The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported cattle feedlot inventories at 11.9 million head, up 4 percent from a year ago. Drought in the Southern Plains continues to support early, lower-weight feedlot placements. So, even though feedlot inventories are larger than a year ago, supplies — particularly of choice-grade cattle — have been tight as more cattle are marketed at lower weights. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s switch from select to choice beef in its 3,800 U.S. stores will ...

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