Most Recent Blog Posts

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
cowherd price predictions for 2014
May 27, 2013

If Nature Cooperates, Good Times Are Ahead For Beef Producers

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
cattle prices forecasted out for the next decade
May 03, 2013

Forecasting The Cattle Market For The Rest Of The Decade

All in all, barring any additional drought years, the post-drought economic forecast for beef cow producers is quite favorable....More
what if drought continues in cattle country
Mar 25, 2013

What If The Drought Continues In 2013?

What if the drought continues into 2013? Market Adviser columnist Harlan Hughes suggests that under certain drought plans it might pay to purchase....More
drought strategy cost harlan hughes
Feb 25, 2013

Strategies To Build Back The Beef Herd After Drought

A conventional drought repopulation strategy is to buy back as many bred heifers after the drought as cows were sold during the drought. The example....More
drought depoulation & repopulation
Jan 23, 2013

Thoughts On Repopulating A Beef Herd After Drought

In times of drought, ranchers should focus most of their management energy on cash flowing the herd through the drought and beyond. Remember, a....More
culling cows after drought
Dec 20, 2012

Consider The Invisible Costs Of Your Drought Strategy

In a continuation of the drought strategies analysis, we project the invisible costs of having fewer calves to sell in the years following the 2012....More
Nov 26, 2012

Drought Economics – Part II

Last month, I summarized my producer educational programs in past droughts. The key lesson I learned from those droughts was that the optimum drought....More
Oct 24, 2012

The Economics Of Various Drought Strategies

The 2012 summer drought hit much of cow country. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension economist, summed up the situation in late August....More
Sep 21, 2012

2012 Beef Calf Prices Should Be Equal To 2011

By now, drought has forced some ranchers to sell some cows and/or wean early; others have already priced their 2012 calves. We all have one thing....More
Aug 28, 2012

Your Herd’s Economic Base Will Determine Your Drought Strategy

Each ranch operator must figure his herd’s economic base when launching a drought management plan. And in many parts of the country, a....More
Jul 11, 2012

Study Herd Performance In Developing A Drought Strategy

How your herd has been performing economically should play a critical role in your drought management plan. Producers need to know the economic....More
Jun 22, 2012

What’s The Real Cost Of Heifer Development?

Today’s high market prices are stimulating talk of herd expansion. Ranchers can either raise or purchase their replacement females, but the....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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