The Market Reporter, (United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Markets, Washington, D.C.), June 18, 1921, pages 385, 393:
BUREAU WILL EXTEND RADIO MARKET NEWS SERVICE.
Reports Will be Sent From Four Additional Wireless Plants Through Cooperation of the Post Office Department.
Reports of the country's principal agricultural markets are to be sent broadcast by radio to farmers in 31 States beginning June 20, according to the plans of the U. S. Bureau of Markets.
The bureau's radio market news service, it will be remembered, was inaugurated Dec. 15, 1920, when through the assistance of the U. S. Bureau of Standards, Department of Commerce, reports were dispatched from that bureau's wireless plant at Washington. Through the cooperation of the Post Office Department this service was augmented on Apr. 15 by the sending of radio reports from Washington, D. C., Bellefonte, Pa., St. Louis, and Omaha. And now through the further cooperation of the Post Office Department that department's wireless plants at Cincinnati, North Platte, Nebr., Rock Springs, Wyo., and Elko, Nev., are also to be placed at the disposal of the Bureau of Markets for the sending of its radio market reports daily except Sundays and legal holidays. The Bellefonte, Pa., station, however, will be discontinued after June 20.
Names of States Covered.
Allowing a transmitting radius of 300 to 400 miles to each of the seven wireless stations mentioned make it possible to cover a strip of territory from New York State to the Pacific coast some 600 to 800 miles in width. Thus farmers living in the States of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma, Nevada, and California will be able, if the proper receiving equipment be available, to receive the bureau's reports. Under ideal conditions these reports can also be received in parts of Texas, Washington, South Carolina, North Dakota, and Connecticut, though officials in charge of the work hardly hope that these States will be able to intercept the reports regularly.
Most of the market news now being sent by radio relates to live stock except in the East where the fruit and vegetable markets are also covered. It is hoped, however, that in the near future the radio news service can be further extended, especially in the case of grain. Grain quotations at the present time are sent from Omaha, St. Louis, and Washington.
Obviously, the benefits derived from the bureau's radio market news service depend upon the use the farmers of the country make of it. The reports literally are "in the air" and it is up to the farmer to "pull them down" and make use of them. There are but few communities in the United States in which at least one wireless receiving set is not located and it should prove a comparatively easy matter for farmers' organizations to arrange to receive the bureau's reports. Moreover, wireless equipment capable of receiving messages is not expensive compared to other mechanical equipment, costing from $50 to $150, and boys and girls of high-school ago can become proficient operators with a few months of practice.
A particularly good feature of the radio service is the brief time required to take down the messages, special mimeographed forms having been prepared by the bureau for this purpose which can be filled out by the operator by means of a simple code.
The U. S. Bureau of Standards is now testing wireless apparatus for the purpose of determining the best kinds of equipment farmers and farmers' organizations can secure for receiving radio messages. The cost of equipment is being kept in mind in making these tests, so that the strictest economy can be observed by those making purchases. In a short time the Bureau of Markets hopes to have complete information concerning this matter which it can pass on to those interested.
Efforts are being made by the bureau to organize the radio service in entire States so that farmers and other agricultural interests may be able to receive the daily market reports promptly from an official or central agency. However, progress in this matter must necessarily be slow, and it would be well for county agents and farmers' organizations to take the initiative in providing themselves with the reports.
There is no longer any reason why farmers in the 31 States covered by the radio stations at Washington, St. Louis, Omaha, Cincinnati, North Platte, Nebr., Rock Springs, Wyo., and Elko, Nev., can not obtain national market information the same day that business is transacted, and if county agents, agricultural organizations, and other groups of citizens, whose object it is to assist the agricultural industry of the United States, will arrange to receive the radio reports it may mean very substantial profits to the producers.
In many States whole communities have already made such arrangements and the Bureau of Markets is receiving many gratifying reports regarding the usefulness of its radio service. Now with this service so soon to be extended from coast to coast bureau officials feel certain that the radio will furnish to the farmer a market news service that will successfully fill the gap between the time business is actually transacted and the time the printed reports of the markets are read by those who are interested. The value to the farmer of strictly up-to-the-minute market information can not be overestimated.
The Bureau of Markets is glad to answer inquiries concerning its radio market news service. Obviously, it is not possible to cover all points in an article of this length and many questions, no doubt, occur to those who are interested which can not be satisfactorily answered except by correspondence. Your letter, therefore, will be welcomed.