In 2009, supermarket meat departments found themselves in a rare position with regard to beef. The recession had caused a steep drop in restaurant traffic. And, less demand from restaurants meant lower wholesale prices for retail buyers — a great opportunity during a time when an increasing number of shoppers were dining at home. This year, the outlook isn't as clear. Historically high feed prices in 2008 and weak demand in 2009 were a one-two punch for ranchers and beef producers, who ...

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