The cattle industry can trace many of its woes to declining beef demand, says a Purdue University researcher.

Beef demand is half what it was in 1980, and consumers continue to turn away from it despite some recovery in 2004, James Mintert told the recent International Livestock Congress held in Denver.

Researchers used 1980 as a base year, setting the demand index at 100.

“The beef demand index captures the impact of quantity and changes in price after that price has been adjusted for inflation,” says Mintert.

A change in the domestic market occurred around 1980, resulting in a steady decline in demand at the retail level.

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