Most Recent Blog Posts

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
Dec 01, 2009

The next decade: Part I

I truly believe ranching in the next decade will not be business as usual. Thus, my next few columns will look to stimulate ranchers' thinking about....More
Nov 01, 2009

Don't market like 2008

Many ranchers' first inclination in marketing their 2009 calves is to base it on their 2008 calf crop experiences. That could be a serious mistake....More
Oct 01, 2009

5 non-traditional systems

The higher grain prices of the biofuels era have changed ranching. The key question for many ranchers is whether this suggests that optimal ranch....More
Sep 01, 2009

What cheaper corn means

Ranchers clearly understand they're at the mercy of the national bio-fuels policy. They also know full well how increasing corn prices the past three....More
Aug 01, 2009

Marketing weaned calves

What's your marketing strategy for your 2009 weaned calves and 2009 grass cattle? The late June price charts suggest dramatic change in the livestock....More
Jul 01, 2009

Marketing 2009 calves: Part II

These are unprecedented economic times that call for unprecedented management actions by ranchers. Previous columns have focused on the cost side of....More
Jun 01, 2009

Marketing 2009 calves: Part I

In previous columns, we've discussed producers' preparation of cost-and-return projections for 2009 calves. This month, we'll develop a set of....More
May 01, 2009

Costs & returns: Part V

Given current economic pressures, it's imperative that ranch managers work to increase profits from their beef cow-calf herds. One immediate action is....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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