June 15, 2004
From the June 1917 National Wool Grower Magazine
Wool and the War
?If we put a million men in the field this fall and next winter we shall need more wool than we can easily get to properly clothe them. For those of us who stay at home it will be worse than a famine. We shall have to wear our old clothes or go without. It is not yet too late to stop the slaughter of breeding stock, so that next spring we may have a large increase in our clip of wool.
?The breeders of the country have organized the National Sheep and Wool Bureau, with headquarters at 521 Home Insurance Building, here in Chicago. Any one who is interested can get information and advice by writing to that offer.
?Finally, it needs to be emphasized the greatest obstacle to the increase of the wool clip in the United States is the unrestrained dog. When farmers can keep sheep without running the danger of having them killed over night they will not need much urging to do so.?
Under date of May 17, a press dispatch appeared in the daily papers saying: ?That suit you paid $25 for last winter is now worth $37.50 at today?s price of wool.? What a lie this is. Papers that would print such a plain misrepresentation should be suppressed, and news agencies that would carry such material should be denied the use of telegraph lines.
Before the war a $25, all-wool suit of clothes contained about $1.75 worth of wool and very rarely over $2 worth. Wool has advanced 150 per cent in price in the last three years, so that the $25 suit at the very outside now contains but $5 worth of wool. This is, of course, assuming that the suit is made of all new wool. The suit, therefore, because of the advance in wool, should sell at $28, instead of $25, or an advance of $3 over 1914 prices, instead of an advance of $12.50 as stated by the press report. In this case, however, the daily papers have simply misrepresented the facts by a little over 300 per cent, which is about the average for their accuracy.
Enclosed find a check for $25 for the Red Cross Fund. I trust that the movement will meet with the hearty support of all wool growers, who, although the winter and spring of 1917 has used them badly, can ill afford to let pass a chance to contribute their little to such a worthy cause.
Our section of the country has had to pay toll to the inclement weather which has been with us since last December with a backward spring, holding back feed up until about the fifteenth of this month. This has caused some heavy loss in old stock, and it looks like a 50 per cent lamb crop.
T. HUNTER SALMON, Wyoming
Hearing on Baled Wool
Sometime ago the National Wool Growers? Association attempted to get the railroads to reduce the 19-pound density per cubic foot required in shipping baled wool. As is nearly always the case the railroads refused to make any concessions, so we filed a petition before the Interstate Commerce Commission asking to have the density reduced. The commission now advises us they will hear our complaint in Salt Lake City on July 9.
Libery Loan Subscription
We are advised that at a special meeting of the Boston Wool Trade Association almost four million dollars was subscribed to the liberty loan fund. Eight wool firms each subscribed for $250,000 of the bonds, one for $200,000, and nine for $100,000 each. The rest was taken in smaller amounts.
To Test Wool Auctions
At a meeting of the Philadelphia wool trade held Wednesday, May 16th, at the Corn Exchange Bank, it was decided unanimously by the trade that the wool auction plan be given a trial and after some discussion all agreed that the name ?Philadelphia Wool Auctions? was the one best suited for the purpose.
A committee of three consisting of Charles S. Caldwell, president of the Corn Exchange Bank; H. J. Kenderine of J. Bateman & Co. and Charles J. Webb of C. J. Webb & Co., were appointed to nominate a Board of Governors of twelve men as outlined in a letter which was sent out by Mr. Caldwell earlier in the week. These nominations will be submitted to the entire trade at a later meeting for their approval and when so approved they will draw up rules, etc., governing all trading at the auction.
From Western Pennsylvania
Forty per cent of the sheep in Pennsylvania is to be found in Washington and Green Counties. The clip this year will not exceed that of last year and there is no rush on the part of the farmers to get into the sheep business, notwithstanding the fact that wool is being held around the dollar mark. It is predicted by many that wool will reach a higher mark before many months. With corn at $2; wheat, $3; oats, 90? and potatoes, $4 per bushel, there is a disposition among farmers in the eastern states to convert their crops into cash. Sheep in southwestern Pennsylvania are bringing $14 per head at public sales, which indicates that the purchaser contemplates about $1 per pound for the fleece. The propaganda, ?Raise More Sheep,? so far as the East is concerned, has not had the much desired effect up to date. It is our opinion that any increase in the number of sheep in eastern states will be slow in manifesting itself.
M. A. COOPER
A Late Storm in Wyoming
McKinley, Wyo., May 12, 1917: We have had the worst storm that has ever come to Wyoming so late in the season, and the losses of both sheep and cattle have been frightful. Through central Wyoming the loss would average at least 15 to 20 percent during the storm. The storm was two feet deep in places. Some got off with rather light losses, while others? losses were very heavy. We got off with a small loss compared with the storm.
There is nothing doing in wool at present; some little inquiry, but no buying. Lambs would sell readily at 12?.
From Central California
We have had a bad winter down here and are not ?out of the woods? yet on June 1st. In a couple of weeks the grain stubble fields will give us some feed for two or three months, but if we do not have a good fall it will be hard sledding, as there is no dry feed left on the ranges. From Stockton, Calif., on north, conditions are quite good. Quite a number of sheep have been shipped from around Hanford to Nevada and to Northern California. Everything in the sheep line here is selling at good figures, and some of those who sold their ewes a month ago are trying to buy others for this fall. Our 7-1/2-months? wool sold here for 50?. I will have to sell some of my pure Rambouillet ewes on account of not having any range for them.