By GILBERT GUSLER
GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS
economists expect industrial activity
and employment to hold for the next
six months on levels only 5 to 10
percent below the all-time peaks
reached in the last quarter of 1948.
The outlook is particularly good in
the steel, auto and construction in
dustries. With consumer income sus
tained, domestic demand for farm
products probably will hold only
slightly below the average level of
Markets at a Glance
Demand—Both domestic and export demand
in next six months probably will be slightly
below year ago.
Cattle—Downtrend on good and choice
grades Is probable in next few months.
Hoes—Moderate price rise is probable from
December to March.
Lambs—Prices probably will advance after
December. Discounts for overweight will be
Wool—Worsted wools are selling near pre
Rye—Price decline probably has discounted
heavy Imports from Canada.
Corn—Small producer offerings due to dis
count below loan value probably will force
Oats—Imports from Canada have weakened
Soybeans—Palling receipts and increasing
demand for products probably will stiffen
Flaxseed—Prices are unlikely to rise much
over loan value and storage payment.
Seeds—Light supplies. increased spring
needs give strong outlook.
Foodstuffs—More active buying to replenish
stocks is probable for a while.
Hay—Prices will be extremely high where
inshlpments are necessary.
Dairy Products—Increase of 10 to 15 per
cent in production in next two or three months
will weaken prices.
Eggs—Prices probably will sag to support
level by March.
Chickens—Chicken-feed price ratio may
continue rather unsatisfactory.
Turkeys—Supplies remaining for Christmas
trade are relatively large.
Potatoes—Support for 1950 crop will be at
about 51.60 a cwt. against $1.80 this year.
Apples—December storage holdings may be
larger than ever before.
Onions—Light supply will mean high winter
Export demand has improved
the first half of 1949. Export demand
will be weaker and government sup
port levels for some farm products
will be lower. The general average
of farm prices may stabilize for sev
eral months near the late fall level
which is about 10 percent below a
Another dip in economic activity
may occur in the last half of 1950
as various industries catch up more
fully with demand and exports de
cline because of tapering off of EGA
aid. Farmers should base their plans
on expectation of somewhat lower
prices a year hence and a narrower
margin between prices and costs, as
w r ell as reuction in sales volume
because of production controls.
CATTLE—Price curves for good
and choice grades probably will con
tinue for several months the down
ward trends which started in late
October. Feeder movements thus far
and feed supplies indicate during the
number of cattle finished during the
winter will be as large or larger than
last year, when Chicago prices for
choice steers dropped $11 a cwt. and
good steers more than $6 from No
vember to February. Current prices
are not quite as high as a year ago
so that the drop may be less extreme.
Supplies of shortfed cattle have
been increasing and probably will
expand further by midwinter. Low
grade slaughter cattle will gradually
become scarce during the next four
of five months.
Stocker and feeder cattle prices
may weaken slightly in the near fu
ture if prices for finished cattle de
cline, then follow a steady to higher
course during the rest of the winter.
Demand for cattle to salvage down
corn and to go on southwestern
wheat pastures, as well as for dry lot
feeding, continues quite active.
Prices are 15 to 20 percent lower than
last year. Finishing margins are
likely to be rather narrow although
much better than last winter.
HOGS—A moderate price rise is ■
probable from mid-December to
March, although any improvement
in late December is likely to be fol
lowed by another weak spell in Jan
uary. Owing to early selling of
spring pigs at light to medium
weight, receipts probably will drop
at least the usual 30 percent from
December to March. Storage de
mand probably will be active for
the next month or two. Government
support guide prices rise nearly $2
per 100 pounds from December to
March. Up to late November, prices
had only one brief dip below the sup
port level and government buying
has been unnecessary. Army pur
chases of lard along with sales of
hogs at light weight have held down
the lard surplus thus far.
LAMBS—Prices probably will ad
vance moderately in the next two or
three months. Lambs over 100
pounds, already rather heavily dis
counted, are likely to lag in the price
improvement. Fewer lambs will be
fed this winter than last year, as
reduction in the crop and holding
15-Day Weather Outlook
Montana-Wyoming Forecast: Dec. 1 to 15
By OSCAR L. MOLDENHAUER
Fairly moderate cold waves and less than the normal of precipitation
and storm activity are indicated for Montana and northern Wyoming
during the first half of December. The few cold waves that do invade
this region will not remain long as such, and so Montana Farmer
Stockman territory can expect a few brief mild spells as well as con
siderable dry weather.
The weather of the next two to three weeks is expected to have two
distinct characteristics as follows: (1) Due to the advancing
the paths of the cold air masses that have been centered over the
Great Lakes region will be extending westward into eastern Montana
at times, resulting in some disturbances and possibly snow from the
high divide eastward. (2) High-pressure cold air masses are expected
to center over the regions from the Rockies westward some of the
time. + When that occurs western Wyoming and the part of Montana
west of the continental divide will receive frequent but light precipi
tation and rather cold weather, giving way to mild southerly winds.
Aside from the frontal disturbance set up by these alternating trends
stormy weather may be at a minimum in this region.
The month is indicated to begin with a few days of mild, dry
weather, followed by a cold wave and frontal disturbance to reach
northern Montana about the 5th and 6th and promptly overrun the
area east of the continental divide. This is a favorable time for a few
days of cold, cloudy, disagreeable weather and light snow. Another
disturbance is expected to cross this region from the 8th to 10th, but
it will probably leave this area before it develops into a real snow
storm. As a result only light snowfall is expected in Montana Farmer
Stockman territory along with a cold wave over the weekend. Some
unsettled weather and a minor disturbance are indicated for the 12th
to 14th without very much precipitation except west of the continental
divide. Clear weather, rising temperatures and probably southerly
winds are indicated to be moving across this forecast region by Dec. 15.
