Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas on December 31, 1977 · Page 2
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Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas · Page 2

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Hope, Arkansas
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Saturday, December 31, 1977
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Two MO|»K. <\KK <.itiird;»\. r ;u. By DON KENDALL AP Farm WrlUr b WASHINGTON fAP) Fared with huge grain surpluses »nd prospect* for eddi- Sifmal bumper harvests, farm- rrs can expect little financial improvement in 1978. The rebuilding of huge priced*> pressed wheat and com reserves from ihcir low levels of 5974-75 has resulted from nrort grain harvests the past Uirtr years and the Inability of dorm-stir uw and exports to keep pace with production. JYnbflbly no other factor aside from weather has had such a pervasive effect on the U.S, farm economy, and even the bURe grain supply is the result d generally good weather. Grain supplies and prices of wheat and corn, particularly corn, have a direct bearing on a vast portion of the farm econd rimy, affecting producers of Farmers can expect little improvement in 1978 esttU, ho(?s. poultry and dairy rattle Thus, when corn ant 1 other livestock feed grains are relatively cheap us they are now, the tendency among farmers is l/) feed more of it to animals in hopes of making better p-ofits than selling grain for depressed cash prices The existence of the largest grain reserves since the early 1960s also hangs heavily over cash markets, acting as a lid on prices farmers can get for wheat and com from their local elevators. Another effect U on how farm land is used for other crops and how federal farm programs are adjusted to compensate for the rising stockpile of grain. For example, for the first Umc in five years, farmers will have to lake some o/ their land from production In 1978 to qualify for federal price supports. A program for setting aside 20 percent ti a wheat farmer's land from production has been announced by the Agriculture Department and a 30 percent set-aside plan tentatively has rwen approved for corn and other feed grain*, Kvcn so, the grain stockpile may grow more if current proa- pecto for 1978 harvest* materialize. Many of the nation's drought areas, Including parts of the important Midwest Com Belt, have benefitted greatly from widespread moisture since last summer. "Crop output should be large again In 1978, barring major bad weather," aays the department's Outlook and Situation Board. "Ample supplies of production Inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizer, will facilitate large crop output again." As an illustration of the Immensity of the grain problem, he department says that by next June 1. the L'.S. wheat stockpile left over just as the new 1978 harvest is ready will be nearly 12 billion bushel?, up from 1,1 billion last June and 664 million bushels on June 1 1976. The com stockpile next Oct. 1, the beginning of the new marketing year for corn, will be about 1.24 billion bushels, compared with 879 million last Oct. 1 and 398 million bushels on Oct. 1, 1976. MeanwhUe, farm prices of grain have fallen sharply. By Nov. 15, just as the 1S77 corn harvest of a record 6.37 billion bushels was winding up, the average was $2.« a bushel. Wheat was $2.48 a bushel. Three years earlier, In the wake of poor crops elsewhere In the world and a big export demand, corn was bringing farmers around 13.32 a bushel and wheat (4.87 a bushel. ';-:'.lr- pp.<}-j.erv. par- '' •' ••'">'•".: '.<-'- ;:• '. r.,v.f ,.r- 'J<-r'-:lT.-, ;• .-: ,<••.- ,\ <> , ,•;.„. ;• , r . :h.-ir (,.- r .i,... I-...;,-, .»«,,';.,;;: innj: Mi;i;k»'! p; \i *••,. lii/. •,'..!}, i S-.i'apt-r train, feed- lor pr-idu' 'inn ftf cattle has picked up Ix.-partrnent expert.* say that i attle prices over-all "i unprov iTadualh in 1978. the increases will be tempi-red b> large supplies ,,f pork and poultry Dair> fanners. bolstered by higher govcrnnitnt pru c supports foi milk ;md reduced feed costs. ;il.so have expanded pm duction signifirantly and may t» headed for Ix-tter tunes in 1978, according to department economists. But all farmers, whether they produce livestock, wheat, corn, •• :><(, i ... r•:;;,.r- p(.,,ri.ns. ',-.' '.>"• '•• rante?. have \n con- '••r.'i with rising pnwjuction '••>•=!s Form erjuiptnf-n!. fertili- 7>>r. fuel and labor all cost :i:.;< h innre than the\ did a few >!•,![•<; ,-ii; uhon wheat and corn were !)rinp:ns record prices. If.Ls has produced the in- f;uniMis Tnst-price squeeze" familiar to so many farmers. They produce more - but their net inromes drop because prices they «et for commodities ai e lower and their production co:,is higher. Not all farmers fare equally and it i;; difficult to generalize. A sharp dairy farmer, for example, may have done well last year while a cash grain producer particularly if he was hit by drought — may have lost his shirt. One general measure cof farmers' financial status is the department'? rep-iris 01 net farm income. This is the money they have !