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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS

Number 477

Wednesday, February 18, 1959

L I VE S T 0 CK I NVE NT 0 RY
Cattle numbers on the Nation's farms and ranches reached a peak of 96.9
million head on January!, 1959, and were 4% larger than a year ago, reports the
Agricultural Marketing Service, Beef cow numbers increased 5%, and all other beef
stock was up from the preceding year, On the other hand, numbers of milk cows deC"firIB"d 3% and were the smallest number since 1921. The hog inventory rose 12%,-aue
mainly to the increase in the 1958 fall pig crop. Numbers-of all sheep and lambs
were 4% greater than at the beginning of January 1958, while the number "Of""horse8
and mules was down 8%. Inventories of chickens and turkeys advanced 3% and 5%, respectively. The total inventory value of all livestock and poultry on U. s. farms
and ranches on January 1, 1959, amounted t"0$'18.1 billio~reflecting a 29% gain
over a year ago.
The table below shows the number of livestock on farms and ranches in the
states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District on January 1, 1959, and the yearearlier comparisons,
LIVESTOCK ON FARMS AND RANCHES, JANUARY 1
Five Southwestern States
(In thousands)
Sheep

Hogs

Cattle
1959

1958

1959

1958

1959

.!2~

Arizona •••••••••
Louisiana •••••••
l~ew Mexico ••••••
Oklahoma ••••••••
Texas •••••••••••

971
1,808
1,162
3,313
8,510

943
1,883
1,056
2,958
7,736

35
377
36
458
1,226

3li-

451
83
1,295
281
5,355

443

381
35
347
908

95
1,214
248
4,891

Five states •••

15,764

14,576

2,132

1,705

7,465

6,891

Area

SOURCE:

U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The number of goats in Texas at the beginning of 1959 is estimated at 3,1
million head, or 8% above the year-earlier figure.

c c c L 0 AN COTTON
More than 56% of the national 1958 cotton crop has been pledged to the
Government loan program, reports the U. s. Department of Agriculture. The total is
the largest proportion of loan entries for any crop of record. Commodity Credit
Corporation loan entries totaled nearly 6.5 million bales through the first week
of February 1959.

L I VE S T 0 C K
Cattle marketings at Fort Worth on Monday, February 16, totaled an estimated
2,000 head, or about the same as both a week ago and a year earlier, poi nts out the
AMS. Trading on slaughter steers was slow, and prices were weak to 50¢ per cwt.
lower than in the latter part of the preceding week . Trading on stocker and feeder
cattle was active early in the day, and prices were fully steady ; however, toward
the close, trading was slow and prices were weak. Standard and low-Good 800- to
1,100-lb. slaughter steers were quoted at $24.50 to $26 ; most Utility cows, $19 to
$19.50; and Medium and Good 550- to 650-lb, stocker and feeder steers, $24 to 028.
Calf receipts are placed at 600, which was 200 more than on the previous
Monday but about the same as on the corresponding date in 1958, Most slaughter
calves sold at fully steady prices, but some closing sales were weaker. Good
slaughter calves brought $27 to $29, and Medium and Good stocker steer calves
cleared at $26 to $33.
Monday's hog supply was 800, or about the same as a week earlier but approxi·
mately double the receipts of a year ago. Trading was slow, with most barrows and
gilts selling at prices which were 25¢ lower than in the latter part of the past
week. U. s. No. 1 through No. 3 Grades of 195- to 235-lb. slaughter hogs brought
$16.50 to $16.75.
Sheep and lamb offerings were around 3,300, reflecting a 48% decrease fro m
a week ago but a 22% gain over the year-earlier level. Prices for slaughter lambs
were steady to weak, and those for feeders were steady. Good and Choice fall-shorn
slaughter lambs weighing .around 110 lbs. brought $17.

P 0 UL T RY
During the trading week ended Friday, February 13, the Texas commercial
broiler markets strengthened in early trade and held the price ad~s fairly steady
throughout the period, reports the State Department of Agriculture. As compared wit h
a week earlier, closing prices were 2¢ ~ lb, higher in south Texas and around 1~¢
higher in east Texas, Closing prices were 18¢ in south Texas and 16¢ to 18¢ in east
Texas, although in east Texas, 71% of the sales were at undetermined prices. During
the corresponding week in 1958, closing prices were 21¢ to 22¢, mostly 22¢, in south
Texas and 20¢ in east Texas.
On Monday, February 16, broiler markets were quiet in south Texas and unchanged in east Texas. Prices were 17¢ per lb, in south Texas and 17¢ to 18¢ in
east Texas. (In the latter area, 74% of the sales were at undetermined prices.)

Area
BROILER CHICK
PLACEMENTS

Week ended
February 7, 1959

Percentage change from
Previous
Comparable
week
week, 1958

Texas, •••••
Louisiana ••

2,127,000
396,000

0

-7

-9

4

22 states,,

31,573,000

1

8

F A R M E MP L 0 Y ME N T
The midwinter farm ~ load in the Nation was carried by the smallest ~­
ber of workers on record, according to the AMS. Part of this decrease may have resulted from severe weather conditions. The total of about 5.3 million workers on
farms during the week of January 18 represents a continuati~of a gradual downtrend
and was 1% below the comparable period in 1958. The number of family workers is est imated at nearly 4.4 million, or 2% fewer than a year ago, The number of hired worke r~
at 918,000, was up 4%.
J. Z. Rowe, Agricultural Economist