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U.S. cattle-feeding businesses operated at a loss in 1976 and 1977. Fed-beef production costs in 1977 averaged $43.55 per 100 pounds marketed, while the national average price feedlots received per 100 pounds for slaughter steers and heifers was $39. Farmer feedlots in the Midwest, those feeding less than 1,000 head of cattle, had higher production costs and lost more money than did commercial feedlots in the West. The largest direct costs for both types of feedlot were for replacement feeder cattle and for feed.


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