°ft ever after paying their bills. The department expert? are hesitant about predicting 1978 net farm income, although the) say government payinents provided crop producers by the new Food and Agriculture Act will help and that "many livestock producers" will fare better. Meanwhile, net farm income in 1977 dropped to 120 billion from $21.9 billion in 1976. In 1973, as farmers rode a high tide of rising commodity prices, net farm income soared to a record of $29.9 billion, up from $17.8 billion in 1972. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland says farm prices are too low and that there is no magic solution to the surplus grain problem. "Only uocidwiile woather ii-'fidrj.ins and practical lopy- rantt domestic and farm c.x- por! programs can provide an answer to wir surpluses and our price-and-income situation," Bergland says. Although farm exports have silked the past year. Kergland and some other officials think the future holds promise, including a recent increase in t;rain sales to the Soviet Union and Kask'in European countries to help make up for reduced harvests. "Add this to the fact that while the world supply of food is still much better than a few years ago. the balance of world supplies — despite our massive surpluses - are in precarious balance," Bergland says. "One or two years of low world wide grain production and our surpluses would disappear overnight." For oil industry: year of accomplishment, uncertainty By MAX B. SKKI.TON centlvcs lo maximize rlnmottir rx . ... By MAX B. SKELTON AP Oil Writer HOUSTON (AP)- The oil in- diwtry recalls 1977 sis a year of flrrwnpllflhment despite continuing uncertainties. However, many of the uncer- tftintifs will carry over Into H<7fi. and oil executives say the industry will be faced with rmxr challenged. The r-ereicf! center on the national energy program proposals that were deadlocked In a HmjKc-vSenate conference cotn- mJtlec as Congress began its holidny roccas Ihat continuca until ./an. J9. Iridiatry Icedcrn contend the proposals backed by President Carter place loo much emphasis on luxes and controls without providing sufficient In- i to maximize domestic energy development and production. Orin E. Atkins, Ashland Oil Inc. chairman, has summarized the outlook Into way: "Uncertainties in both the world economy and the United Suites petroleum Industry have been heightened by government policies which threaten to hinder rather than nid the development of a strong national energy bane. "Despite these problems, the petroleum Industry and Ashland have continued to make capital expenditures at an unprecedented rale anticipating thai rational thinking will prevail to assure a strong energy baacfor the future." Four trends highlighted 1977 domestic operations: -Demand for petroleum products approximated 18.3 million barrels a day, a record level thai compares with the 17.3 million pre-embargo average of 1973. —Imports of crude oil and petroleum producta approached 8.8 million barrels a day, a record level that accounted for about 48 percent of the year's demand for products. -Crude oil production In the lower 48 states declined for a sevenlh consecutive year, but the long-delayed midyear opening of the Trans-Alaska pipeline and the start of production from Rlaaka's prolific Prudhoc Bay area led to the first overall increase In domestic output since 1970. —Oil and gas drilling operations moved to an 18-year high with an Indication that total well completions for the year might approach 45,000, compared with 41,421 In 1976 and the record 57,111 In 1956. Most forecasts indicate all four trends will continue in 1978, with Imports possibly moderating a 9ut as the Trans- Alaska flow moves toward its initial crude oil capacity of 1,2 million barrels a day. The record demand for petroleum products pushed 1977 refining operations to record levels as crude runs to stills averaged about 14.5 million barrels a day, or 9.8 percent above 1976. With refineries operating at 90.8 percent of capacity the first 10 months of the year, the industry moved Into the winter season with 1.3 billion barrels Controversies over sex riddled religious world By GEORGE W. CORNELL AI> Religion Writer NKW YORK (AP) - Con- trovernles over sex riddled the religious world In 1977 and the turmoil wns continuing. The Issues ranged from church studies re-examining traditional rulna and revolt against Episcopal women clergy to protests at television portrayals of sex and conflict over abortion and homosexuality. The drive of avowed homosexuals for Uielr explicit acceptance In church and social roles was headed for more con- frontal ions in the months ahead, and some scholars see In it implications for the country's moral directions. Although ordinarily billed as a fight for natural "rights," the