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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS Number 268 Wednesday, February 16, 19.5.5 S UP P 0 RT P RI CES The 1955 national average support prices for various commodities have been reported in the "Agricultural News of the Week" as they became available from the United States Department of Agriculture. In the table below are summarized the national average support prices which have been announced for various commodities to be produced in District states during the 195.5-56 marketing year, with comparisons for 195L. 195L Support price Commodity and unit Wool, lb •••••••••••••.•.•••••••.•.••• Mohair, 1b. • ••••••••.••• , •••.•••.•.•• Milk, cwt. • •••••••••••••••.•••••••• , • Butterfat, lb. • •.•••••.•.•••••••.•••• Oats, No. 2 or better, bu •••••••••••• Barley, No. 2 or better, bu. • •••••• Rye, No. 2 or better, bu ••••••••••••• Grain sorghums, No. 2 or better, cwt •• Wheat, bu. • ••••••••••.••.•••••••.•••• $. $ .62 .10 3.15 .562 .61 .94 1.18 1.78 2.06 Percent of parity 106 91 80 77 70 70 70 70 82.5 Support price $ .532 .607 3.15 .562 •75 1,15 1.43 2.23 2.2L Percent of parity 90 83 75 75 8.5 85 85 85 90 ~~These are minimum support levels as announced. The policy of the USDA is to announce support levels as far in advance as is practical. If the factors used to determine a dollar-and-cents support level provide a higher support price prior to the beginning of the marketing season, the dollar-and-cents support level will be raised, but in no case will the level be lower than the original announcement. LIVESTOCK Cattle, calf, and sheep numbers on the Fort Worth market for the week ended Friday, February 11, were about the same as for the previous week-.-St'OCker and feeder sales were aetive because of improved range moisture conditions and improvement of winter grains in many areas. Good and Choice slaughter steers and yearlinls sold from $20 to $2.5 per cwt., while the Conunon and Medium grades brought $12 to 20. Fat cows were $11 to $13.50, and Canners and Cutters ranged from $7 to $11.50. Good and Choice slaughter calves sold at $17 to $22; Common and Medium were $12 to $17. Good and Choice stocker steer calves brought $18 to $22, while replacement cows were $8 to $13. Good and Choice fat lambs sold'.from $18 to $21 in the wool; stocker and feeder lambs were $17 to $20, while the lower grades brought $12 to $17. Slaughter hog prices showed slight strength early in the week but failed to hold the gain. Top-grade butcher hogs closed at prices ranging from $17.25 to $17 •.50 per cwt. Buyers were paying premium prices for the superior meat-type hogs. Cattle receipts at Fort Worth on Monday, February 14, were about the same as on Monday of the previous week,-according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture. Trading was slow on most classes, with yearlings accounting for the largest proportion of the receipts. Good beef slaughter steers brought $21 to $2L, while Utility and Commercial grades sold from $14 to $19. Commercial cows sold at $13 to $13,50 per cwt., while prices of most of the Utility-grade cows ranged from $11 to j~l2,50o Good and Choice slaughter calves were $17 to $21, while Utility and Commercial calves brought $13 to $17. Medium and Good stocker and feeder steers and yearlings were $15 to $21; Medium and Good stocker calves also brought $15 to $21. Stocker cows sold at $10 to $12. Monday's receipts of sheep and lambs at Fort Worth were the heaviest since the first week in January; about 95% were lambs. Utility to Choice wooled slaughter lambs sold from $20.50 to $21,50; Good and Choice shorn slaughter lambs were $18 .50 to $20. 50. Good and Choice stocker and feeder lambs sold from $18 to $.20. Choice 190- to 240-lb. butcher hogs brought $17,25 to $17,50, while Choice 21.6- to 290-lb. hogs sold from $16 to $17:--Sows were mostly $13 to $15 .SO. POULTRY Broiler markets in Texas during the week ended February 11 opened firm and closed at prices 1¢ per lb:-above closing prices of the previous week, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. Last Friday's closing prices were 25¢ per lb. for all markets reporting. Prices of broilers on Monday, February 14, held steady at 25¢. Chicks placed on Texas farms in the week ended February 5 totaled 1,339 ,ooo. This is 2% less than in the previous week and 10% below placements during the comparable week a year earlier. C 0 T T 0 N Middling 15/16-inch cotton on the Dallas market was quoted at 33.75¢ per lb. on Monday, February lL, compared with 33,60¢ a week ago and 34.05¢ a year ago, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Domestic and export inquiries were relatively few during the past week. Most domestic mill purchases were for the better grades and staple lengths of western-area cotton. Purchases of cotton grown in Oklahoma and Texas were small. World cotton production for the current marketing season is estimated at 36,2 million bales by the Foreign Agricultural Service. This compares with 38,0 million bales last season and 35.8 million bales 2 years ago, MI S C E 1 1 A N E 0 U S An ample supply of foodstuffs is in prospect for 1955, according to a report released recently bythe USDA. Total meat production in 1955 is estimated at 26 billion lbs. - 400 million lbs. above 1954 supplies. Most of the increase in meat supplies will be accounted for by the 16% increase in the 1954 fall pig crop. The total supply of dairy. products is expected to be the largest of record, while supplies of each of the principal poultry commodities again will be large. The supply of fresh fruits in prosp~ct this winter and spring may total larger than in the first half of 1954, while the supply of processed fruit is expected to be at least as large as in early 195L. It is estimated that fresh vegetable supplies on hand on January 1, 1955, were only slightly smaller than supplies last year. The supply of vegetables for fresh use probably will be somewhat smaller this winter than last winter. J, z. Rowe Agricultural Economist