The U.S. cattle herd is declining, with beef cowherd numbers potentially reaching 30.5 million head by January 2023. That’s according to Rabo Research animal protein analyst Dustin Aherin. Drought conditions are playing a small role in the current cattle cycle. “A big share of the worst drought we are seeing isn’t in as densely populated beef cow country,” he explains. “The exception to that is in the Dakotas and parts of Montana where we really do have a large beef cow inventory struggling with drought.” While all that in mind, Aherin is expecting the national cowherd to decline, and the latest Cattle Inventory Report implies the same. The six-month outlook for fed and feeder cattle prices is the highest in at least five years. There are a couple factors driving these prices, including more manageable cattle on feed numbers. Aherin has more in the Red River Farm Network interview.