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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS

Number 577

Wednesday, January 18, 1961

HE L P
S M A L L F I R M S B U Y TIMBER
A ~ program to provide loans enabling small firms to purchase timber
from national forests has been approved by the Government. This announcement was
made jointly on January 5 by the Small Business Administration and the United
States Department of Agriculture. The program, providing small firms with funds
for building access roads to facilitate the lumbering activities, will thereby reduce the strain on working capital needed for normal operating expenses, The program is expected to be fully implemented by ~ l·
L 0 A N S

T 0

GR A IN
AND
HAY
FARMS
STOCKS
0 N
Stocks of feed grains on Q. ~. farms as of January !, 1961, were more
than 2% greater than a year earlier and were record high for the fourth consecutive year, reports the Agricultural Marketing Service. Holdings of both .£2!!! and
sorghum grain were at peak levels. Stocks of~ were up one-tenth from a year
ago, and barley supplies were 2% greater. Holdings of food grains exceeded the
previous year's January 1 high level by 28% but were 8% below the previous record
on hand at the beginning of 1959. Farm stocks of soybeans were an eighth below
January 1, 1960, while wheat stored on farms was up substantially from a year earlier, but did not reach a record high, The tonnage of hay on the Nation's farms
at the beginning of 1961 was the third largest of record and 6% above a year ago.
F A R M W0 R K F 0 R C E
D 0 WN 4 %
The Nation's farmers produced a record total crop output in 1960 with
fewer workers than in any other year, reports the AMS. The farm~~ declined to an annual average of 7.1 million persons, or 4% below the previous alltime low in 1959.
Part of the decrease in the number of U. s. farm family workers in 1960
resulted from the continued decline in the number of farms. Other contributing
factors were improved machinery and better farming methods. According to the AMS
report, the cumulative effect of these trends in farming has been to decrease the
average number of farm workers by 15% since 1955 and to release about one worker
in six since 1950.

S H E E P A N D LAMB S
0 N
F E E D
FEWER
The number of sheep and lambs £!!. feed for market in the United States as
of January!, 1961, totaled an estimated 4.3 million, or 2% below the year-earlier
level, according to the AMS. A decrease in the number on feed in the 11 Western
States accounted for the major portion of the national decline, as numbers in the
Corn Belt States were about unchanged from a year ago.
In Texas, an estimated 191,000 sheep and lambs were on feed at the beginning of 1961, representing a 4% decline from a year earlier, Panhandle wheat~­
~ have provided abundant grazing for sheep and lambs this winter.
In addition,
many~ fields, which were damaged by army worms late last summer, have been reseeded and are now beginning to furnish grazing.

L I VE S T 0 CK
Cattle and calf marketings at Fort Worth during the week ended Thursday,
January 12, showed a substantial increase over the 3-day supply of the preceding
week, according to the AMS. Cattle receipts totaled an estimated 6,700, reflecting gains of 26% from the week-earlier level and 14% over the corresponding period
in 1960. Compared with the preceding week's close, Good and Choice slaughter steers
weighing more than 800 lbs. sold at prices which were steady to 50¢ per cwt. higher,
but other grades and weights were steady to 50¢ lower. Good and Choice 920- to
1,220-lb. slaughter steers cleared at $25 to $26.50, and Utility and Commercial cows
brought $15 to $17.50. Demand was fairly broad for all classes of stocker cattle,
and prices were steady to 50¢ higher than at the previous week's close. Good and
Choice 500- to 700-lb. yearling stocker steers sold at $23 to $25.80.
The calf supply of approximately 2,500 was 900 more than a week ago and
700 greater than a year earlier. Prices of killing calves were steady to $1 lower
than in the previous week. Good and Choice Grades of slaughter calves brought
$22.50 to $25.50, and 300- to 485-lb. stocker steer calves were quoted at $24 to $28.
Hog offerings were about 2,000, compared with 1,700 a week earlier and
3,400 during the corresponding period last year. After Monday, trading was fairly
active. Barrows and gilts sold at prices which were mainly 25¢ higher than a week
earlier, Mixed u. s. No. 1 through No. 3 Grades of 185- to 250-lb. butchers brought
$17 to $17.75.
A total of 7,100 sheep and lambs was received at Fort Worth during the
week ended January 12, representing declines of 7% from the preceding week and 16%
under a year ago. Prices of slaughter lambs were strong to 50¢ higher than on the
preceding Thursday's market, and quotations on slaughter yearlings and ewes were
fully steady. Good and Choice 83- to 98-lb. wooled and shorn slaughter lambs with
No. 1 pelts sold mainly at $16.50 to $17.

P 0 UL T R Y
The major Texas commercial broiler markets opened stronger during the
week ended Friday, January 13, reports the State Department of Agriculture. East
Texas prices declined slightly on Tuesday and then held steady through the close
of the trading period; the south ~ market was steady throughout the week. The
trading volume in east Texas was 12% below the year-earlier level, while that in
south Texas was up 30%. Friday quotations were 16¢ per lb. in south Texas and 15~~
to 16,7¢ in east Texas, although 24% of the sales in the latter area were at undetermined prices. During the corresponding period in 1960, closing prices were 17¢
in south Texas and 17~¢ in east Texas.
The Southwest Poultry Exchange offered 177,000 broilers on Friday, of
which 79,300 sold at 16.4¢ to 17.1¢ (farm producers absorbed all rejected birds)
and 21,000 brought 15¢ to 15.2¢ (buyers absorbed all rejects).
Commercial broiler markets were stronger in south Texas and steady in
east Texas on Monday, January 16. Prices were: South Texas, 16¢ to 17¢, mostly
17¢; and east Texas, 15¢ to 17.1¢ (45% of the sales were at undetermined levels).

BROILER CHICK
PLACEMENTS

Percentage change from
Comparable
Previous
week, 1960
week

Area

Week ended
Januar~ 7, 1961

Texas ••• , ••
Louisiana ••

2,288,000
442,000

11

-7

12
0

22 states ••

332824,000

4

5