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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