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Number 3L9



Wednesday, September 5, 1956



The index of pric es r e ceiv ed by U. s . farmers declined 3% during the
month ended August 15;" 1956, repor ts the-Agricult ural Marketing Service. The index-Is-placed~37% of the 1910-lL average, compared with 2LL in July and 232 in
Augu st 1955. Sharply lower prices r e ceived by farmers for potatoes and commercial
ve getables, together with moderate declines in average prices received for cotton,
fruit, and poultry, were responsi ble for t he de crease from the mid-July level . The
declines were only partially off set by substantial increases in prices re ceived for
cattle and hogs and by small increas es for milk, wheat, and a number of other commodities.
The parity index (which reflects p rices paid for commodities, plus interest, taxes, and wage rates) rose 1 point during t he month ended August 15 to reach
288% of the 1910-lL average.----rricreases-in prices of farm production goods were
p rimarily responsible for the rise. Part of the price advances was offset by a
slight decline in prices paid for famil y living items - principally food. The midAu gust parity index was 3% hi gher t han a year ago and equaled the previous all- time
August high recorded in 1952.
The parity ratio on August 15 was 82 , or L points lower than the 1956
high level reached in June and 1 point below Au gust 1955.
On August 31 the Secreta r y of Ag riculture proclaimed a national marketing
quota of ll,OlL,L93 bales and a nat i onal a creage allotment of 17,391,JOL acres for
the 1957 crop of uplaTid"Cotton. In accor dance with Section 302 of the Agricultural
Act of 1956, the national acr eage allotment is the same as for the 1956 crop . To
be effective, the national market i ng quota must be approved in a referendum to be
held not later than December 15 this year.
Cattle receipts at Fort Worth dur i ng t he week ended Thursday, August 30,
t ot aled an estimated l e , eoo, or about the s ame as in"t:°he previous week but Ll% mo r e
than during the corresponding pe riod in 1955 , repor ts the AMS. As a result of the
continued drought, cattle have been ma rketed at For t Worth during the past several
weeks that ordinarily would have been held until fall. Prices of slaughter steers
and yearlings were unevenly steady to 50¢ per cwt . lower than in the pre ceding week ,
and those for stocker and feeder cattle were weak t o 50¢ and more lowe r. Most
Choice slaughter steers brought $23 to $25; Utility cows, ~9.50 to 111; and most
Good stocker and feeder yearling steers, $16 t o ~pl8 ,
The calf supply is placed at 5, LOO , refle cting increases of 10% from a
week earlier and 7L% from the corresponding period l ast year. Many of the slaughter calves we re thin and s howed evidence of having been in areas where supp l ies of
mil k, feed, rou ghage, and grass were s hort. Prices of calves ranged from firm t o
~pl per cwt. lower than i n t he p receding week .
Good slaughter calves sold at ~;:15 to
r~l7 .)O, and most Good stocker and feeder steer calves brought ~~16 to ~:il8 . )0 .
An estimat ed 3,300 hogs were re ceived at Fort Worth during the week ended
Thurs day, August JO, compared with L, OOO in the preceding week and 2,600 during the

comparable period in 1955. Prices fluctuated moderately. The week's top price of
$17.75 per cwt, was paid for U.S. No. 1 and No. 2 Grades of 200- to 230-lb. barrows
and gilts.
Sheep and lamb marketings are estimated at 11,300, or 1,200 more than a
week earliera:ridT,300 more than during the corresponding week last year. Trading
on all slaughter classes was rather slow, and prices showed mixed trends. The supply
of feeding and breeding stock was somewhat limited, and prices were fully steady to
strong, Most Good and Choice spring lambs cleared at $17 to $19 per cwt.
The Fort Worth stockyards were closed for trading on Monday, September 3.
Milk production in the Nation during the January-July period this year
totaled 79 billion lbs., according to the AMS. The output compares with the previous high level of approximately 76.5 billion lbs. for the same months in both
195L and 1955.
During the week ended Friday, August 31, the major Texas commercial broiler
markets opened steady but weakened at mid-trading, according to the State Department
of Agriculture. The demand for broilers for Labor Day was below expectations, and
the markets were generally unsettled at the close. Closing prices - which were unchanged to 2¢ per lb. lower than a week earlier - were: South and east Texas, 19¢
to 20¢3 Corsicana, at the farm, 18.5¢; and Waco and the Corsicana F.O,B. plant, 19. 5¢.
On Monday, September 3, Texas broiler markets were closed for the Labor
Day holiday,


Week ended
August 25, 1956


change from
week~ 1955

Texas ••••••






22 states ••




Percenta f~e


1 9 5 6 T UR KE Y CR 0 P
U, s. farmers are rai.sing about 76 million turkeys this year, or about
16% more than in 1955, according to a preliminary estimate of the AMS. About 29%
more heavy-breed turkeys are being raised than a year earlier, while the output of
light breeds shows a decline of 19%.
----In the states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District (Arizona, Louisiana,
New Mexico, Oklahoma, anCf9Texas), the number of turkeys raised in 1956 is estimated
at 5,643,000, compared with L,007,000 a year ago. Of the total, 89% are heavy
breeds, and 11% are light breeds.
J. z. Rowe
Agricultural ~conomist