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, making presentations on ranch business management at various state, regional and national beef industry events. He retired as the NDSU Extension livestock economist in 2000 and now lives in Laramie, WY.

Posts by Harlan Hughes

raising heifer calves
in Market Advisor Oct 08, 2014

Heifer Development Costs Are Down, But Opportunity Costs Are Up

Annual heifer development costs have decreased since 2012 as hay prices have fallen, but heifer opportunity costs have risen dramatically....More
developing heifer calves
in Market Advisor Sep 07, 2014

Cost Of Developing 2014 Heifer Calves Will Be Record High

With cattle prices up and feed costs down, many producers outside the major drought areas are contemplating holding back additional replacement....More
expansion tips from harlan hughes, market specialist
in Market Advisor Aug 07, 2014

Part 3 In Harlan’s “Thinking Expansion?” Series

This year’s rapid price increases require each rancher to rethink his long-run business plan. Such profit opportunity comes around only one or twice....More
herd expansion
in Market Advisor Jul 02, 2014

Thinking About Herd Expansion? Keep These Points In Mind

We all know it costs money to expand a beef cowherd, and net cash flow will decrease in the early years of expansion. Here's how that could impact....More
how to know if you should expand your cowherd
in Market Advisor Jun 07, 2014

Should You Expand Your Cowherd? Take This Test

Should your cow herd get bigger or get better before it gets bigger? BEEF Columnist Harlan Hughes looks at expansion possibilities in the first of....More
in Market Advisor Apr 24, 2014

Is There A Game Change Just Ahead For Ranchers?

My calculated feedlot profits for March 2014-finished cattle are at or near record levels for finished cattle. Feedlots making money appear to be....More
in Market Advisor Mar 30, 2014

Harlan Projects $276/Cow Profit In 2014

After another month of record cattle prices. I’d planned on moving to another subject in my April 2014 column, but I am compelled to the....More
in Market Advisor Mar 09, 2014

Despite Record Prices, Push The Pencil For The Best Selling Option

Current corn prices are lowering cost of gain, and current marketing buy/sell margins are putting upward pressure on breakeven cost of gain. Be sure....More
marketing cattle
in Market Advisor Jan 29, 2014

What’s The Best Way To Market Beef Calves This Year?

Most of the ranch profit in recent years has been made from running the cows, not from post-weaning marketing alternatives....More
lower feed costs may spur expansion
in Market Advisor Jan 07, 2014

Lower Feed Costs Will Boost Cowherd Returns In 2014

My current projections for the production of 2014 calves for this study herd suggest a slight increase in earned net returns, thanks to lower feed-....More

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