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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS

umber 499

Wed1esday, July 22, 1959

AGRICULTURAL
INCOME
The realized net income of the 1fation 's far 11ers durin::; the first h'"'lf of
1959 1;-ias at an averap;e ~ual rate of about $12 billion, or Bio below the year-earlier
level, points out the Agricultural 1'1arketing Service. Cash receipts fro.11 far :i ..iarl·etincs were only slightly smaller than a year ae;o, as loi.ler averae;e prices for fnn11
products were largely offset by an increase L·1 the voluLne of sales. Goverm.1ent
paYinents were below the corresponding period last year as a result of the discot1t in~ of Acreage Reserve payinents.
Production expenses continued their upward trend
during the first 6 months of this year, reaching a~ hbh ~of $25.8 billion
annually. Contributing to this increase t1ere higher wage rates, property taxes, aad
interest charges, in addition to higher prices for feeder livestock, feed, farh
nachinery, and motor vehicles. Seed and fertilizer were the only import£1.nt cost
ite.s showing price declines.

F A R M - M 0 R T G A G E LENDING
Fana-raortgage lendinr, continued active during the first quarter of this
year althoueh interest rates were rising, reports the Agricultural Research Service. The Federal land banks reported an 8 7io gain in the amount of loans closed as
co.11pared with the ~esponding quarter in 1958. The ai.10unt of ii.1ortsages acquired
b the 23 1 ife insurance companies reporting was up 21°/o.
S C H 0 0 L

L UNCH

P R 0 G R A

1

1

The Secretary of Agriculture recently approved the purchase of about ~58
illion of food for distributio~ to schools participating in the National School
Lunch ProRrru;:- According to officials of the U, S, 0epartinent of Agriculture,
specific purchases will be based mainly on providing foods which will contribute
~ost effectively to the School Lunch Program, i.e., foods regarded by the states
as most valuable in improving the nutritional quality and acceptability of meals
served.

F 0 RE I GN T E RN1 T E S
FUMIGATED
F 0 R
In order to prevent spread of an extremely destructive species of termite,
a larr!,e wooden ~ dock in the ship channel at Houston, Texas, uas scheduled for
fumigati on early this week under the supervision of USDA entomologists and insectcontrol specialists. The termite (Coptotermes crassus) previously had not been
found in the United States but is known to infest western rfuxico, Honduras, and
Guate1nala. Surveys by a USDA pest control tea,n indicate that the ter.nite infestation is confined to the Houston dry dock and a nearby pier.
D0 CK

F ARM

L AD0 R

Esti· ated at 8. 7 million, the total nu111ber of t1orkers on Q• .§.. far1ns
during the ~ of June ll mis the largest for the year but ·was l/o below the co parable \Jeek in 1958, states the AMS. Far!irnrs and other family laembers at fan11
\JOrk uere 2% belmJ the year-earl i.er level, while hired workers were up 1%.
Ia the states of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District (Arizona, Louisiana,
1ew •Iexico, Oklahoma, and Texas), the nu1aber of farrn uorkers dur1no the week of
une 21 is placed at 925, 000, or 1% below a year ago. The nu 1nber ~f f.::i;. ily Horkers
uas dmm 4%, while hired workers showed a 2% gain.

L I VE S T 0 CK
Cattle receipts at Fort Worth during the week ended Thursdayj July L>,
uere au est L:iated 7, 700 head - up 15% over a week ago and !.+% over the co1.1parable
period in 1958, reports the AHS. Trading on rnost slaughter steers aud heifers \ ·J aS
fairly active, and prices were 3enerally steady. Demand continued good for stocker s
and feeders, and prices were steady to strong as compared with the middle of the pr eceding week. Good 800- to 1,100-lb. slaughter steers were quoted at $26.50 to
$27.50 per cwt.; Commercial cows, $18.50 to $19.50; and Good 500- to 650-lb. stoclr r
and feeder steers, $26 to $30.
Calf inarket ings of 1, 800 were 300 fewer than in the previous week but 20
lnore than a year earlier. Trading on slaughter calves was active the first part of
the week but slowed down later when fewer outside orders were being filled. Closin
prices were 50¢ to $1 lower. Good killing calves cleared mainly at $27 to $28, and
Good and Choice 350- to 500-lb. stocker and feeder steer calves brought $30 to $35.
The hog supply is placed at 2,800, compared with 2,600 a week ago and
1,600 in the corresponding period last year. Thursday prices were 50¢ to $1.50
lower than in the preceding week. Most mixed U. S. No. 1 through No. 3 Grades of
190- to 240-lb. butchers sold at $14.50 to $15.
Sheep and lrunb offerings totaled 10,400, reflecting increases of 14% over
the week-earlier level and 58% over the sahle period last year. Slaughter spring
lambs sold at prices which were steady to weak as compared with the latter part of
the previous week. Good and Choice 70- to 90-lb. slaughter spring lambs brought
$20 to $21.50.
P 0 UL T R Y
Price trends in the Texas commercial broiler markets were uneven during
the week ended Friday, July .!l, according to the State Department of Agriculture.
Closing quotations - t1hich were mostly 1¢ per lb, lower than a week earlier - were:
South Texas, 16¢; and east Texas, 14~¢ to 15¢, with 47% of the sales in this area
at und~ined prices-:--D'uring the cou1parable period in 1958, the following closing prices were quoted: South Texas, 18¢ to 19¢, mostly 18¢ to 18\¢; and east
Texas, 17¢ to 18¢, mostly 18¢.
Commercial broiler markets were weaker in south Texas and tveaker and unsettled in east Texas on Monday, July 20. Quotations were 15¢ in south Texas and
14¢ to 15¢ in east Texas although 44% of the sales in the latter area were at undetermined prices.

Area
BROILER CHICK
PLACEMENTS

Week ended
July 11, 1959

Percentage change frod
Previous
Comparable
week
week, 1958

Texas .••••.
Louisiana.,

2,301,000
386,000

2
-14

-12
-16

22 states .•

32,977 000

-2

-6

0 U T L 0 0 K
P R I CE
E GG
According to the Al-18, the outlook is for limited seasonal egg price rises
in the ~~
next ~few months ' with increases (as usual) ~~
most pronounced for ~~larRe -~-.
eggs o f
better grades. However, U. S. average prices are not expected to exceed those in
1958 for any length of time until possibly the last month or two of this year.

J. Z. Rowe
Agricultural Economist