DRIVEN BY DROUGHT: Cattlemen are selling animals they can't graze or afford to buy feed for. Beef from the animals now flooding livestock auctions will start showing up in grocery stores in November and December, temporarily driving down meat prices.
SHRINKING HERDS: The number of cattle in the U.S. has been dropping for years. The Agriculture Department says the nation's cattle inventory is the smallest since the agency began a July count in 1973.
RISING PRICES: Beef prices are expected to rise sharply by January in the wake of dwindling supplies and smaller livestock herds.