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 Aug 28, 2012

Your Herd’s Economic Base Will Determine Your Drought Strategy

Each ranch operator must figure his herd’s economic base when launching a drought management plan. And in many parts of the country, a....More
in Market Advisor Jul 11, 2012

Study Herd Performance In Developing A Drought Strategy

How your herd has been performing economically should play a critical role in your drought management plan. Producers need to know the economic....More
in Market Advisor Jun 22, 2012

What’s The Real Cost Of Heifer Development?

Today’s high market prices are stimulating talk of herd expansion. Ranchers can either raise or purchase their replacement females, but the....More
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

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