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.

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Aug 01, 2011

Overhead Costs On The Ranch

A key question for today’s ranchers is whether ranch cost structures are changing as we progress further into the biofuels era....More
Jul 01, 2011

Effect Of Ethanol Supports On Ranchers – Part I

The nation’s ethanol program kicked into high gear in 1996, dramatically impacting corn prices and changing the economics of the beef cow sector in....More
Jun 01, 2011

Corn & Cattle Prices Are A Roller Coaster

The economics of the U.S. beef-cow sector have turned into a real roller coaster – three of them, in fact – one for corn, one for slaughter cattle....More
May 01, 2011

Take Advantage Of Record Cattle Prices

My current price projections and associated economic analysis suggests that profits are finally returning to the ranch sector. I project decade-high....More
Apr 01, 2011

Today’s Economics For Ranchers

As we enter the “new normal” for the U.S. beef industry, I encourage ranchers to think about the overall economics of the ranching sector. To....More
Mar 01, 2011

Corn Determines Calf Prices

Ranchers are facing a new normal in the beef cow-calf business. The price of corn has replaced the cattle cycle as the key factor determining feeder-....More
Feb 01, 2011

2010 Was A Year Of Change For Cattle Feeding Sector

Two economic forces are driving a new economic “normal” that is unfolding in U.S. ranching – stronger beef demand and near-record high corn prices....More
Jan 06, 2011

U.S. Beef Industry Is Undergoing Large-Scale Change

The beef industry is undergoing large-scale change. The U.S. beef cowherd continues to downsize and fewer finished cattle are being harvested. In....More
Dec 08, 2010

What Is A Pregnant Heifer Worth In Today’s Market?

Though 2010 weaned-calf prices are improved from 2009, higher calf prices alone aren’t sufficient to trigger expansion; higher profits per cow are....More
Nov 04, 2010

Marketing 2010 Beef Calves

As ranchers turn their attention toward marketing 2010 calves, let’s review the economic background of marketing 2009 calves for some possible....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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