Most Recent Blog Posts

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
May 24, 2012

Make Your Ranch Better, Before You Make It Bigger

In past cattle cycles, I felt it took average profits of over $200/cow to stimulate a full-blown beef herd expansion. So, what was the profit level....More
Apr 24, 2012

Expect Record Revenue & Costs In 2012-2014

My current price projections are for record-high average calf prices for the next five years. What’s more, I expect those increases will exceed a....More
Mar 28, 2012

Environment For Cowherd Expansion Is Very Favorable

Economic theory suggests that when a major input cost goes up, the industry utilizing that input reduces its production. That’s exactly what happened....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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