Most Recent Blog Posts

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
Apr 01, 2009

Costs & returns: Part IV

Given the current economic pressure on the beef-cow sector, it's imperative that ranchers prepare a detailed production and economic projection for....More
Mar 01, 2009

Costs & returns: Part III

This series of articles is designed to help ranchers manage through today's tough economic times as economic pressures build on the beef-cow sector....More
Feb 01, 2009

Costs & returns: Part II

Particularly in today's tough economic times, there are three red flag/green flag business measures on which astute ranchers should focus, and all are....More
Jan 01, 2009

Costs & returns: Part I

Our national economic crisis is impacting beef-cow producers. In fact, my latest monthly price analysis and management implications study suggests all....More
Dec 01, 2008

Economy's effect on ranchers

So what's the projected impact of the financial crisis on ranchers? The value of the U.S. dollar is going to be a major driver of beef exports, and....More
Dec 01, 2008

Marketing in the new conditions

I'm not sure the general public really appreciates how close this country was to an economic meltdown in September/October 2008. There's little doubt....More
Nov 01, 2008

Lowering your breakeven - part II

This month, I'll share a primary database I use in benchmarking a ranch. The data is taken from the 2007 annual North Dakota Farm Business Management....More
Oct 01, 2008

Lowering Your Breakeven Calf Price

Benchmarking is among the most powerful ranch-management tools available to ranch managers, and one of the least used. A key reason for its lack of....More
Sep 01, 2008

Marketing 2008 calves

Part V in a series of changing corn environment. The corn market is proving to be as volatile as predicted. With the impact of the Midwest floods less....More
Aug 01, 2008

Find your red flags

Part IV in a series on the changing corn environment. The original renewable fuels standard (RFS) triggered the current expansion in ethanol....More
Jul 01, 2008

Optimal production/marketing system

Part III in a series on the changing corn environment. We all understand that different ranch production/marketing systems lead to different financial....More
Jun 01, 2008

The changing corn environment

Part II: Short-term management implications The bottom line to the changing corn environment is that feedlot costs of gain (COG) will increase....More
Apr 01, 2008

2008 grass cattle planning prices

After 30 years of government-supported and stabilized corn markets, the new biofuels era features no government- or farmer-held corn reserves and....More
Mar 01, 2008

Buy/sell margins - part III

The feeder-cattle futures market is being whipsawed by corn futures prices. Corn futures prices were in the mid-to-high $3 range early in 2007,....More

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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