It has been rough these last couple of years and now with record prices it doesn’t pay to keep a herd.
Check it out:

Many years of cattle herd liquidation, due to drought and other factors, have left the beef industry with such low cattle inventories that severe reductions in beef production are inevitable.

Beef production in 2014 is projected to total roughly 24.4 billion pounds, down 5.2 percent from last year and the smallest annual beef production in the U.S. since 1994. Cattle slaughter through mid-November is down 7.1 percent, including a 3.6 percent decline in steer slaughter and an 8.3 percent decrease in heifer slaughter. Total steer and heifer slaughter in 2014 is projected to be the smallest since 1968.