AGRICULTURE

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Government Looks Into Beef Pricing Trends: The Justice Department says it is keeping a close eye on beef pricing after lawmakers sought an antitrust investigation of the retail markup on wholesale meat. Democratic Sens. Bob Kerrey and James Exon of Nebraska said the retail markup--or the wholesale-to-retail price spread--on beef has begun to tumble since they asked the department to review the matter in August. The senators cited Agriculture Department figures that indicate that the markup peaked at a record $1.132 per pound in August before falling to $1.093 in September and $1.027 in October.

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