Rev. Iir. William Muehl of Yale University Divinity School says that fundamentally it Involves underlying values In society. As with the struggle over abortion, the homosexual objective calls for giving "behavior which was once condemned the protection of constitutional guarantees," he writes In the Christian Century. The year's dramatic collision between gay liberation forces and those of Anita Bryant in Dade County, Fla., "raised Issues more far-reaching than either side seemed to realize," he says. Voters there overwhelmingly refused to give homosexuality a legally protected status. But several communities have done so, and the issue smouldered In others, Including the churches. Several denominations faced demands thai they affirm acceptance of avowed homosexuals in the clergy and other Church roles. As a prelude to the storm, the ordination of a declared lesbian In the Episcopal Church touched off an uproar, compounding the already keen resistance in some quarters of that church to its newly begun ordination of women. Even the presiding bishop said he's against it, while scatlered dissidents quit to form a separate church. In Roman Catholicism, a candidate for the Jesuit priesthood was dismissed from the order for admitting he was homosexual, although he said he never had practiced it. Similarly, the Vatican silenced an American theologian, the Rev. John McNefll, repudiating his book,"The Church and the Homosexual," as supporting open acceptance of gays In the church. Twelve well-known theologians called the silencing a "serious breach of justice." Such steps have been rare since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Meanwhile, new, controversial studies on sexuality were Issued by the United , Church of Christ and by a committee of the Catholic Theological Society of America, advocating more flexible approaches to sex standards. Catholic bishops called the conclusions dangerous and contrary to church teachings. However, with Vatican approval, the bishops repealed an 1884 Council of Baltimore decree automatically excommunicating remarried, divorced Catholics. Also, special church procedures made annulments easier and more numerous. Carmakers had a healthy 1977 By MARTY HAIR Associated Press Writer DETROIT (AP) - The nation's automakers had a healthy 1977, achieving gains on severnl fronts, and they predict an even better 1978. But some analysts were uneasy about the future by year';; end. Several reported slniih (he cyclical industry soon would ayain turn down, and late-year sales figures supported their predictions. While auto executives measured i In- year by numbers, they admitted government regulation played a big role, too. L>fui! b still the Motor City, but auio executives spent a lot of time in Washington during 1977. Amoiu', the facU> and figures touud during the year: -Total 1977 industry sales, including imports, will hit a record 31.9 million. Car sales of 11.? million and truck sales of 3.7 million compared with 10.1 million and 3.2 million in all of 1976. —Profits made news in the second quarter, when General Motors Corp. became the first U.S. industrial firm to post net of II billion in three months. And ailing American Motors Corp. had its first full-year profit in three years, despite losses on auto operations. —The companies escalated their war against imports, bringing out new models and special pricing strategies. —GM's "downsizing" campaign on large cars was a success, and the industry leader introduced shrunken intermediates for 1978. But on the negative side: —Recalls headed for a record, with some nine million vehicles called back to dealers for repair of possible safety defects since Jan. 1. The record of 9.4 million vehicles was set in 1971. — Import sales rose 38 percent in 1977 compared with 1976. In the same time, the domestic makers' volume rose 7 percent. Nearly one of every five new cars sold in this country during 1977 was an import. General Motors was slapped with nearly 200 lawsuits because it put Chevrolet 350-cub- icinch engines in some 1977 Oldsmobiles, Pont iocs and Buicks without telling buyers. To avoid the same problem this year, GM is stating in its ads that the engines are generic "GM engines." —Car prices on 1978 models climbed nearly C percent. One of the most significant shifts in 1977 was the growing distance between GM-Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler-AMC. Some observers called it a case of the rich gelling richer and the poor getting poorer. Small-car specialist AMC's share of the domestic car market dwindled from 2.9 percent last year to 2 percent for 1977. Chrysler's fell from 15 percent to 13.G percent. Chrysler hoped to win back some of its decreasing share by concentrating on mid-sized and smaller cars, as well as trucks. It dropped or shrunk all but one of its big luxury cars, which had been Chrysler's trademark for many years. Meanwhile, the leaders of the domestic industry—Ford and