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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS

Number 310

riednesday, December 7, 1955

G R I C U 1 T U R A 1 .p R I C E S
The index of prices received by the Nation's farmers as of November 15,
1955, is place~225% of the 1910-14 average~2% lower than a month earlier and
7% below a year ago. Sharply lower prices for hogsancrcattie were primarily -responsible for the decline from the month=8arlier index. Changes in prices for most other
commodities were relatively small. Prices for corn and cotton declined, and those
for milk, potatoes, and some varieties . of fruits and commercial veretables increased.
The crop index remained unchanged from mid-October to mid-November, while the livestock and--rrv8stock products index declined 5%.
.
~~
----- --- The parity index (which reflects prices paid for commodities, plus interest,
taxes, and wage rates)""c;n-November 15 declined 1 point from a month earlier and is
placed at 279 - the same as a year ago. Prices-paid for both living expenses and
production commodities declined from mid-October to mid-November, with the principal
decreases occurring in feeder livestock, food, and livestock feed.
The parity ratio as of November 15 was 81, or 1% below a month earlier
and 7% lower than a year-igo. This ratio is the lowest since October 1940.
A

F ARM

I N C 0 ME

Cash receipts from farm marketings in the Nation for the January-September
period this year totaled $19,724,035,000, or 4% below those for the comparatle months
in 1954-;-r8ports the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Crop receipts were 2% lower
and livestock receipts were 5% less than in the same 9-month period last yea r.
In the states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District (Arizona, Louisiana,
New Mexico, Oklahoma, anCi"Texas), cash receipts for the first 9 months of this year
are estimated at ~ 1,856,168,000, which is 10% below those in the corresponding months
a year earlier. Crop receipts were 17% lower, and receipts from livestock were 3%
less.

E ME R G E N C Y

1 0 AN

AREA

The USDA recently extended through December 31, 1956, the designation of
197 Texas counties as an areainwhich the Farmers HomeAdIDiriistration may make
emergency loans. In order to be eligible for an emergency loan in the area;-afarmerrriust be unable to obtai n needed credit from any other source. Loans are made to
finance normal operations. The interest rate on such FHA loans is 3%.
Emergency credi t needs of farmers and ranchers in the remaining 57 counties
of Texas are served under the special Great Plains credit program, which has been in
effect since August 1. No termination date has beeT'lannounced for this program.

P 0 U1 T R Y
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, major broiler markets
in the State were generally steady during the week ended Friday, Decem~1 er 2,; however,-the east Texas market was unsettled at the close. TradinF for the week was
light to moderate in south Texas, moderate--:So!10rmal in east Texas, and normal at
aco. Closing prices - which were unchanged to 2¢' per lb. higher than in the preceding week - were: South Texas, 20¢ to 22¢; east Texas, 19¢' to 21¢', mostly 20r/,;
and Waco, 20¢'. During the corresponding period in 1954, closing prices were 20¢
per l b. in all areas.

1

On Monday, December 5, broiler markets -were weak in south Tex2s and about
steady in east Texas and the \r,aco-Corsicana area. The following· prices per lb. were
quoted~ South Texas, 19i to 20i, mostly 20i; e~st Texas, 19i to 20i; -. aco, 19.5i to
20i, mostly 20i; and the Corsicana F.O.B. plant, 20i to 2li.
During the vrnek ended November 26, placements of broiler chicks on Texas
farms totaled 1,748,000, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. This
represents a decrease of 1% from the previous week but is J6% above place ~ents during the corresponding period in 1954. Of the total placements, 91% were hatched in
Texas and 9%were shipped in from other states.
LIVESTOCK
Cattle receipts at Fort rrorth on Monday, Dec ember 5, are estimated at
4, 400, or about the same asa week earlier and 444 fewer than on the compara1~ le
date last year, reports the AMS. Trading on slaughter steers was uneven, with
some classes bringing steady prices while others were Soy:{ and more per cvvt. lower
than in the preceding week. The market for cows was active, and prices were steady
to strong. Stockers and feeders brought generally steady prices. Commercial and
Good slaurhter steers sold at ~lJ.50 to $17.50; Medium and Good stocker and feeder
steers, .~13 to :;pl 7. )0; and stocker cows, ~r?9 to ~~ 11. So per c1J1rt.
Monday's calf supplies totaled 1,200, which is 31 ~ more than a week
earlier but 30% fewer than a year ago. Sales ·were generally steady on all classes,
with Commercial and Good slaughter calves bringing -iJ)lJ to ~17.50 and Medium and
Good stocker steer calves selling at -:v l4 to ;w18.
Hog receipts are placed at 700, or slightly fewer than on the preceding
Monday's market but5'3% above those at the same time in 1954. Trading Y·ras fairly
active, with prices of butchers and sows steady to 25i per cwt. higher than in the
latter part of last week. U. S. mixed No. 1 to No. 3 Grades of 200- to 280-lb.
slaughter hogs brought mostly ~pl2.
Sheep and lamb marketings on Monday of this week are estimated at J,000,
compared with 2,420 a-w8'ek ago and 2,985 on the corresponding date last year.
Trading vrns active, with prices for slaughter lambs steady to strong and those for
slaughter ewes steady to So¢1 per cwt. hifher than in the preceding week, The
market for feeder lambs held steady. Good and Choice wooled and shorn 85- to 97-lb.
slaughter lambs cleared at ~17 to ~ 18.

F I NANC E S I T UA T I 0 N
FA RM
According to the Pgricultural Research Service, farm prices and agricultural income this year are lower than in 1954; yet, the total value of farm assets,
and of owners' equities in these assets, has increased. ~explanation for this
paradox is that the value of farm 'real estate has continued to rise in 19SS despite
lower farm income. This unusual-'farrr1real-estate situation appareritly is the result of 1. The desire of farmers to enlar?e their farms.
2. More liberal loan policies of some mortgage lenders.
J. Generally favorable crop yields in 1955.
4. The favorable outlook for the economy as a 1J11hole.
5. The expectation that the demand for farm land will be favorable
in the long run, partly because of a continued high rate of population growth
in the United States.
J. z. Rowe
Pgricultural Economist