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 May 24, 2012

Make Your Ranch Better, Before You Make It Bigger

In past cattle cycles, I felt it took average profits of over $200/cow to stimulate a full-blown beef herd expansion. So, what was the profit level....More
in Market Advisor Apr 24, 2012

Expect Record Revenue & Costs In 2012-2014

My current price projections are for record-high average calf prices for the next five years. What’s more, I expect those increases will exceed a....More
in Market Advisor Mar 28, 2012

Environment For Cowherd Expansion Is Very Favorable

Economic theory suggests that when a major input cost goes up, the industry utilizing that input reduces its production. That’s exactly what happened....More
in Market Advisor Feb 23, 2012

Seven Expansion Strategies For Cow-Calf Producers

Given the prospect of increasing beef prices, a key current question for ranchers is whether herd expansion is warranted? Back in the days of....More
in Market Advisor Jan 26, 2012

The Economic Value Of A Preg-Checked Heifer

Profits per cow grew in 2010 and preliminary data suggest profits per cow were up again in 2011. I project even higher profits for the next few....More
writing a beef cow lease
in Market Advisor Jan 12, 2012

Tips For Setting Up A Cow Lease

A beef cow leasing or sharing arrangement allows two business partners to share the production costs and, in turn, the cowherd income. The issue is....More
in Market Advisor Dec 01, 2011

Increase Your Cowherd’s Gross Income

In only a handful of cases in my 40-year career have I seen such economically favorable times as we have today. Because such good times don’t occur....More
in Market Advisor Nov 01, 2011

Key Economic Opportunities In Calf Marketing

My last series of articles focused on the economic challenges occurring in the beef-cow sector since the start of the biofuels era. This month, I’ll....More
in Market Advisor Oct 01, 2011

How Is The Beef Cow Sector Doing Six Years After Ethanol?

This is the final article in my four-part series on the beef cow sector’s economic transition to the “new normal.” The question I’ve specifically....More
in Market Advisor Sep 01, 2011

Analyzing The Costs Of Maintaining A Breeding Herd

In my July column, which kicked off this series analyzing how beef cow costs are changing in the biofuels era, we discussed the 17-year trend in....More

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×