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Wednesday, November 17, 1954

Spot cotton prices declined last week following the announcement of the
USDA 1 s November 1 cotton crop forecast. It is reported that the cotton crop forecast was well above general trade expectations, and that this was the major factor
in the price decline.
Middling 15/16-inch cotton in the principal spot markets on Monday,
November 15, averaged 33.82¢ per pound, compared with 33.93¢ a week earlier and
34.01¢ 2 weeks ago.
Announcement of the November 1 cotton crop forecast was followed by
rather sharp declines in cotton futures markets quotations. May 1955 contracts
last week lnst about $2.40 per bale, while those for October 1955 were down about
$2.65 per bale.
Agricultural Marketing Service reports that the indicated production of
c·ommercial vegetables in the U. s. for fall harvest is expected to be 41% above
last season and 53% above average. All crops for fall harvest which are estimated
at this time (snap beans, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes) contribute to
this increase.
Production of the fall eggplant crop in Texas is estimated at 98,000
bushels, up from 75,000 bushels last year.--SUpplies were available in volume in
all sections of the Winter Garden area on November 1.
The early fall lettuce crop in Texas, which is grown in the Panhandle,
is estimated at 805,000 crates, compared with 450,000 crates in 1953. Harvest of
the Texas crop has been active and is expected to continue until a hard freeze
occurs. The New Mexico crop estimate is placed at 136,000 crates, which is below
last year's harvest but well above average.
The Texas fall crop of green peppers is estimated at 935,000 bushels,
compared with 788,000 last year. Supplies are available in all producing areas
of the State and loading of solid car lots has been active.
The late fall tomato crop in Texas is estimated at 500,000 bushels, up
50,000 from a year ago. Development of the crop has been behind a normal schedule,
largely because of the high fall temperatures and also because of heavy mid-October
rains in the Lower Valley. Heavy movement of the crop to market is getting under

Trading in cattle and calves on the Fort Worth market last week is described
in reports as selective. Some Choice fed steers closed 25¢ to 50¢ above the previous
week's close, while slaughter yearlings and heifers of less than Choice grade declined 50¢ or more. The better grades of stocker and feeder calves, yearlings, and
steers held steady but lower grades declined 50¢ to $1. Hog prices shewed scree improvement with butcher hogs netting a gain of around 25¢. Slaughter and stocker
and feeder lambs and yearlings sold 50¢ to $1 lower at the close of the week.
Livestock prices on the Fort Worth market on Monday, November 15, as
reported by AMS: Good and Choice slaughter steers, $19 to $24; Utility and
Commercial, $12 to $18; Cutter and Utility yearlings and heifers, $9 to $12;
Commercial cows, $10 to $11; Utility cows, $8 to $9.50; Canners and Cutters, $5 to $8;

Medium and Good stocker steers, $13 to $17.50; a few Good and Choice yearlings,
$18 to $19; Good and Choice slaughter calves, $13.50 to $17.SO; Medium and Good
stocker steer calves, $13 to $18; Choice 190- to 250-pound butcher hogs, $19.SO
to $19.75; Good and Choice slaughter lambs, $17.50 to $18.SO; feeder lambs, $13
to $16~
The cattle feeding situation to the end of October indicates that the
volume of cattle to be placed on feed this feeding season will be about the same
or slightly larger than a year earlier, according to the USDA. Shipments of
stocker and feeder cattle into the nine Corri. Belt states for which records are
available for July through October were 16% larger than last year.
The average price of feeder steers per cwt. at eight markets in the
u. s. during October was $18:8'2, compared with $16.16 for the same month a year
The number of sheep and lambs to be fed for the winter and spring
market is expected to be somewhat smaller than a year earlier. Lamb feeding
in the West is expected to show some increases but will be off in most other
areas, including Texas and Oklahoma.
CCC reports that its inventory of wool acquired under the 1952 and
1953 wool price support programs totaled 111 mIIII"on pounds as of October 26, 1954.
Wool which is security for advance loans made by CCC under the 1954
wool price support program totaled nearly 25 million pounds as of October 26.
- - ---A substantial volume of Adult mohair amounting to 10 or 11 cars was
purchased in Texas last week at 65¢ to the warehouse, according to the USDA's
Weekly Wool Market Review.

MI S C E L L A N E 0 U S
Broiler prices at the farm in Texas on Monday, November 15, were mostly
20¢ to 21¢ for birds weighing
to 3 pounds, according to the Texas Department 0£
Agriculture reports. Demand for broilers was light to fair. Broilers sold in
other principal producing sections of the country at 17¢ to 21¢, mostly from 17¢
to 19¢.
The number of persons at work on farms in the U. s. during the week of
October 24-30 declined seasonallY:-about I! million from a month earlier to a
total of 9,973,000. Of this number, 7,484,ooo were family workers and 2,489,000
were hired workers. Compared with a year earlier the number of family workers
was down 4%, while the number of workers hired on the farms was off 3%. A substantial part of the year-to-year decline in farm employment in October resulted
from the smaller cotton crop this year.
Digging of the peanut crop in Texas and Oklahoma has been interrupted
by rains. Meanwhile, the early frost appeared to have caused little damage to
the crop except that some fields were not fully developed and growth was stopped
or retarded. Spanish farmers' stock peanuts sold in the Southwest last week at
prices ranging from $237 to $268 per ton for the base grade, with occasional
reports as high as $2 90. Producers of Valencia type peanuts in New Mexico were
receiving an average of around $250 per ton for farmers' stock,
Pecan production in Texas this year is now estimated by the USDA at
21 million pounds, which is only three-fourths of the 1953 production and about
two-thirds average,


w. M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist