Agricultural Economics Series No. 50-10
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION i'ORK 11
AGRICULTURE AVD HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY AT TALLAHASSEE
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATING
H. G. CLAYTON, Director
THE OUTLOOK FOR FLORIDA FARMERS IN 1951
F. W. Parvin
Associate Economist, Farm Management
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
THE OUTLOOK FOR FLORIDA FARMERS IN 1951
The United States has embarked upon a program of determined mobilization.
It is a program involving more than emergency measures, emergency expenditures,
and emergency tax increases. It is a program carefully calculated and projected
over a period of at least 5 years perhaps longer. It has become our Federal
How will this change in fiscal policy affect Florida farmers? For many it
will offer an opportunity to recover at least to some extent, the losses they
suffered in the farm price reductions of 199. Practically every Florida farmer
has seen the price of the things he had to sell take rather serious drops follow-
ing World War II. Fortunately, not all dropped at the same time nor to the same
The Demand for Florida Farm Products in 1951
As a result of the mobilization program, the demand for Florida farm products
will be stronger in 1951. The experiences of the recent war will make this state-
ment rather obvious to those connected with the production and marketing of Florida
The inevitable results of such a period as we are now entering must be infla-
tion -- either mild or strong, scarcities of civilian goods, some controls, higher
taxes, high employment and high purchasing power. In an economic environment of
this type food, feed, and fiber products are almost certain to feel a strengthened
The American public has demonstrated on numerous occasions that when it has
money it will spend it. When the supplies of one type of goods are limited or non-
existent then the purchasing public will turn to those goods in more abundant
supply. The demand for Florida farm products in 1951 will not suffer from a situ-
ation of this type.
The Outlook for Supplies of Civilian Goods in 1951
It is doubtful if there will be serious shortages of many civilian goods in
1951. This is not to imply that there will not be a substantial reduction in the
production of civilian goods of certain classes. There will be, probably start-
ing in the first half of 1951. Higher prices, and credit restrictions, however,
will reduce the demand for these goods so that there will be'few serious short-
It is obvious that those civilian goods which require large amounts of mate-
rials needed in the production of defense items will be affected first. Automo-
biles, electrical appliances, household furnishings will be in somewhat shorter
suooly as 1951 progresses.
Supplies of some of the textiles are very short. Cotton and wool are in very
short supply. This will show up in somewhat smaller supplies of clothing and fab-
rics. The effects of this smaller supply will automatically be magnified when
money, which would have been spent for the critical material goods, is diverted to
clothing and food.
The Outlook for Farm Costs in 1951
The same forces which will force upward the prices for clothing, appliances,
automobiles and food in 1951 will force the costs of producing Florida's farm pro-
Farm machinery will cost more in 1951 and will be in somewhat shorter supply.
The U.S.D.A. has established an agency to see that enough steel is diverted to
manufacturers of farm machinery to meet their basic needs.
Supplies of fuel for farm power and machinery will be adequate in 1951 but
prices will probably be higher.
1 Prices of most building material, supplies, and containers will be higher in
1951 but supplies of most items should be adequate to meet the needs of Florida
Thile transparent wrappings and burlap bags will be in rather short supply in
1951, supplies of paper bags and other paper containers will be adequate.
Pesticides will, in all likelihood, cost more in 1951 than in 1950. The price
of fertilizer, too, will probably increase in 1951.
Feed costs are not expected to change appreciably in the season ahead. How-
ever, any change in costs will be upward.
All in all, the costs of producing Florida's crops and livestock in the year
1951 will be higher -- possibly 10% above 1950. Net income of Florida farmers,
however, should be 10 to 15% above 1950 as a result of higher prices.
The outlook for Florida Farm Products in 1951
MEAT ANDJALS: The source of supply for the nation's pork chops, ham, and
bacon -- the annual pig crop, has grovm from 83 million in 1945 to 99 million in
1950. The spring-of-1951 pig crop will be, in all probability, about 5% larger
than the spring-of-1950. Also, it is likely that farmers will continue to market
at slightly heavier weights.
This will mean that Florida farmers will be marketing their hogs next year
with competition from a larger supply of pork than in the past several years. Even
with larger supplies of pork, however, it is probable that the price of pork will
average higher in 1951 than for the corresponding period in 1950. Higher purchas-
ing power will increase the demand for meat.
