MANAGING FOR TODAY'S CATTLE MARKET AND BEYOND is a well-planned collection of 36 outstanding papers, produced by 29 authors from 16 states. The project was conceived by the Western Extension Marketing Committee for extension and classroom audiences. Direct dollar contributors to this project were USDA-CSREES, Farm Foundation, University of Wyoming, Utah State University and University of Nebraska. The project was also supported by the Livestock Marketing Information Center, National Beef Cattlemen's Association, the respective authors and the state Cooperative Extension Services of their institutions. Chris Bastian (University of Wyoming) and DeeVon Bailey (Utah State University) are highly commended for their outstanding leadership in bringing this project from conception to completion in a timely manner.

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updated   Table of Contents   updated



A. Analyzing Your Operation

  1. Integrated Management and Setting Goals
  2. Assessing the Economic Status of Your Beef Cow Herd
  3. Determine Your Unit Costs of Producing a Hundred Weight of Calf
  4. Conducting a Comparative Analysis of Your Herd's Production Facts with other Herds' Production Facts
  5. Conducting a Comparative Analysis of Your Herd's Economic Facts with Other Herds' Economic Facts
  6. Understanding Your Financial Situation
  7. Applying the Assessment Tools to Your Farm/Ranch

B. Management Strategies Aimed at Reducing Costs

  1. Managing Cow-Calf Production Costs: What to do Before the Money Runs Out
  2. Managing Your Herd's Composition
  3. The Costs of Raising Replacement Heifers and the Value of a Purchased Versus Raised Replacement
  4. Leasing Arrangements for Cattle

C. Financial Management

  1. Working with Your Lender in Times of Financial Stress
  2. Should I Sell My Cow Herd?
  3. Farm/Ranch Information Systems


A. Value Added/Merchandising Strategies

  1. Retained Ownership of Cattle: Factors to Consider
  2. Retained Ownership in Cattle Cycles
  3. Cooperative in Cattle Marketing
  4. Replacement Heifer Sales
  5. Preconditioning Calves for Feedlots
  6. Feeding and Marketing Cull Cows

B. Price Risk Management

  1. Marketing Alternatives that can be Considered in Your Business Plan Today
  2. Comparing Your Marketing Opportunities
  3. Futures Market - Basic
  4. Commodity Options as Price Risk Insurance for Cattlemen
  5. Evaluating Forward Prices with Basics
  6. Market Plan


  1. IRM Learning Teams
  2. Things to Think About When Trying Something New in Your Operation


  1. Price Determination Versus Price Discovery
  2. The Changing Consumer and the Demand for Meats
  3. The Cattle Cycle
  4. Structural Changes in Cattle Feeding and Meat Packing
  5. Packer Concentration and Captive Supplies
  6. International Beef and Cattle Trade


  1. Beef Industry Challenges and Opportunities
  2. Today's Changing Meat Industry: Implications for Tomorrow's Beef Sector



  1. Introduction March 2002
  2. Alliances and Vertical Arrangements
  3. Basis Forward Contracts
  4. Benchmarking Your Herd's Economic Facts
  5. Cattle Identification—The Canadian Experience
  6. Cattle Marketing and Food Safety
  7. Cattle Price Seasonality
  8. The Costs of Raising Replacement Heifers and the Value of a Purchased Versus Raised Replacement
  9. Determining Your Economic Unit Cost of Producing a Hundred Weight of Calf
  10. The Evolution of Identity Preservation in Red Meat Markets
  11. Factors Affecting the Basis for Feeder Cattle
  12. Focus on Beef Demand
  13. Grid Base Prices and Premium-Discounts Over Time
  14. Grid Pricing: Risk, Value of Information, and Management Implications
  15. Hedging Using Livestock Futures
  16. Industry Opportunities and Some issues for Value Based Marketing
  17. Leasing Arrangements for Cattle
  18. The Impact of Corn and Fed Cattle Prices on Feeder Cattle Price Slides
  19. The New Beef Industry: What Will It Mean to Feeder Cattle Producers?
  20. Niche Marketing of Cattle/Beef
  21. Prescriptions for a Healthy Beef Industry
  22. Price Determination versus Price Discovery
  23. Profiting from the Cattle Cycle: Alternative Cow Herd investment Strategies
  24. Retained Ownership of Cattle: Factors to Consider
  25. Should Producers Attempt to Behave Counter-Cyclically During Cattle Cycles?
  26. Structural Changes in Cattle Feeding and Meat Packing
  27. Taking Your Beef Cow Herd Profitably Through the Cattle Cycle
  28. Understanding and Using Feeder and Slaughter Cattle Basis
  29. Understanding Grid Pricing
  30. U.S. Beef Trade Issues
  31. Weather Related Sales of Livestock and Tax Implications

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