4 to 5 cars of mohair were contracted last week in Texas at 7lt¢ for Adult, $1.0l! for Kid, and $1.~0 for surplus Kid mohair. u. s. farmers received ~5¢ of ~ dollar ~ consumers s1?7nt ~ ~ food products in 1953, compared with 47¢ a year earlier, the USDA reports in its ttMarketing and Transportation Situation." During the post-World War II period, the farmer's share has varied from 45¢ to 52¢. The U. s. Department of Agriculture announced last week that the rate 0£ interest charged producers and others £!! prfce support loans, effective with"'the-1954 price support loan programs, will be 32 percent per annum, compared with the 4 percent rate in effect for loans on 1953 crops. This change is in line with the recent trend or interest rates on short-term goverrnnent and commercial borrowings. W. M. Pritchett Agricultural Economist