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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS

Number 474

Wednesday, January 28, 1959

C A T T L E A N D CALVES
0 N
F E E D
The number of cattle and calves on feed for market in the United States
on January!, 1959, was the lars;;t of rec~d~cording to the Agricultural Marketing Service. The number was an estimated 6.5 million head, or 11% above the yearearlier level and 12% greater than the 1953-57 average.
In the major cattle-feeding states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District
(Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas), the number of cattle and calves on feed
at the beginning of 1959 was 490,000, reflecting a 27% increase over a year ago and
an 18% gain over the 1953-57 average.

GRAS S H0 P P E R S L E S S T HRE AT E N I NG
The U. S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that grasshoppers
are likely to be more widespread but less of ~ threat to western crop and range
lands in 1959 tha~year earlier. In Federal-State surveys made during the fall
of 1958, grasshoppers were found on approximately 22.7 million acres of range land
in 15 western and midwestern states as compared with 18.7 million acres in 1957.
However, where the 1957 fall survey showed many areas of heavy infestation, the 1958
survey showed only light or moderate infestations on most of the acreage. The largest
range land areas with heavy grasshopper populations are in Colorado, Montana, and
California, followed by Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, and ~·
VE G E T A B L E

S E E D
0 UT P U T
D 0 WN S H A R P L Y
Production of 44 kinds and types of vegetable seeds in 1959 totaled only
130.8 million lbs., or the smallest output since 1939, points out the AMS, The crop
was about one-third less than in 1957 and two-fifths below the 1952-56 average,
According to the report, the sharp reduction from a year earlier resulted largely
from the efforts of the vegetable seed industry to adjust the supply of several
important kinds of seeds to prospective needs.

R I S E
I MP 0 R T S
MEAT
imports of red ~ during the first l quarters of 1958 were 142%
above the corresponding period a year earlier, reports the Foreign Agricultural
Service, Data for the fourth quarter are not yet available, but total imports
for the year undoubtedly set a new record and are expected to continue high in
1959. Beef imports rose 151%, mainly as a result of a sharp increase in imports of
boneless beef. Pork imports, which were up 36%, probably will level off or decline
slightly in 1959. Imports of lamb, mutton, and goat~ in 1958 were 9 times
greater than a year earlier and are expected to remain large in 1959,

Q.

~·

I NT E NT I 0 N S
TURKEY
1 9 5 9
The Nation's turkey growers plan to raise nearly 81.9 million turkeys this
year, or 5% ~ than the number raised in 1958, points out the AMS, Producers plan
a 16% increase in light breeds and a 3% gain in heavy breeds.
In the Eleventh District states (Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma,
and Texas), growers intend to raise 5,289,000 turkeys in 1959, which is 5% above the
year-earlier figure. They expect to increase light breeds 29% and heavy breeds 2%.

P 0 UL T R Y
The major Texas commercial broiler markets were generally steady throughout the trading week~d Friday, January 23, reports the State Department of Agriculture. Over-all trading was about normal, and supplies were mostly adequate.
Closing prices in south~ were 1~¢ per lb. higher than a week earlier, while
those in east Texas were unchanged. Closing prices were 18¢ in both areas, although
43% of the sales in east Texas were at undetermined prices. During the corresponding
period in 1958, closing prices were 22¢ in east Texas. {There were too few sales
in south Texas to establish a market.)
Commercial broiler markets were steady in south Texas and weak in east
Texas on Monday, January 26. Prices were: South Texas, 18¢, and east Texas, 17¢
to 18¢. In the latter area, 66% of the sales were at undetermined prices.

BROILER CHICK
PLACEMENTS

Percentage change from
Previous
Comparable
week
week, 195 8

Area

Week ended
January 17, 1959

Texas ••••••
Louisiana ••

2,079,000
430,000

-6
-2

24

22 states ••

29,545,000

-3

10

3

L I VE S T 0 C K
The cattle run at Fort Worth on Monday, January 26, totaled an estimated
2,000, reflecting declines of . 17% from a week ago and 31% from the corresponding
date in 1958, according to the AMS. Trading on all slaughter classes was active.
Prices of slaughter steers and heifers were strong, and those for cows were mostl y
25¢ to 50¢ per cwt. higher than in the latter part of the preceding week. Trading
on stocker and feeder cattle was brisk, and prices were strong. Good 800- to 1,100lb. slaughter steers cleared at $26 to $26.50; most Utility cows, $19 to $19.50; and
Medium and Good 550- to 700-lb. stocker and feeder steers, $23.50 to $27.50.
The calf supply was approximately 800, or 300 more than on the previous
Monday but about the same as a year earlier. Prices of slaughter calves were strong
to 50¢ higher than in the latter part of the past week. Good slaughter calves brough
$27 to $29.50, and most Medium and Good stocker and feeder steer calves were quote d
at $26 to $32.
Monday's hog marketings are placed at about 1,060 head, compared with 900
a week ago and 800 on the corresponding date last year. After a slow start, barrows
and gilts sold at prices which were steady to 50¢ lower than in the latter part of
the preceding week, with most sales off 25¢. Prices of sows were steady. u. s.
No. 1 through No. 3 Grades of 195- to 235-lb. slaughter hogs sold at $17.25 to $17. 5 •
Sheep and lamb offerings are estimated at 6,200, or 41% above the weekearlier figure and more than 3~ times greater than a year ago. Trading was fairly
active, and prices were fully steady. Good and Choice 90- to 105-lb. wooled and
shorn slaughter lambs with No. 1 and fall-shorn pelts brought $16.50 to $17.
C CC
P R I C E
S UP P 0 R T
P R 0 G R A MS
As of November 30, ~' the Commodity Credit Corporation's investment in
price support programs amounted to about $8.3 billion, reports the USDA. The cos t
value of inventories accounted for two-thirds of the total, and loans outstand~
made uP-the remainder. The CCC's investment a year earlier was nearly $7.2 billion,
of which inventories were 78% and loans outstanding, 22%.
J. z. Rowe
Agricultural Economist