Things are changing in the beef industry. This idea occurred to livestock reporter Alan Newport as he drove home from a ranching seminar recently. In his most recent column, Newport explores how things have changed in the beef industry in the last 20 years, and how ranchers are making net profit a priority.

Newport maintains that net profit is a missing management metric in a majority of operations, particularly smaller operations. If you would argue that point, just visit your local coffee shop or co-op and listen to the conversation. It’s always about production. How many bales of hay? How much the calves weighed. How many bushels of grain?

Newport says that’s 50-year-old thinking. For the brief time when we lived cheaply and were mining the organic matter from the soils of this continent, we could use that logic because production mostly did equal profit. It doesn’t any more. “Profit today in all agriculture must be calculated. It is the difference between what you spend and the money you take in,” he says.

Learn about how ranchers can increase their net profits here.

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