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Number 246

Wednesday, September

15, 1954

C 0 T T 0 N

As was generally expected, in view of the unfavorable weather during August,

the September cotton report of the U. s. Department of Agriculture showed substantial reductions in official estimates as compared with those of a month ago. The
U. S. crop is now indicated at 11,832,000 bales, which is 848,000 bales less than
the August estimate. Estimates were lowered in a number of states including Louisiana,
Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona.
Here are the current estimates of cotton production in the states of the
Eleventh Federal Reserve District, with last year's production figures in parentheses:
Louisiana, 495,000 (806,000); Oklahoma, 230,000 (437,000); Texas, 3,375,000 (4,317,000);
New Mexico, 235,000 (327,000); and Arizona, 730,000 (1,070,000); all figures in bales.
Spot cotton prices continue to fluctuate within narrow ranges. Meanwhile ,
cottonseed prices have advanced further. Wagon lot prices of cottonseed paid to
producers in Texas last week averaged $66.80 per ton, compared with $65.90 per ton
the previous week, according to .Al~S.
AMS describes the cotton situation in the Southwest last week as follows:
spot market activities~ere moderate; producers were offering freely; general demand
was good but selective; inquiries from domestic and export sources were numerous;
and weather conditions were favorable for harv8-sting.

1 I VE S T 0 CK
Marketings of livestock last week were rather heavy throughout the Nation;
market receipts were considerably above a year earlier. However, prices of cattle
and sheep held about steady. Hog prices declined further, falling at Fort Worth to
the lowest level in a year and a half.
A USDA report on sales of Fort Worth livestock on Monday of this week
indicates that the cattle trade was fairly active, and hog prices advanced 50¢ to
75¢, while the calf and lamb trade was described as slow.
Monday's selling prices at Fort Worth: Good and Choice fed steers, $22;
Choice yearlings, ~? 23; Good beeves, $20 to $21; Utility and Commercial steers, ~13
to $18; Good and Choice slaughter calves, $14.50 to $17; Medium and Good stocker
steer calves, $13 to $19; Choice 190- to 250-pound butcher hogs, $21, a few to
$21.25; Choice spring lambs, $19; Good spring lambs, $17; Good slaughter yearlings,
$12 to $13; Medium and Good stocker and feeder lambs, $11 to $15.
The U. s. Department of Agriculture has issued its quarterly report on
farm real estate values covering a survey in July. This report shows that farm
real estate values changed very little from March to July. Seven scattered states
showed increases of 2% or more but an equal number showed similar declines. Scarcely
any significant change was noted in the states of this Federal Reserve District.
The report indicates further that the volume of voluntary sales of farm
real estate has continued to decline. During the year ended March 15, the-number
of such sales per 1,000 farms was only half that of the peak year 1946-47. The
number of foreclosures increased slightly in several states affected by drought but
in most states it remained at the extremely low level -of recent years.

Nearly a third of the farms reported sold in 1953-54 were purchased to
enlarge existing farms. This is about the same proportion as a year earlier but
somewhat higher than in previous years.
Farmers continue to be the major participants in the farm real estate
market. They bought $1.9 billion worth of farm real estate, or 70% of the total
value ($2.7 billion), sold during the year ended March 1954.
About 62% of the farms bought during 1953-54 were credit financed. This
compares with 59% a year earlier and is the highest proportion since 1944. The
debt per transfer also increased and averaged 59% of the purchase price, compared
with 56% a year earlier.

MI S C E L L A N E 0 U S
Texas broiler markets last week opened weak and then held steady through
the close, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. Closing prices were
23¢ to 24¢ in most areas. The market for Monday of this week was irregular, and
broilers sold down to 22¢ in east Texas.
The U. S. farm population in April numbered 21,890,000, according to
estimates prepared by the Bureau of the Census and the Agricultural Marketing Service•
This figure represents 13.5% of the total population and reflects a continuation
of the long-time downward trend in the number of farm residents.
The mid-August index of prices received by Texas farmers and r.anchmen
was 270% of the 1910-14 base, aS-reported by the AMS office in Austin. The August
figure is 12 points above that of July but is the same as in August last year. The
fact that farm prices in Texas in August this year averaged the same as a year ago
obscures the important changes that have occurred in prices of individual commodities. Prices of cotton, cottonseed, beef cattle, and wheat are selling above a year
ago, while prices of virtually all other agricultural commodities are lower.
With the peanut crop continuing to deteriorate in some parts of the Southwest because of drought, many growers are reportedly digging their crop and baling
it for hay. Farmers who are able to harvest a crop of peanuts are receiving mostly
$ 2 2 8 to $.2 43 per ton, depending upon quality,
The production of hairy vetch seed in Texas this year is estimated at
7,540,000 pounds, compared with 7,800,000 pounds in 1953.
Reports indicate that the citrus crop in south Texas is in good condition
despite the record-high temperatures in late July. Fruit growth was checked a
little in August, but sizes are more advanced than usual, Early harvest is in
prospect, Water for irrigation is plentiful,
The rice crop in Texas is turning out better than was expected early in
the season. A record-large crop of 16,430,000 bags is indicated as both acreage
and yield per acre are the highest of record.
Dry weather has caused shedding of pecans in Texas, and the crop is now
estimated at 22.S million pounds, compared with 28 million last year.
Over-all prospects for grain sorghum production in Texas improved during
August, and production is now placed at 77,146,000 bushels, compared with 55,198,ooo
in 1953.

w. M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist