The USDA recently forecast U.S. beef production to fall 5.4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 and to be as much as 6 percent lower in the second half of the year. Friday’s USDA cattle report showed new placements onto feedlots in December rose 1.0 percent year-over-year, as sky-high prices for finished cattle and cheaper feed prices improved margins for feedlot operators and attracted the uptick in placements. However, total feedlot inventories still remain ...

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