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The Associated Press October 19, 2010, 1:59PM ET

AP IMPACT: Beef industry woes may mean poorer meat

Many of the nation's cattle producers are struggling to get reasonable prices for their animals -- a trend they say could eventually mean lesser-quality meat on dinner tables across the United States.

The Associated Press interviewed cattle producers who reported having no choice but to sell the vast majority of their cattle to the single buyer who submitted a competitive bid. An AP analysis of shipping logs and sales receipts confirmed their accounts.

The producers say the struggle to get a decent price is helping to push ranchers and feedlot owners out of business. The complaints have also drawn the interest of federal regulators, who are investigating possible antitrust violations.

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