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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS umber Li-86 Wednesday, April 22, 1959 AC E TAL KS S CHE DUL E D The Secretary of Agriculture has announced that cabinet representatives from fi ve major wheat - exporting countries will confer on the Food for Peace proposal on May 5-6 in Washington, Q. £. Taking part in the conference will be cabinet repres e ntatives from Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and the United States. The Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will also participate . According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the May conference advances further the Food for Peace plan outlined by the President in his message to Congress on January 29, 1959. At that time, the President said: "I am setting steps in mot ion to explore anew with other surplus-producing nations all practical means of ut ilizing the various agricultural surpluses of each in the interest of reinforcing peace and the well-being of friendly peoples throughout the world - in short, using food for peace. 11 F 0 0 D F 0 R P E P E R CAPITA F I B E R C 0 N S U MP T I 0 N D 0 W N Total fiber consumption per person in the United States during 1958 was 3~ . 9 lbs., reflecting the second s~essive year per capita consumption ha;-registered a 6% decline, reports the Agricultural Marketing Service. The 1958 total was the lowest in 20 ~, as was the 1958 per capita cotton consumption of 22.1 lbs. Wool con sumption was at the lowest level since 1934, and the per capita consumption of man-made fibers was below the levels of the three preceding years. However, a substantial increase from the very low 1958 levels is in prospect for 1959, according to the AMS. -- --LAB 0 R FARM Warm weather over extensive central areas, coupled with a keen drive to acce l erate--spring plantings~ sharply increased farm employment in the Nation during late March, states the AMS. The estimated 6.5 million workers during the week of March 11 was 3% above the year-earlier leve~ The number of hired workers was the la rgest March total since 1955 and was 10% greater than a year ago. The number of family workers was up 2% from the corresponding period in 1958. In the states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District (Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas), the number of farm workers during the week of Marc h 22 totaled 788,000, which was 7% above the~r-earlier figure. The number of hir ed workers was up 20%, and the number of family workers was 2% larger. S C R E WW 0 R M F I E L D S T U D I E S 0 RGAN I Z E D The USDA recently announced that coordinated field studies of the screwworm> a se rious livestock pest, have been organized by ~o and the United~es. Personne l assigned by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service are working with Mexico and southwestern states to make a survey of the screwworm situation in norther n Mexico and in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The purpose of the survey is to-rearn more about the habits of the screw~ fl y and to determine if the ~method of combating the screwworm, which~ now being used in southeastern states, can be applied in Mexico and the Southwest. (The new method uses radioactive cobalt to make laboratory-reared screwworm flies sterile. When sterile male flies are dispersed in large numbers over infested areas, they mate with the native female flies, thereby preventing them from producin fertile eggs.) L I VE S T 0 CK Receipts of cattle and calves at Fort Worth during the week ended Thursday, April 16, were less than~e-half the week-earlier level, when a special auctio wa8° held, according to the AMS. The cattle ~ totaled an estimated 3,900 head, compared with 4,.200 during the corresponding period in 1958. Fairly active, stron dressed meat markets and general rains over Texas during the past 2 weeks were bullish f;fTuences in the live ca~market during the week ended April 16. Dema d was broad for both slaughter-and stocker cattle, and trading was active. Prices were steady to 50¢ per cwt. higher than in the latter part of the previous week, with the following prices quoted: Good and Choice 870- to 1,050-lb. slaughter steers, $28 to $31; most Utility and Commercial cows, $19.50 to $21.50; and Medium and Good yearling stocker steers weighing under 650 lbs., $27 to $31.50. The calf supply is placed at 1,000, compared with 2,100 a week ago and 900 a year earlier. Slaughter calves sold at prices which were mainly 50¢ to $1 higher than in the latter part of the preceding week. Most of the Good and Choice killing calves were quoted at $29 to $31, and the bulk of the Medium and Good stocker and feeder calves weighing under 550 lbs. brought $28 to $33.50. Hog marketings of 3,800 were the largest in several months and were 73% above the corresponding period in 1958. Trading was active, and prices were mostly steady with those in the latter part of the preceding week. u. s. No. 1 through No. 3 Grades of 190- to 240-lb. barrows and gilts cleared at $16.50 to $17.25. Sheep and lamb offerings were 16,400 head, reflecting declines of 6% from a week earlier and 42% from a year ago. Prices were mostly steady with the preceding week's close. Good and Choice 75- to 90-lb. slaughter spring lambs sold at $21 to $23. P 0 UL T RY During the week ended Friday, April .!_Z, the Texas commercial broiler ~ kets weakened in early trading, became steady on the generally 1¢ per lb. lower pric level, and closed on a steady undertone, according to the State Department of Agriculture. Trading was fairly brisk following the decline, and the volume of slaughter was normal to heavy, despite the cool, wet weather. Closing prices were 16¢ in south Texas and 15¢ in east Texas, although 61% of the sales in the latter area were at undetermined prices. During the corresponding period in 1958, closing prices were: South Texas, 19¢, and east Texas, 18¢ to 19¢. BROILER CHICK PLACEMENTS Percentage change from Comparable Previous week, 1958 week Area Week ended April 11, 1959 Texas •••••• Louisiana •• 2,473,000 488,000 -3 -7 -13 18 22 states •• 36,298,000 -1 9 J. z. Rowe Agricultural Economist