Most Recent Blog Posts

Jan 04, 2016

Managing risk is more important than ever

There seems little doubt that recent volatility and uncertainty caused some to delay marketing decisions. It seems the recent market crash has pushed....More
Dec 07, 2015

Cattle buyers still find value, pay more for healthy cattle

Cattle buyers continue to pay more for calves with added health assurance, but not necessarily the way people often think of such programs....More
Nov 02, 2015

Lessons from the 2015 cattle market wreck

Though there were other contributors to the late summer - early fall market slide, the backlog of overdone cattle fueled the price slide....More
Oct 29, 2015

Is the cattle cycle back? Part 2 of a 2-part series

Will we see cattle cycles again? Assuming that corn prices stay reasonably stable, as we saw before 2006, I would answer “Yes, I think so.”....More
Oct 05, 2015

Snapshot of today's stocker operater

The number of producers exclusively in the stocker business and those who have both stocker cattle and cattle feeding enterprises is growing....More
Sep 24, 2015

How to take advantage of today's record calf prices2

It is interesting to note that the high-profit, top 20% herds earned $724 per cow, a 10% higher earned economic return than average. The low-profit,....More
cowherd hexpansion on fast track
Sep 14, 2015

Cowherd expanion on fast track

Taking a broader view of the cattle inventory, LMIC projects the total U.S. cattle inventory next Jan. 1 at 92.4 million head, which would be 3% more....More
Aug 10, 2015

Earned cow herd returns in 2015 predicted second highest on record

This month, Harlan shares a statewide detailed beef cow enterprise analysis of 91 beef cow herds reported in North Dakota’s 2014 annual summary....More
Aug 03, 2015

Has vertical cooperation gone horizontal?1

Think horizontally when considering value-added programs in the cattle industry....More
Jul 13, 2015

Are retailer demands taking money from your pocket?

Retail giants recent announcements on animal welfare magnifies the vexing question about if and when producers will develop a system to identify and....More
Jun 02, 2015

Can you justify your ranch's water use? Soon you might have to1

For my money, history’s real value — the lessons to be had — come from the people who made it or are in the process of making it....More
May 11, 2015

10 opportunites ahead for beef producers1

Gary Smith asked a group of industry leaders to identify key opportunities for beef over the next decade. See their top 10 list below....More
Mar 30, 2015

Beef producers, consumers must find common ground on production ethics

As food producers, we can’t say to consumers: “Growing food is a noble cause, but it’s none of your business how we do it.’” Here's why cattle....More
Mar 02, 2015

Expansion means emphasis must shift from cost to increasing value1

The cattle feeding and packing infrastructure will continue to be strained as numbers build, while cattle prices should continue in record territory....More
Jan 29, 2015

BEEF Seedstock 100 shows how genetics providers help their customers compete2

Seedstock producers are capturing more objective data than ever before in the name of building genetics with increasing levels of predictability....More

Wes Ishmael

Among the industry’s most insightful thinkers, Wes Ishmael concentrates on industry price and market perspectives for BEEF magazine. Along with his monthly “Cattle Economics” column...
What's Cattle Economics?

Wes Ishmael provides tightly focused analysis and commentary on specific beef quality and marketing issues of practical importance to beef producers.

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