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Tyson Still Making Money

Beef, pork and chicken are currently profitable for Tyson Foods Inc. even as cash-strapped consumers eat at home more and seek out lower-cost foods, Tyson’s interim chief executive said during an investor conference May 13.

“Our chicken segment has been profitable since the end of February and it continues to be so,” interim CEO Leland Tollett said during a webcast presentation at the BMO Capital Markets conference.

During its earnings report last week, Tyson said its beef, pork, and prepared foods units also were profitable.

Chicken companies struggled in 2008 with high feed costs and low meat prices. Since then Tyson and other producers reduced production to cut costs and restore profits, an effort that appears to be working.

While pork prices slipped due to the recent H1N1 flu outbreak, hog prices dropped as well, which helped the company maintain profit margins on pork, said Jim Lochner, Tyson’s senior vice-president of fresh meats.

The recession continues to hurt meat sales at fine-dining restaurants, but Tyson officials said sales remain brisk at supermarkets and through fast-food restaurants.

Latest U. S. Dairy Herd Buyout Largest

The dairy group

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) said it has accepted 388 bids from producers in 41 states to cull 102,898 dairy cows, representing about two billion lbs. of milk production, in its latest U. S. dairy herd buyout program. The bids accepted represent 72 per cent of the total bids received and the number of cows represents 64 per cent of the number offered.

In a release posted on its website, the CWT said the number of cows and pounds of milk represent the largest single herd retirement in the CWT’s six-year history. The cows will start being removed from dairy farms by late May.

The bids selected ranged from farms with fewer than 50 cows to dairies with over 5,000, demonstrating that farms of all sizes in all areas are facing a very difficult year in 2009,” said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), which administers CWT.

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