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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS

Number 288

Wednesday, July 6, 1955

WHEAT
Preliminary returns from the wheat referendum held June 25 show that 77.5%
of the voting farmers favor marketing q1'iQ"taS for 1956-crop wheat, reports the u:-S:Department of Agriculture=- The referendum marks the fifth time that growers have
voted on marketing quotas for wheat; previously, they had approved quotas for the
19Ll, 19L2, 195L, and 1955 crops.
The Secretary of Agriculture recently stated that, as a result of the
favorable vote in the June 25 wheat referendum, the support level for next year's
wheat crop will be at a national average rate of not less than 76% of parity, c;rJl.tIT per bu. Farmers are required to plant within their acreage allotments in
order to be eligible for price supports.
The Secretary also stated that the problem of accumulated wheat stocks
remains serious and that the USDA will continue its programs designed to achieve
maximum practicable exports of wheat and flour. In order to improve the quality
of wheat produced and to reduce controls over production and utilization, the USDA
intends to:
~- ---~l. Undertake to place in effect upon the 1956 wheat crop appropriate
discounts in price supports for certain designated varieties of wheat.
2. Continue efforts to increase the noncommercial wheat area. In this
area, producers are not subject to acreage controls.
3. Continue efforts to exempt wheat growers from marketing quota penalties
if the wheat is used for feed or seed on the farms where it is produced.
4. Request legislative extension of special durum wheat acreage provisions
for the 1956 crop.
5. Give special consideration to programs which will further encourage
farmers to make needed adjustments in land use.
T EX AS
P I G CR 0 P
The 1955 Texas spring pig crop is estimated at 925,000, or 22% larger
than a year ago but~below the 10-year (19LL-53) average, according to the
Agricultural Marketing Service. The upward trend in litter size continued, with
an average of 6.8 pigs saved per litter. This is a record-high number and compares
with 6.7 pigs saved per litter during the spring of 1954 and the 10-year average of
6.2 pigs.
Hog production expanded in all areas of the State in the spring of 1955,
and further increases are planned.~If breeding-rntentions are realized, 132,000
sows will be farrowed this falr;-or 5% more than a year earlier.

LIVESTOCK
Supplies of cattle on the Fort Worth market for the week ended Thursday,
June JO, were below those of both a week earlier-and a year ago, according to the
AMS. Most Choice slaughter steers and long yearlings brought $21.)0 to $22 per cwt.,
while Good grades averaged $19 to $21. Most Commercial cows sold at $12 to $12.50.
Demand was fairly good for all grades of stockers and feeders; Good stocker steer
yearlings sold at $18 to $20, while Medium grades brought $14 to $16. Choice slaughter
calves cleared at $17.50 to $19, with Choice stocker and feeder steer calves selling
at $21 to $22. Prices for butcher hogs were 50¢ lower than last Friday's close.

Choice 190- to 240-lb. hogs brought $19.50 to $19.75. Prices of Good and Choice
slaughter spring lambs ranged from $18 to $20; shorn lambs and yearlings with No. 1
pelts sold for $l~o st stocker and feeder spring lambs brought $13 to $14.50.
The Fort Worth stockyards were closed for trading on Monday, July 4.
POULTRY
Texas broiler markets were steady the first part of the week ended July 1,
but at the market's close, prices weakened and were 1¢ to 2¢ per lb. below closing
prices in the previous week. Closing prices were: South Texas, 27¢; east Texas,
25¢ to 26¢; Waco, 26¢; and the Corsicana F.O.B. plant, 27¢ per lb. Closing prices
for the corresponding week a year ago were 26¢ in all areas.
During the week ended June 25, broiler chick placements ~ Texas farms
totaled 1,809,000, reports the AMS. This is 6% below placements during the preceding
week but 32% above those during the corresponding period last year.
FARM MORTGAGE
DEBT
Demand for farm mortgage credit in the United States continued strong during
1954 and the first half of 1955, and farm mortgage money generally was available at
favorable rates and terms, according to the AM3. The farm mortgage debt as of
January 1, 1955, is estimated at $8,200,000,000, or 7% larger than a year earlier.
Indications are that the increase in 1955 will be comparable to that in 1954.
MISCELLANEOUS
The index of prices received by farmers in the Nation declined 1 point
during the month ended June 15. The mid-June index is 243% of the 1910-14 average
but nearly 2% below a year earlier. During the past month, decreases in prices
received for potatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, tomatoes, and wheat were not quite
offset by increases in prices for livestock and livestock products, primarily hogs.
Prices paid by farmers remained unchanged from a month earlier. The parity ratio
declinedlpoint and was 86% on June 15.
--- - U. ~ cash receipts from farm marketings during the period January-May
1955 averaged 3% less than during the same months last year. Receipts from livestock and livestock products were down 7%, while those from crops were slightly
higher.
According to a recent report from Texas A. & M. College, real estate
taxes on farms and ranches in Texas in 1954 rose for the eighth consecutive year
and were about J%higherthan in the previous year. The average tax per acre f or
the State was 28.8¢, compared with 27.9¢ in 1953.
Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, West Germany, and the Netherlands
received ov~r half of the value of U. s. agricultural products exported in 195L,
with over $200,000,000 going to eacllcountry, reports the Foreign Agricultural
Service. Principal exports were: Cotton to Japan and West Germany; tobacco to
the United Kingdom; fruits, nuts, and vegetables to Canada; and fats, oils, and
oilseeds to the Netherlands.
1

J. z. Rowe
Agricultural Economist