Most Recent Blog Posts

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
Oct 06, 2010

How To Make Your Ranch More Profitable

Want to know how you can make your ranch more profitable? The answer is benchmarking, a powerful tool designed to help ranchers identify key....More
Sep 03, 2010

Part 2 Basic Business-Management Questions For The Ranch

There are four, basic business-management questions a ranch family should ask itself....More
Aug 05, 2010

Part 1-Basic Economic Concepts For Running A Profitable Ranch Business

I’m involved in a Wyoming/Nebraska Ranch Practicum where a cadre of instructors teaches the science of ranching. It’s a multiday, hands-on approach....More
Jul 02, 2010

High Vs. Low Profit Ranching Operations

Why are some ranchers more profitable than others? Let’s begin in answering this question by looking at how gross income figures for a beef cowherd....More
Jun 02, 2010

The Management Beauty of UCOP

Last month, we discussed why a beef cowherd’s cost of production is more important in time of high prices. Get ready for such high-profit....More
May 01, 2010

How To Maximize Cattle Profits By Cutting Production Costs

The markets are finally moving in the right direction for cow-calf producers. But don't let today's more favorable calf prices deter your focus on....More
Apr 01, 2010

Is a turnaround in the economy ahead?

Since the current biofuels era has negated the long-run effect of the traditional cattle cycle, ranch-management decisions have become more difficult....More
Mar 01, 2010

Longevity vs. Weaning Weight

My columns of the past few months have focused specifically on the long-run economics of the beef-cow sector, particularly the role of replacement....More
Feb 01, 2010

The Next Decade: Part III

A key determinant of a beef cowherd's cost structure is the cost of replacement females. That's because the economic impact of high-cost replacements....More
Jan 01, 2010

The next decade: Part II

Replacement female decisions are among ranch managers' most critical decisions. While complete genetic control is often desired, ranch-raised heifer....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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