Most Recent Blog Posts

Jan 26, 2012

Crossbreeding Is Becoming Cool Again

While manicuring the individual trees of cattle performance traits, the cow-calf industry apparently missed the proverbial forest. At least it....More
Jan 01, 2012

Reproduction Is A Key To Improving Ranch Profitability

“In today’s changing and volatile input markets, it is critical that, as individual producers and as an industry, we examine the economic efficiency....More
Dec 01, 2011

Beef Exports Up 26%, A 39% Increase In Value

“There’s one way for our country to get out of this economic recession. We have to export our way to prosperity. Do you think China became an....More
Nov 01, 2011

Even With High Prices, Be Sure To Weigh The Return

Depending on which side of the biscuit you butter, these are fixing to be halcyon days in the cow-calf business. At least they are judging by the....More
Oct 01, 2011

The Stocker Cattle Business Is A Margin Business

“A pet peeve of mine is that those of us in the cattle business are responsible for driving young men and women out of this business,” says Pete....More
Aug 23, 2011

Value Of Gain Is Record High

If there was ever a time to be in the stocker business, this may be it, at least when it comes to value of gain. "Heavy-feeder prices increased to....More
Aug 01, 2011

Highest Return Cattle Producers Hold Down Costs

Assuming that Mother Nature allows the luxury of options, deciding whether to sell sooner or later heading into the fall marketing season is shaping....More
Jun 24, 2011

Preconditioning Still Pays

Since the value of gain continues to increase with calf prices, preconditioning can still pay for the same reasons it always has....More
Jun 01, 2011

Beef Industry Exhibits New Market Fundamentals

It’s too easy to get lost in chatter about the current tight cattle supplies, although it’s understandable. After all, the nation’s beef cowherd is....More
May 01, 2011

Basis Important In Cattle Marketing

Even if you market cattle only once or twice a year and never hedge a single head, understanding basis offers powerful potential....More
Apr 01, 2011

CME Change In Feeder Index Is Needed

When you’re selling cattle, they’re always worth more than a buyer is willing to pay. Beyond that, determining the value of cattle of a particular....More
Feb 24, 2011

As Prices Skyrocket, So Does The Risk

“Record-high prices do not mean record-high profits. The amount of risk is intensifying.” That’s how Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO, summed up the....More
Jan 27, 2011

Opinion: Growing Amid Contraction

At least 20 years ago, I heard Dave Nichols of Nichols Superior Beef Genetics in Bridgewater, IA, tell a group of cattle producers that the nation’s....More
Jan 06, 2011

Beef Quality Assurance Is A Stewardship Tool

Almost two decades ago, the beef industry had a demand-damning problem that no one in the cattle business was aware of: about one out of four top....More
Dec 07, 2010

U.S. Beef Industry Needs Export Markets

No single producer can sway entire nations to ease trade restrictions for U.S. beef exports. But, every producer can understand the economic....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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