“Market Advisor” columnist Harlan Hughes believes the relative prices for feeder calves, feeder cattle and slaughter cattle will change over the next few years in two phases. In “2007's calf-marketing opportunities,” on page 10, he details the two phases, beginning with the marketing of 2007 calves and following up with his insight and advice on marketing of 2008 and 2009 calves.

The whirlwind growth of the biofuels industry has made for an ever-increasing availability of corn and soybean co-products to livestock producers. While co-products like corn gluten feed, distiller's dried grains with solubles, and soyhulls can be excellent feedstuffs for most classes of cattle, there are negatives. In “Health concerns of co-products,” on page 19, Purdue DVM Mark Hilton provides some insight.

Spring calving is several months off, but the preparations for ensuring a healthy calf crop should start now. That's particularly true if you've had problems with scouring calves in the past and are considering the Sandhills Calving System as a remedy. In “Plan Now For Spring,” on page 28, Editor Joe Roybal talks with the remedy's developer, Dave Smith, DVM, about some of the considerations.

“Are you collecting data or information?” queries the lead in Alaina Burt's first installment of her three-part series on recordkeeping. In “Computer Savvy: Recordkeeping,” on page 52, the BEEF Managing Editor delves into the basics of choosing the herd-management software that's right for you and presents a wealth of background information on getting started.

“What do I want with a cow that's producing a Select carcass?” rancher Kevin Smith rhetorically asks BEEF Senior Editor Burt Rutherford in “Pinging For Premiums” on page 58. With an $8-$10/cwt. premium available for quality cattle, Smith says it made sense to incorporate an ultrasound program into his commercial heifer-management plan in order to know what he was producing.

One of the true delights of ranch life is communing full-time with nature. But some of that nature — in particular, big game animals — can try the patience of landowners when it comes to livestock fence. In “Wildlife-friendly fencing,” on page 66, grazing guru Jim Gerrish imparts some practical advice on designing fencing systems that can create a peaceful co-existence of cattle and wildlife.