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A tip on June marketing: 'Buy beef, chicken, eggs'

The Agriculture Department issued a "food marketing alert," advising officials of institutions to "buy and use beef, broilers, and eggs during June due to expected heavy supplies of these items." Producers of all three are losing money because costs are surpassing income.

Late last year, the department predicted meat prices would rise sharply, but the predictions have so far turned out to be wrong.

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Prices farmers receive for raw farm products fell 0.4 percent in May -- the first decline for May in seven years. Cattle and eggs were among the commodities that pulled down the average. Bro ilers went up a bit, an average of 1.4 percent a pound.