Precipitation: Below normal. Temperatures: Average about normal.
December weather data from U. S. Weather Bureau records:
Eastern Div. . 0.50
Central Div. . 0.68
West of Divide 1.68
North Central 0.60 **1.27 (1901) **0.10 (18Ô6)
••Prom State Records.
♦During: October and November there was a considerable concentration of high
pressure air masses straddling the Colorado Rockies and from there westward to the
coast. With these cool, dry air masses stagnating over the mountain states the weather
usually changes from cloudy to clear, from cool to warm and soon you have warm winds
radiating out from the center of the "high.** It Is practically Impossible to get any
amount of precipitation in Montana or Wyoming east of the continental divide with a
nigh-pressure mass to the southwest and warm, dry southwesterly winds. W'hcn such
conditions prevail longer than expected they completely upset all carefully calculated
It was previously calculated that the paths of the staenant "hiehs" would shift after
October so that the dry air masses would break up and move on in November, permit
tinx the normal movement of low-pressure storms favorable for precipitation. Instead
the stagnant hiçh-pressure air masses returned again in November to cover the moun
tain states for a week at a time in series. This caused an eastward shift of the storm
een .' f £! t0 . centr î) . r an . il , da the Great Lakes area and mild, dry weather to Montana
*5 situation in general is believed now to be on the way out so that
the hirhs will not dominate the weather pattern for more than a few days at a time
0 37 (1914)
80° (1918) **—56° (1924)
21 . 8 °
*78° (1939) ♦♦—59® (1924)
LIVESTOCK PRICES ON NOV. 22
11 . 00 - 21.00
Choice light steers (1,100 lbs. down) .
Choice heavy steers (1*100 lbs. up) .
Good light steers ...
Good heavy steers .
Medium steels (all weights) .
Common light steers .
Common to choice butcher heifers ...
Medium and good butcher cows .
Canner, cutter and common cows .
Cutter to good bulls ..
Cull to choice veal calves .
Cull to choice calves (500 lbs. down) . ..
Common to choice feeders (500-800 lbs.) .... 18.00-26.00
Common to choice feeders (800-1.050 lbs.)
Medium to choice stock cows and heifers .... 13.75-23.00
Medium to choice stocker and feeder calves .. 18.00-29.00
.... 17 00-34.00
. . . . 13.00-25.00
10 . 00 - 12,00
Heavy (240 lbs. up), good and choice .
Medium <200-240 lbs.) good and choice
Light (160-200 lbs.), good and choice
Light lights (120-160 *bs.), good and choice .. 12.50-15.50
Light weights, medium grade
Good and choice packing sows <270-400 lbs.)
Good packing sows (400-550 lbs.) .
Slaughter pigs (120 lbs. down) .
Stocker and feeder pigs .
SHEEP AND LAMBS
Good and choice lambs .
Common to good lambs .
Common to choice ewes .. .
Good and choice ieeder lambs
•Common to medium.
••Good to choice.
6 , 00 - 11.00
ewe lambs on the range for breeding
flocks have cut down the supply of
feeder lambs. July-October ship
ments of feeder lambs into the corn
belt were 19 percent over last year,
however. Many of these, will be sold
before the end of the year, so that
price movement may come mainly
after that date.
WOOL—Prices probably will be
steady to strong during the winter,
Some worsted wools are selling up
near predevaluation levels. Foreign
markets continue to advance and
Australian prices appear to be rela
tively higher than domestic wool
prices. Stocks in the United States
are small, but purchases of Austral
ian wools made soon after devalua
tion, and now arriving or on the way,
will prevent any extreme shortage.
The support price under the new
farm law will average about 45 cents
per grease pound at the farm com
pared with 42.3 cents in the last four
WHEAT—Prices have responded
to a scattered increase in export
sales, but prospects of exports con
tinue somewhat unfavorable. Wheat
agreement countries are trying to
buy at less than the maximum prices.
Subsidy rates may be gradually in
creased to make larger sales pos
sible. CCC purchases are small and
are being made mostly in the Pacific
northwest. Milling demand also is
slow. Prices are near the support
level in the southwest and northwest,
but farmer offerings remain small.
Selling at least part of one's holdings
appears advisable whenever prices
equal to the loan value plus the
storage payment can be obtained.
SEEDS—The price outlook is rela
tively strong. Legume forage seed
supplies are near the average of the
last five years and grass seed stocks
are less than half the average. Re
strictions on wheat, corn and cotton
acreage in 1950 will increase spring
planting needs for all these seeds.
DAIRY PRODUCTS—Steady to
slightly lower prices are probable
in the next two or three months.
Milk production probably will in
crease 10 to 15 percent in this period
ind storage holdings of manufac
tured products will be pushed for
sale. Stocks were reduced less than
usual during October. Butter and
cheese are still being offered to the
government at the support prices,
but the government has begun to of
fer its holdings of 102,000,000 pounds
of butter and minor sales have been
made from its low cost purchases.
Offerings of fluid milk and cream in
leading city milksheds are well ahead
of last year. Surpluses for manu
facturing will increase moderately in
the next few months. Milk-fed and
butterfat-feed ratios probably will
gradually become less favorable but
will still be rather profitable.
CHICKENS—Prices probably will
be steady to slightly higher during
the winter but the chicken-feed price
ratio may remain rather unsatis
factory. Offerings of farm chickens
will gradually decline, but commer
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