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Orlin Wagner, Associated Press
A steer grazes in a Flint Hills pasture near Alma, Kan., Friday, May 22, 2015. Experts say nationally range and pasture conditions are notably improved from last year and other recent periods of drought.

WICHITA, Kan. — Drenching rains in recent weeks across the nation's major livestock-grazing regions are greening pastures just as ranchers move cattle out for summer.

The annual rite of driving cattle out to pasture comes as ranchers try to rebuild herds that were decimated when they sold off much of their livestock because of drought-shriveled pastures and skyrocketing hay prices.

All the rain lately bodes well for the continued expansion of the nation's cattle herd.

That also bodes well for consumers' pocketbooks, with experts saying beef prices will come down from the record prices now averaging $6.08 a pound for the all-fresh beef.