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

in Market Advisor Mar 30, 2015

Don’t bid away future profits by overpaying for cows

The market price of breeding females is responding to last fall’s high calf prices. Ranchers must be careful not to bid away all the future profit in....More
in Market Advisor Mar 04, 2015

What’s the value of a bred beef heifer in 2015?

Harlan Hughes projects that the economic value of a crossbred heifer born in 2013, bred in 2014, and calving in the spring of 2015 will be record-....More
in Market Advisor Jan 29, 2015

What’s ahead for 2015 on the cow-calf side?

Generating a profit from finishing cattle in 2015 will be more difficult, thanks to the rapid increase in feeder-cattle prices during 2014....More
in Market Advisor Jan 06, 2015

An analysis of 2014 calf prices and projections for 2015

What a marketing year 2014 was! I prepared a set of price projections for fall weaning prices every month, and each month’s price projections in 2014....More
in Market Advisor Dec 01, 2014

What are the economics of a beef cow lease agreement?

Given today’s cull prices and production costs, what beef lease agreement would lead to a more equal allocation of the economic profit between the....More
in Market Advisor Oct 30, 2014

3 Steps To Negotiating A Great Cow Lease

A common question I get regarding cow leasing is how the calf crop should be shared. In other words, what’s an equitable lease arrangement? I suggest....More
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

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