GM—continued to post gains from 1976. Ford held 28 percent of the market this year, up from 26 percent, and GM rose to 56 percent from 55 percent. Complete profit sheets for 1977 aren't In yet, but for the first nine months, GM earned $2.4 billion, up 14 percent from the same period last year. Ford earned $1.3 billion from January through September, up 60 percent from 1976. But that figure was inflated because of a United Auto Workers strike at Ford in last year's third quarter. Chryslers earnings fell 21 percent from the 1976 level to $184.2 million for the first nine months of the year. And AMC earned $8.3 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, its first year in the black since 1974. As profits generally mushroomed, so did sales for the domestic industry. But some Wall Street analysts are predicting car sales will be down between 5 and 10 percent in 1978 after two boom years. No one queried, however, forecasts anything like the severe slump that numbed the industry in late 1974 and 1975. Some analysts call for Industry sales of about 800,000 fewer cars in 1978 than in 1977, a view which constrasts sharply with that of GM Chairman Thomas Murphy. Consistently the Industry's most bullish forecaster, Murphy predicts record 1978 industry sales of 15.5 million cars and trucks. Henry Ford U, chairman of the nation's No. 2 carmaker, says 1978 will be about the same as 1977. Chrysler and AMC's predictions fall somewhere in between. of crude oil and products in storage, 7.2 percent above the year-earlier level. This left refiners in a good supply position should a second straight colder-than-normal winter develop. For natural gas, however, the situation was quite different. Interstate pipeline contract requirements for the winter months were estimated at 7.2 trillion cubic feet, compared with available supplies estimated at 5.5 trillion cubic feet. This amounts to a 23 percent shortage, compared with 21 percent last winter. Domestic crude oil production, which peaked at 9,180,000 barrels a day in 1970, fell to 8,016,000 barrels a day by the time the Trans-Alaska pipeline began operating in late June. Start-up problems that included sabotage, explosions, and fires forced postponement of the line's projected flow of 1.2 million barrels a day until next spring. But Prudhoe Bay production was approximating 600,000 barrels a day, boosting overall domestic-crude about 8.6 million barrels a day, compared with 8.1 million barrels a year earlier. Spread over the calendar year, Prudhoe Bay crude was expected to boost the 1977 daily average to about 8,188,000 barrels a day, compared with 8,138,000 in 1976. Plans for marketing Prudhoe Bay's natural gas reserves, estimated at more than 30 trillion cubic feet, were proceeding at year-end with federal approval of a pipeline route across Alaska and Canada. Alcan Pipeline Co. expressed hope that up to 800 million cubic feet a day can be delivered to markets in the lower 48 states by late 1979 or 1980. Still to be made final, however, was federal and state approval for a pipeline to move surplus Prudhoe Bay crude oil from California to inland refinery centers. In early December, domestic oil and gas operators had 2,151 rotary drilling rigs at work, the highest level since December 1959. Industry sources, while cautiously watching Washington, were predicting the upward trend should continue well into 1978. John E. Swearingen, the 1978 chairman of the American Pet- roleum Institute, was among those expressing hope some sort of compromise can be effected to assure adequate incentives for the industry to maximize the search for additional energy supplies. Swearingen, chairman of Standard Oil Co. (Indiana), said the industry can provide ample supplies of energy here at home if the market system is allowed to work and prices are permitted to go high enough to cover the cost of production and allow a reasonable profit. "But we will not have ad- quate domestic supplies as long as substantial numbers of people, including members of Congress, believe we can have more energy without paying for it," Swearingen said. ••^•••••••••••••••HBBHB Ring out the old CROWDS CONTINUE TO GATHER in Times Square each New Year's Eve to watch a lighted ball drop from the top of a skyscraper flagstaff at the stroke of midnight. Last year, this worker was responsible for seeing that every light in the ball was working. show that put the citv's neon to shame More than 70,000 tourists jammed the nation's gambling capital to celebrate New Ye™\ Eve 1977 "WHEN I go, I'll takr New Year's Eve with me," bandleader Guy Lomburdo used to joke. And the occasion may indeed have lost some of its luster for many due to the death of Lorn- bardo Nov. 5. For half a century, the bandleader and his Royal Canadians had ushered in the new year with "the swecu-st music this side of heaven." A BRIGHT NK Times Square nation's fighting

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