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Columns

  • ranch managment costs
    Feb 25, 2013
    blog

    Seven Keys To Ranch Profitability 1

    The prices of fuel and equipment have risen significantly faster over time than the market value of cattle. Therefore, I prefer a production system highly dependent on soil, sunlight, rainfall, and our ingenuity and inventiveness, than one highly dependent on fossil fuels and equipment....More
  • drought strategy cost harlan hughes
    Feb 25, 2013
    blog

    Strategies To Build Back The Beef Herd After Drought

    A conventional drought repopulation strategy is to buy back as many bred heifers after the drought as cows were sold during the drought. The example rancher in my previous three columns sold 50 bred cows from his original 250-head cowherd in 2012; therefore, he wanted to evaluate buying back 50 bred heifers in spring 2013....More
  • Feb 25, 2013
    blog

    Ram Truck Super Bowl Ad Shares The Heart Of Ag 2

    If you watched February’s Super Bowl, you were likely as heartened as you were surprised to see a two-minute commercial from Ram® Trucks and sister company IH Case featuring the late Paul Harvey narrating his poem, “So God Made a Farmer.”...More
  • selling cows after drought
    Jan 24, 2013
    blog

    This Year’s Drought Is High-Stakes Poker 6

    An oft-repeated phrase throughout the past few years is that “you can’t feed your way out of a drought.” I understand that logic, but the decision is a whole lot simpler if you could plan to buy back from a market similar to the one you sold into, or if you believed you could purchase similar quality genetics at similar premium or discount levels....More
  • cattle disease and antibiotic resistance
    Feb 25, 2013
    blog

    Antimicrobial Resistance Needs A Team Solution 2

    A friend recently became ill while away from home and went to the local hospital for treatment. When the attending physician learned my friend was involved in beef production, he said, “You agriculture guys use 80% of all antibiotics. No wonder we have so much resistance!” My friend was dumbstruck....More
  • farm management costs
    Feb 25, 2013
    blog

    What Will It Take To Rebuild The U.S. Beef Cowherd?

    My friend Howard was among the industry’s top 20 largest cow-calf operators in the late 1980s, but drought and other factors have whittled down his cow numbers over the last 25 years. His operation has been fortunate to escape the ravages of the drought of the last three years, but Howard has had no desire to expand his cowherd. Why?...More

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