Most Recent Blog Posts

developing heifer calves
Sep 07, 2014

Cost Of Developing 2014 Heifer Calves Will Be Record High

With cattle prices up and feed costs down, many producers outside the major drought areas are contemplating holding back additional replacement....More
expansion tips from harlan hughes, market specialist
Aug 07, 2014

Part 3 In Harlan’s “Thinking Expansion?” Series

This year’s rapid price increases require each rancher to rethink his long-run business plan. Such profit opportunity comes around only one or twice....More
herd expansion
Jul 02, 2014

Thinking About Herd Expansion? Keep These Points In Mind

We all know it costs money to expand a beef cowherd, and net cash flow will decrease in the early years of expansion. Here's how that could impact....More
how to know if you should expand your cowherd
Jun 07, 2014

Should You Expand Your Cowherd? Take This Test

Should your cow herd get bigger or get better before it gets bigger? BEEF Columnist Harlan Hughes looks at expansion possibilities in the first of....More
Apr 24, 2014

Is There A Game Change Just Ahead For Ranchers?

My calculated feedlot profits for March 2014-finished cattle are at or near record levels for finished cattle. Feedlots making money appear to be....More
Mar 30, 2014

Harlan Projects $276/Cow Profit In 2014

After another month of record cattle prices. I’d planned on moving to another subject in my April 2014 column, but I am compelled to the....More
Mar 09, 2014

Despite Record Prices, Push The Pencil For The Best Selling Option

Current corn prices are lowering cost of gain, and current marketing buy/sell margins are putting upward pressure on breakeven cost of gain. Be sure....More
marketing cattle
Jan 29, 2014

What’s The Best Way To Market Beef Calves This Year?

Most of the ranch profit in recent years has been made from running the cows, not from post-weaning marketing alternatives....More
lower feed costs may spur expansion
Jan 07, 2014

Lower Feed Costs Will Boost Cowherd Returns In 2014

My current projections for the production of 2014 calves for this study herd suggest a slight increase in earned net returns, thanks to lower feed-....More
heifer replacement costs
Nov 28, 2013

Year-End Analysis Shows Replacement Costs Are Surging

The cattle market is now signaling that ranchers are starting to hold back replacement heifers....More
fall marketing tips for cattle producers
Oct 28, 2013

Projecting The Cost Of Gain On Fall Calves

Columnist Harlan Hughes projects fall calf prices and breakevens for the next year in his Market Advisor column. He suggests that perhaps this is the....More
cattle marketing strategy tips
Sep 30, 2013

Figure Your Best Strategy For Marketing 2013 Calves

As you sell calves this fall, Harlan Hughes provides a market outlook to help with your marketing strategy....More
trends in cow-calf production in past 50 years
Sep 04, 2013

Beef Cow Production Will Continue To Shift Out Of The Corn Belt

A 50-year review of several key economic indicators in five representative years of roughly 10-year increments provides some interesting insights....More
benchmark your cowherd against industry standards
Jul 27, 2013

Size Up Your Herd Performance With These Benchmarks

The national beef cow inventory is at a 50-year low, and long-run corn prices are projected to trend lower. These are two positive indicators for....More
cowherd profits lower in 2013
Jun 26, 2013

Lower Net Returns Expected For Cowherds In 2013

Due to last winter’s higher hay prices, cattle market advisor Harlan Hughes project lower net returns for beef cowherds in 2013....More
Contributors

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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