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Consistency can pay for itself in cattle business

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cattle ranchers who stuck with their program are likely well-situated in 2014.

Planning, reality and planning again

Thursday, December 19, 2013

’Tis the season to plan so you can stay jolly all through the year. That may include deciding it is time for Plan B in a few cases, but being on the fortunate side of the drought/recovery line, we are still on Plan A. Starting point It is hard to say when our production year […]

Decisions can make or break your operation

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I can give you advice. Your friends can show you what’s working on their ranch. You can read articles and learn from your local team of experts — Extension specialists, veterinarians, nutritionists and so on. But when it comes down to it, you’re the one who needs to make the decisions. You have to determine […]

Retaining an interest in your cattle

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I never thought I would feed cattle, until I got to know more than a few cattle feeders. Some were all about buying low, selling high and they were happiest when they beat both their supplier and buyer. But in the mid 1990s, more feeders made new commitments to customer service, reaching out into the […]

Value-based cattle marketing dominates

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Selling fed cattle on a live basis is no longer standard practice, and some day it could end up as no more than historical reference. “The old selling-them-live method has given way to formula sales,” says Mark McCully, assistant vice president for Certified Angus Beef LLC. Data from Cattle-Fax and the USDA shows a sharp […]

You can’t judge a cow by its ‘cover’

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some presents were wrapped in gold paper with a big red bow. Others were less elegant, but showed they were packaged with love. Some givers are even known for their ability to dodge traditional wrapping by handing over a shopping bag with the present inside. What do the ribbons and trimmings say about those sayings? […]

Drought can present opportunities

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I dreamed of fresh-smelling rain that beat waves against windows and swept slowly through fields to fill every crack before moving on to refill ponds and kick-start the creeks. Dawn light fell on a full rain gauge. I thanked whoever had left their windows open, washed a truck, mowed a sparse third cutting or made […]

Perceptions, science and business

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The ancient Greeks used to debate what people knew and how they knew it. Deeply held convictions have wrestled with science-based knowledge ever since. And eventually, economics entered in, usually linked to science, if only the qualitative data on what people do with their perceptions. You may know something because it is stated by a […]

Demand more from your herd

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The headline reads, “Beef prices skyrocket.” A little more information comes with, “Wholesale beef prices at record levels.” Another adds, “Beef exports up 7 percent in two months.” The articles that follow those zingers all explain different facets of the supply and demand equation. Beef prices are up because of a shrinking cowherd, accelerated by […]

Buying cattle: Without a history, premiums paid don’t mean profit made

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In most investment situations, you get a chance to evaluate the risk and rewards, do some research and make an informed decision. But when cattle pass through the sale barn in 30-second intervals, it’s not always easy for buyers to base decisions on anything more than appearance. Data from Oklahoma-based Professional Cattle Consultants shows that […]

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