The January Cattle report provided confirmation that the long slide in cattle numbers has ended and producers are beginning to expand their herds. As of January 1, the total cattle inventory stood at 95.85 million head, up 1% from a year earlier. There were more cattle in every category this year, with a sizable 4% increase in the number of heifers held for beef herd replacement. Heifers held for dairy replacement were 3% higher than a year earlier. The number of steers and heifers not held for herd replacement were up 1% and 2% respectively suggesting an increase in the number of feeder cattle available for placement in 2005. The data in the report was a little negative for cattle prices, showing the inventory slightly above pre-release estimates.