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Number 239



Wednesday, July 28, 1954

Reports indicate that the cotton crop in the Southwest has been withstanding the hot, dry weather fairly well, but a-general rain is needed throughout
the region. Early plantings are in satisfactory condition, but late plantings
already have begun to wilt in some sections. Irrigated acreage, however, is making
excellent progress.
The crop in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is moving slowly because of reported labor shortages. Most of the current ginnings are being bought by cotton
merchants and dealers.
Spot cotton prices continue to ease upward. On Monday, July 26, Middling
15/16-inch cotton in the 10 spot markets averaged 34.59¢ per pound, the highest
since 1952.
Domestic mill consumption of cotton averaged 31,900 bales per working
day in June, according to the Bureau of the Census. This was the lowest June
average since 1949 and compares with 37 ,OOO bales in June 1953. Consumption in
the first 11 months of the current season, which ends July 31, is estimated to
be 9% below that of the corresponding period a year earlier.
The United States Department of Agriculture predicts an increase in
domestic consumption of cotton in the 1954-55 season. Disappearance of cotton
in the U.S. is expected to be in the neighborhood of 13.7 million running bales,
compared with 12 .3 million for the current marketing year. Domestic mill consumption for 1954-55 is forecast at about 9.2 million bales, an increase of
about 600,000 bales over that estimated for 1953-54. Cotton exports in 1954-55,
says the Department, probably will increase to around 4.5 million bales, which
compares with an estimated 3 3/4 million bales for the current marketing year
and approximately 3 million in 1952-53.
Despite the hot, dry weather and the shortages of range feed throughout
most of the Southwest, marketings of cattle and calves at Fort Worth have dropped
off. Receipts of cattle in the first 4 days of last week totaled an estimated
15,300 head, compared with 19,352 a week earlier and 17,586 a year ago. Calf
receipts present the same picture. Cows comprised about 35% to 40% of the cattle
marketed. On Monday of this week (July 26), cattle receipts at Fort Worth were
estimated at 4,200 head, down 1,000 from a week earlier and 1,200 below a year
On Monday's market, Commercial and Good slaughter steers and yearlings
cleared from $14 to $19.SO, a few Choice mixed yearlings and heifer'S1°20 and
$20.50. Beef cows sold mostly from $9 to $10.SO. Medium and Good stocker and
feeder steer'S and yearlings cleared from $12 to $17.
Calf--r8'ceipts were short on Monday, and trading was fairly active, with
prices steady tO-Strong, spots up as much as 50¢. Good and Choice killers drew
$13.50 to $17, Utility and Commercial $9 to $13. Medium and Good stocker steer
calves turned from $12 to $17, a few Choice up to $19,
Choice 190-240 lb. slaughter hogs sold in Fort Worth Monday at a top
price of $22 .50.
-Good and Choice spring lambs cashed at $17 to $20.

Texas broiler markets were steady to firm last week, according to the
Texas Department of Agriculture. Closing prices in most producing areas were
around 28¢ per pound for broilers or fryers weighing 2! to 3 pounds, Prices
averaged about 1¢ below a year earlier. The USDA reports that 1,476,000 broiler
chicks were placed on Texas farms in the week ended July 17, up 2% from the
previous week and 25% above placements in the corresponding week a year ago.
The number of chicks hatched in commercial hatcheries in Texas during
June was down 10% from the same month a-Year ago, according to the Agricultural
Marketing Service office in Austin. Chicks hatched during the first 6 months o~
1954, however, were 6% above the hatch for the same period of 1953.
The Turkey Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture met
in Washington last week and concluded that no loan or purchase program for turkeys
is necessary at present. However, the Committee emphasized the importance of increased marketing efforts, especially since this year's turkey crop is somewhat
above last year's.

MI S C E 1 1 A N E 0 U S
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released this week its July issue 0£
The Demand and Price Situation in which the Department has taken a midyear look
at the agricultural production, supply, demand, and price situation, Production
prospects, says the report, point to continued large supplies of most crops and
livestock products in 1954. Demand for farm products remains high, with consumer
incomes at near-record rates and exports holding at year-earlier levels. Prices
received by farmers in the first 6 months of this year averaged 2~% below a year
earlier. Price support programs have helped to maintain prices of farm products
and will continue as an important price-sustaining factor in coming months.
Production of livestock and livestock products may total around 4%
larger than in 1953. r1eat supplieSC'ontinue large. Output in the last half
of this year is expected to total somewhat above the same period in 1953, with
substantially more pork and slightly less beef. Milk production in the last hal£
of this year may not differ much from a year earlier; egg production will continue
above a year ago. Broiler supplies also are expected to continue at near-record
levels, and turkey production may reach a new high.
Crop output, on the basis of July 1 indications, was expected to total
virtually as large as in 1953, but unfavorable weather during July has reduced
over-all crop prospects.
Prices received by farmers declined from May to June in response to the
prospects for large crop production, but prices of many major farm commodities
strengthened during July.
Cash receipts from farm marketings in the first half of this year were
down 3% frOina year earlier. Total marketings were practically the same as last
year, but prices averaged lower.
The Chicago office of the AMS reports that average weekly consumption
of apparel wools on a scoured basis in May was almost 5.7 million pounds, which
compares with over 7.8 million pounds per week in May 1953.
The proportion of Texas corn acreage planted with hybrid seed this year
is estimated at 72.5%, which is two percentage points less than in 1953. However,
actual acreage planted to hybrids is greater than last year, due to the increased
corn acreage in 1954.

w. M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist