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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS
Number 734

Wednesday, January 22, 1964

USE
FARMERS'
0 F
CRE D I T C0 NT I NUE S
T 0
C L I MB
The use of credit by the Nation's farmers continued to advance sharply in
1963, according to the Economic Research Service. The outstanding farm debt (excluding Commodity Credit Corporation price-support loans) at the end of the year is estimated at $30.5 billion, or 9% above a year earlier. Despite the rise in borrowings,
delinquencies remained low and collections were good. An increase in renewals of
short-term loans was reported in some areas, but, for the most part, these renewals
appeared to be related to delayed livestock marketings and. adverse weather conditions.
Large amounts of loanable funds were available during 1963, and farm demand for credit
was strong.
Total farm mortgage interest charges in the United States during 1963
amounted to $848 million - the highest of record. Interest charges were 82.8¢ per
acre in 1963, 74.0¢ in 1962, and 23.0¢ in 1910.
PROGRAM MODIFIED
D R 0 U G H T - A I D FEED
Farmers who are eligible for feed grains in counties designated for drought
assistance may now choose between receiving the whole grain or the same type of grain
processed and included in mixed feed, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Formerly, farmers received the whole grain from CCC stocks. Farmers who choose
processed feed will pay the cost of mixing and for any additives.
FEWER
SHEEP
AND LAMBS
ON
FEED
The number of sheep and lambs on feed for market in the 26 major lambf eeding states as of January 1, 1964, is placed at 3.6 million head; representing
an 11% decrease from a year ago,--a:ccording to the Statistical Reporting Service.
The number in the North Central States was down 8%, and that in the Western States
showed a 14% decline.
In Texas, there were 172,000 sheep and lambs on feed at the beginning of
this year, or~fewer than on January 1, 1963. Of the total, 47% weighed. between
60 and 79 lbs., 38% weighed. between 80 and 99 lbs., and the remainder weighed under
60 lbs. Wheat pastures in the State furnished very little grazing through January 1
as compared with a year ago. The number of sheep and lambs on wheat pastures in the
Texas Panhandle is estimated at 11,000, or less than one-half the year-earlier figure. Range conditions throughout most of Texas are poorer than at the same time
last year.
CROPLAND
CONVERSION
PROGRAM
On January 16, 1964, the USDA announced that more than 2,800 U. S. farmers
in 128 counties of 37 states have agreed, under a special pilot program:- to convert
over 129,000 acres of cropland to other income-producing uses. The agreements with
the farmers, which were mad.e the first year of operation of the USDA' s cropland conversion program, cover conversion of more than 114,ooo acres of cropland to grass,
8,300 acres to development of recreational facilities, 5,900 acres to trees, and
256 acres to wildlife habitat. Agreements with farmers are for periods of either
5 or 10 years, depending upon the type of land being converted and the type of
project to which conversion is being made.
For the Eleventh District states included in the cropland conversion program (Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas), the total number of agreements is 10 and the

total acreage is 1,205 acres - all of which are for development of recreational
facilities.

L I VE S T 0 C K
Fort Worth livestock supplies for the week ended Thursday, January 16,
were sharply reduced because of severely cold weather and. snowstorms, states the
Agricultural Marketing Service. The cattle supply of an estimated 3,250 compares
with 5,800 in the previous week and 3,400 a year ago. Trading on slaughter steers
and heifers was active on Monday but was slow the remainder of the week. Closing
prices for slaughter steers were mostly 25¢ per cwt. higher than a week earlier.
Good 805- to 1,095-lb. slaughter steers brought $20 to $22 per cwt., and Utility
and Commercial cows sold at $12.25 to $14.50. Quotations for feeder steers weighing over 550 lbs. were steady to 50¢ per cwt. lower than on the preceding Thursday,
and those for other classes were mostly steady. Good and Choice 500- to 650-lb.
feeder steers brought $19.50 to $23.75 per cwt.
Calf marketings totaled approximately 600, or only about one-fourth of
the week-earlier figure and two-thirds of the comparable 1963 supply. Trading on
slaughter calves was moderately active, and prices were fully steady. Good grades
of killing calves weighing up to 550 lbs. cleared at $20 to $21 per cwt., and stocker
steer calves weighing under 500 lbs. brought $20 to $24.50. ·
H~g receipts of about 850 reflected decreases of 39% from the previous
week and 35~ from the corresponding period of 1963. Trading was fairly active each
session. Closing quotations for barrows and gilts weighing under 300 lbs. were
strong to 25¢ per cwt. higher than a week earlier, but prices for heavier weights
were steady to 50¢ per cwt. lower. Most of the mixed lots of U. S. No. 1 through
No. 3 Grades of 190- to 255-lb. butchers sold at $14 to $15.25 per cwt.
Sheep and lamb offerings are placed. at 4,700, compared with 6,600 a week
ago and 4,800 a year earlier. Trading was active, and prices for slaughter classes
generally were fully steady with the preceding Thursday's close. Good and Choice
74- to 97-lb. shorn slaughter lambs with fall-shorn and No. 1 pelts brought $16.50
to mostly $17.50 to $18 per cwt.
POULTRY
In the week ended Friday, January 17, the major Texas commercial broiler
markets opened stronger and. then became about steady on Tuesday, points out the State
Department of Agriculture. The markets remained steady throughout the trading peri ~
and at Friday's close, the undertone was unsettled. Closing prices in south Texas
were 13.5¢ to 14.5¢ per lb., and those in east Texas ranged from 12¢ to 14.5¢. For
the comparable period of 1963, closing quotes in south Texas were 13.2¢ to 13.3¢,
and those in east Texas ranged from 12.7¢ to 12.8¢.
On Monday, January 20, commercial broiler markets were slightly weaker
in south Texas and about steady in east Texas. Prices per lb. were: South Texas,
13.3¢ to 14¢, mainly 13.5¢; and east Texas, 11.5¢ to 13.3¢.

BROILER CHICK
PLACEMENTS

Percent change from
Comparable
Previous
week,
1963
week

Area

Week ended.
January 11, 1964

Texas ......
Louisiana ..

2,693,000
586,000

-3

8

30

22 states ..

38,372,000

-1

5

8