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, making presentations on ranch business management at various state, regional and national beef industry events. He retired as the NDSU Extension livestock economist in 2000 and now lives in Laramie, WY.

Posts in Market Advisor view all

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?

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 2015

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
Mar 30, 2015

Don’t bid away future profits by overpaying for cows

The market price of breeding females is responding to last fall’s high calf prices. Ranchers must be careful not to bid away all the future profit in....More
Mar 04, 2015

What’s the value of a bred beef heifer in 2015?

Harlan Hughes projects that the economic value of a crossbred heifer born in 2013, bred in 2014, and calving in the spring of 2015 will be record-....More
Jan 29, 2015

What’s ahead for 2015 on the cow-calf side?

Generating a profit from finishing cattle in 2015 will be more difficult, thanks to the rapid increase in feeder-cattle prices during 2014....More
Jan 06, 2015

An analysis of 2014 calf prices and projections for 2015

What a marketing year 2014 was! I prepared a set of price projections for fall weaning prices every month, and each month’s price projections in 2014....More
Dec 01, 2014

What are the economics of a beef cow lease agreement?

Given today’s cull prices and production costs, what beef lease agreement would lead to a more equal allocation of the economic profit between the....More
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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