Most Recent Blog Posts

Nov 28, 2016

Cattle, price cycles return with a vengeance1

However you do your business accounting on your ranch, 2016 will go down as a tough, tough year....More
Oct 31, 2016

Alternative cattle marketing decisions for tough times

Spend some office time this year generating your own analysis of alternative marketing programs for your 2016 calves. The rewards could be very....More
Oct 03, 2016

4 questions to ask before marketing 2016 calves

Prices have created added stress as we make our fall marketing decisions. Economist Harlan Hughes encourages producers to think through a few....More
Sep 15, 2016

Post-weaning marketing strategies

The key to evaluating postweaning marketing alternatives is to price your feeders at each step of the marketing program and calculate your profits....More
Aug 01, 2016

Reduce calving interval, increase profit per cow2

Ranchers can lower production costs by reducing the calving interval for their cow herds....More
Jun 27, 2016

Do your cows stack up?1

Examine your herd’s weaknesses one by one to see if you can do something to improve. As you remove weaknesses from your herd, herd profit tends to go....More
May 24, 2016

Price implications of the next cattle cycle

After-effects of the herd expansion trend may create tough times ahead in the next cattle cycle....More
Apr 25, 2016

What to expect from the upcoming cattle cycle

All indications are that the cattle cycle is back, alive and well. Cattle cycles are not always friendly to beef cow producers, but are a true....More
Feb 08, 2016

Has the cattle market turned?

The cattle industry was due for some tough, tough adjustments after record prices of 2014 and 2015. But what should we expect for 2016?....More
Jan 06, 2016

2015 year-end cattle industry analysis1

Regardless of how you market your beef calf crop, at year’s end it is always useful to document the economic performance of your beef cow herd as if....More
Dec 07, 2015

Don't get hung up on 2014; 2015 will still bring profit

What we all should do is put 2014 behind us and focus our attention on the 2015-2016 marketing picture. There is nothing wrong with earning the....More
Oct 15, 2015

Is the cattle cycle back?

Today’s record beef cattle prices, coupled with rains in the Southern Plains, have triggered a renewed interest in expanding the national beef herd....More
Jul 16, 2015

2015 is the year to focus on all calf marketing options

This year’s increasing marketing costs based on increased buy-sell margins are going to be record-high, and are going to substantially reduce the....More
Jun 02, 2015

Harlan Hughes: Could 2015 be a profit repeat?1

These two years of high profits should set a firm background for national expansion over the rest of this decade. I project that another cattle cycle....More
May 11, 2015

Another near-record year predicted for cow-calf producers in 20151

My advice for ranchers is to always compare their marketing alternatives to selling at weaning. To do this, you must price your calves at weaning —....More

Harlan Hughes

Harlan Hughes is a North Dakota State University professor emeritus and author of the monthly "Market Advisor" column that appears in BEEF magazine. He also consults and lectures widely,...
What's Market Advisor?

Harlan Hughes has spent a professional lifetime helping U.S. beef producers better manage the business end of their beef cow operations.

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