Beef cattle, too, are increasing in numbers. The increase in numbers that
has occurred since 1948 will begin to be felt in beef production in 1951. Here,
too, however, increased purchasing power and the inclination to purchase more meat
when incomes are higher will hold beef prices at high levels in 1951. Florida
beef cattlemen will probably continue to maintain the enviable position from the
standpoint of prices they receive that they have held for several years now.
Production of all meat in the United States in 1951 will probably be 3 to
5% greater than 1950. This will allow for greater per-capita consumption even in
the face of larger supplies for military forces.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: There is little in the picture now to indicate that there
will be any appreciable difference between 1951 and 1950 insofar as Florida dairy-
men are concerned. Any price changes will be upward. It is likely that those
areas which have not already raised the price of milk will do so in 1951. The
cost of producing milk will be slightly higher because of increased cost of labor
and supplies. Feed costs should remain o out the same; they are already at high
POULTRY PRODUCTS: Egg production in the United States as a whole will proba-
bly be slightly smaller in the first half of 1951 than the same period of 1950.
Unless egg prices are supported -- there is no indication now whether they will
or will not be -- this output will sell at a lower price than a year ago.
Egg production in the fall of 1951 v.ill be reduced if this lower springtime
price develops. This would mean higher prices for fall eggs.
Prices for poultry meat will be higher in 1951 following the trend of prices
for red meat.
TRUCK CROPS: It is a matter of historical record that, given higher purchas-
S ing power, the American public will purchase and consume more meat, more fruit,
Sand more vegetables. This fact places many Florida farmers in a favorable position
insofar as participation in the benefits of higher national income and purchasing
power is concerned.
Florida truck crops in 1951 then, will find a demand somewhat stronger than
that of 1950. The demand, however, will not be strong enough to move 24 or 25
thousand acres of Irish potatoes at a prot1t. Neither will the demand be strong
enough to sell watermelons from the 61 thousand acres planted last year.
(For acreage recommendations for 1951, Florida truck growers are urged to
refer to the report Looking Ahead for Florida Agriculture available through
their County Agent.)
The stronger demand for truck crops in 1951 simply means that the same pro-
duction of the individual crops as was produced in 1950 will sell for slightly
higher prices; smaller production will bring proportionately larger increases in
price; while greater production than 1950 will bring lower prices for 1951.
CITRUS: Increased demand for citrus fruit will help Florida.citrus growers
move their fruit at a somewhat higher price than would ordinarily be expected in
the case of a 100 million box crop. (The November 1 estimate for Florida citrus
was 97.6 million boxes.) Even this increased demand, however, is not expected to
counteract the economic effect of a near-record supply of citrus in the United
States as a whole.
V'hile there will undoubtedly be short periods of disappointing prices in any
attempt to market the huge citrus crop on hand, the season as a whole should prove
to be very satisfactory by all standards except the 1949-50 season.
COTTON: Florida producers of cotton are in a much more favorable position
than they were a year ago. The cotton situation at the beginning of the 1950 sea-
son seemed bleak. Now, there is a shortage of cotton a shortage that comes
perilously close to being critical.
All restrictions upon production and marketing of cotton for the 1951 season
have been removed. In fact, cotton farmers all over the country are being urged
to increase acreage and production by every means consistent with good farm man-
The price outlook for Florida cotton farmers for 1951 is good.
TOBACCO: The demand for the most important type of tobacco produced in
Florida continues to be very strong. People at home and abroad continue to smoke
American cigarettes in increasing quantities. Vrith increased purchasing power
there is little likelihood that this trend will be reversed.
Florida tobacco growers will continue to prosper in 1951.
PEANUTS: Florida peanut growers will benefit from the increased demand and
purchasing power for all food and feed products -- but probably to a lesser degree
than any other group of Florida farmers.
There is little to indicate that 1951 will be far different from 1950 for
Florida peanut growers. The size of acreage allotments will determine the supply
of peanuts going to market.
Summary of the Outlook for 1951
Y. There will be more money in circulation in 1951 -- more purchasing
2. Taxes will be higher -- will drain off a small amount of their purchas-
3. As the defense program expands materials will be diverted from the pro-
duction of such civilian goods as automobiles, refrigerators, household
furnishings and the like.
h. More money will be available for purchasing clothing, food, livestock,
for savings and investments.
5. Florida farm products rill bene.-it from this increased purchasing power-
will find a stronger market, stronger demand.
6. Florida farmers while receiving substantially larger incomes will also
have higher costs -- their net incomes will still be higher than 1950,
on the whole, by some 10 to 15%.
7. 1951 will be another good year for Florida farmers.