More in Cattle Marketing

  • Mar 30, 2014

    Harlan Projects $276/Cow Profit In 2014

    After another month of record cattle prices. I’d planned on moving to another subject in my April 2014 column, but I am compelled to the observations of my mid-month price analysis. Figure 1 presents the eastern Wyoming-western Nebraska sale-barn prices for the week of Feb. 15. All steer calves weighing less than 620 lbs. brought over $200/cwt., 800-lb. feeder steers averaged $170/cwt., and 10 head of 1,053-lb. feeder steers sold for $150/cwt....More
  • Mar 13, 2014

    What Can Growers Of Delicious Beef Learn From Growers Of Delicious Apples? 3

    I’ll never forget the illustration that Jim Gosey, formerly the University of Nebraska Extension beef specialist, once presented at a meeting long ago. Gosey talked about the apple industry and related how the Delicious variety of apple once dominated that industry in market share. Its growers were committed to maintaining that position and thus listened to what the consumer wanted. They developed the perfect color and shape (perfect for sitting on the teacher’s desk), and gave it that cool crisp sound when it’s split....More
  • Mar 13, 2014

    There Is No Magical Cow Size That Guarantees Profitability 12

    I had several people this week dispute my statement from last week that biological efficiency doesn’t vary among the accepted range in mature size in the industry (“The Bearish Math On The Beef Industry Doesn’t Add Up”). The bottom line is that maintenance costs rise as mature size increases, but it’s not a 1:1 relationship. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that maintenance costs are calculated by taking mature size to the .7 power....More
  • Mar 9, 2014

    Despite Record Prices, Push The Pencil For The Best Selling Option

    Current corn prices are lowering cost of gain, and current marketing buy/sell margins are putting upward pressure on breakeven cost of gain. Be sure to use a sharp pencil in making your post-weaning marketing plans for your 2013 calves....More
  • Mar 6, 2014

    Liability Risk Is Beginning To Flow Down The Beef Production Chain 7

    The whole topic of liability is a frustrating one for cow-calf producers. After all, a cow-calf producer has no way of controlling what happens to the product once it leaves the ranch. However, in today’s litigious world, someone is going to be sued if a problem develops. Retailers, packers, and feeders tend to be much larger enterprises; thus, they’re much more appealing targets from a trial lawyer’s viewpoint. That doesn’t mean, however, that cow-calf producers are immune from such legal action....More
  • Feb 25, 2014

    Future Uncertain For California Cattle Feeders 5

    In spite of a $9 million carrot, the National Beef plant in Brawley, CA, will close....More
  • how much are seedstock bulls worth
    Jan 26, 2014

    A Bull Purchase Is More Than Just Buying Genetics 2

    There seems to be a growing price gap between bulls based on the value of seedstock suppliers themselves. How much are you willing to pay for a good bull?...More
  • value creation in beef production
    Dec 5, 2013

    The U.S. Beef Industry Is Entering The Era Of Value Creation 3

    Profitability today is being driven by value creation, and that value is created by producing a superior product....More
  • Nov 26, 2013

    Profitable Ranching Necessitates Both Mental And Physical Work

    Most of the financially strapped ranches that I encounter are doing what they do quite well. The problem is that what they’re doing and what worked well 20 or 30 years ago doesn’t work today....More
  • Oct 31, 2013

    When Do You Market Your Calves? Plus Last Chance To Win Heat Holders® Socks 34

    “When do you typically market your spring calf crop?” Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Three winners will be randomly selected and announced on Monday. Good luck!...More
  • fall marketing tips for cattle producers
    Oct 28, 2013

    Projecting The Cost Of Gain On Fall Calves

    Columnist Harlan Hughes projects fall calf prices and breakevens for the next year in his Market Advisor column. He suggests that perhaps this is the year to wean and background calves....More
  • selling cattle on cash market
    Oct 25, 2013

    Government Shutdown Underscores The Value Of Data

    The early October data blackout by USDA and the government shutdown had everyone groping in the dark....More
  • cattle marketing strategy tips
    Sep 30, 2013

    Figure Your Best Strategy For Marketing 2013 Calves

    As you sell calves this fall, Harlan Hughes provides a market outlook to help with your marketing strategy....More

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