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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS umber 520 Wednesday, December 16, 1959 F H A F A R M L 0 A N R E Q U I R E ME N T S R E V I S E D The Farmers Home ·Admi,pistration has revised its eligibility requirements fo r obtaining operating and farm ownership loans, according to the u. S. Departme nt of Agriculture ·. The purpose of this'-a.Ction is to better serve the changing agricultural credit n~eds of farmers in rural'development counties. There are 61 counties in the states ff the Eleventh Federal Res-erve District to which the new FHA loan requirement is \ applicable. Farmers in ruAal development counties who are regularly employed off the farm may obtain credit f[om the FHA, if they meet other eliEibility requirements. Previously, a farmer had \ to spend most of his ~ime- farming in order to qualify for a loan. This regulation ~revented some _tarrners from obtainiqg maximum production f rom their farms and from taking full ~6.'Clvantage--of new opportunitie for industrial or other employment, state the usoa( ,,-" Loans made by th~ FHA in /rurat development counties during fiscal 1959 advanced $3 million over thbse in'thelpreceding year. Under the revised regulations, a further increase is expect~d in the current fiscal year. 1 / W AT E R S HE D P R 0 J E; C T S S W I ,N G I NT 0 0 P E RAT I 0 N More than!!_ hundred o/. the Nation's small wate-rshed projects moved into the construction phase during !.212_, as engj?neers completed designs for upstream floodprevention structures and local · rganizations signed project agreements with the Federal Government under the Watershe4 Protection and Flood Prevention Act administered by the USDA. In these projects, soil atfd water treatment of watershed lands is combined with upstream water-control structures to regulate runoff and manage water for agricultural, municipal, fish and wildlife, and other uses. Local and state agencies, us ually including soil conservation districts, administer the projects and receive fin ancial and technical assistance fro the Faderal Government. ;, S 0 M E M A R K E T P /r C E S A B 0 V E S U P P 0 R T S The Acting Secretary of /Agriculture recently reported that current market pr ices are above support levels ~or about one-half of the farm products fQr which supports are provided. The follpwing are commodities for which market prices are bove support levels: Soybeans; cottonseed; oats; barley; rye; flaxseed; dry, ed ible beans; rice; butterfat; and tmohair. Of the more than 250 agricultural products, only l!. receive price supports. Ex isting farm legislation requires 1the USDA to support the price of 16 of these commo dities; support for the other five is authorized by law. \ S 0 I L C 0 N S E R V A T ~ p N D I S T R I C T G R 0 WT H The recent addition of Tenne~see as the twentieth ~ completely c9vered by f armer-organized and farmer-managed soil conservation districts marked another mil e stone in nationwide soil and water conservation, according to the USDA. Puerto Ric o and the Virgin Islands also have all of their land within soil conservation dis tricts. Of the states in the Eleventh District, more than 90% of the land in Lo uisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas is within soil conservation districts; GO%, in New 1exico; and 70%, in Arizona, ;' / ,/ l/ L I VE S T 0 C K Cattle and calf marketings at Fort Worth during the week ended Thursday, December 10, showed some reduction as compared with the preceding week, states the Agricultu-rcil Marketing Service. The cattle supply of an estimated 6,000 was 200 below a week ago but 500 above a year earlier. Trading on slaughter steers and heifers was slow, but clearance was fairly good on most days. Prices for these animals were fully steady to strong as compared with the latter part of the previous week. Trading on stockers and feeders was moderately active throughout most of the period, and prices were strong to 50¢ per cwt. higher. Mainly Good 700- to 1,135-lb. slaughter steers cleared at $23 to $24; Utility and Commercial cows, $14 to $17; and the limited supply of mostly Good 600- to 650-lb. yearling stocker steers, $23.50 to $24. Calf receipts were approximately 2,200, compared with 2,400 a week earlier and 2,600 during the comparable period last year. Closing prices of killing calves were strong to $1 higher than in the latter part of the previous week. Most Good and Choice slaughter calves were quoted at $23 to $25, and the majority of the Medium and Good stocker steer calves ranged from $23 to $25.50. Hog offerings of 2,800 reflected gains of 8% over the preceding week and 56% over a year ago. Thursday prices were steady to strong as compared with the latter part of the preceding week. U. s. No. 2 and No. 3 Grades of 190- to 250-lb. butchers brought $11.75 to $12.50, with most sales at $12 to $12.25. A total of 7,800 sheep and lambs was received at Fort Worth during the week ended December 10, compared with 9,800 a week earlier and 5,500 during the corresponding period of 1958. Closing prices of slaughter lambs were mainly steady with those in the latter part of the preceding week, while those of slaughter year1 ings were steady to 50¢ lower. Good and Choice 90- to 110-lb. wooled and shorn slaughter lambs sold at $16.50 to $17. P 0 UL T R Y During the week ended Friday, December .!l, commercial broiler markets opene about steady in~ Texas and stronger in south Texas, reports the State Department of Agriculture. The south Texas market continued to show strength throughout the period, and closing prices were 1¢ per lb. higher than at the opening. Conditions in east Texas were so unsettled by midtrading that there were no confirmed sales outside the Southwest Poultry Exchange; however, the market became ·firm by Thursday and closed steady. Friday quotations were: South Texas, 18¢, with one light load at 19¢; and east Texas, 18¢ to 18~¢, although 58% of the sales were at undetermined levels. During the comparable period last year, there were too few sales in south Texas to establish a market; prices in east Texas were 16¢. The Southwest Poultry Exchange offered li-2, 500 broilers on Friday afternoon, which sold as follows; 21% off-quality, at 17.8¢ to 18.4¢; 21% off-quality, at 18.5¢ to 18.7¢; and 58%, at 19.0¢ to 19.1¢. On Monday, December 14, commercial broiler markets were stronger in south Texas and steady in east Texas. Quotes were 19¢ in south Texas and 18¢ in east Texas although one-half of the sales in the latter area were at undetermined prices. BROILER CHICK PLACEMENTS Area Week ended December 5, 1959 Texas •••••• Louisiana •• 1) 7 71, 000 358,000 Percentage change from Previous Comparable week week, 1958 22 states •• J. Z. Rowe Agricultural Economist 23 -10 -22 5 -2 8