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Economic Outlook and Feeding in the Midwest

lawrence.jpg It seems everyone in agriculture these days is speculating about when the industry will make a turn for the better. While beef cattle experts and economists all agree that farmers and ranchers are struggling in this current economy, views differ on the reasons for it and just when things will start looking positive for producers. John Lawrence, Ph.D., a specialist at the Iowa Beef Center, is one of the many industry experts weighing in on the current state of the beef cattle business today. At a recent Cattlemen’s College sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, Lawrence explained the current state of the industry, while offering producers advice for the future including marketing ideas, management tips and also a few resources to help make those big day-to-day decisions on the ranch.

I had the opportunity to interview Lawrence at the convention, and you can listen to my interview with him below. In addition, be sure to check out the tools recommended by Lawrence for buying or selling cattle or calculating operating costs. One tool to check out is, a free website that gives producers the information and analytics they need to improve marketing decisions influenced by cattle basis risk.

Another tool worth looking at is, a university extension program for beef producers offering break even calculators and crush margin tables. As producers navigate the rocky waters of the beef industry today, Lawrence highly recommends these tools to help ranchers find success in tough markets.

Reminder: Today is the last day to enter the BEEF Daily Cowboy Christmas Photography Contest! Be sure to send your favorite photo in! The top 10 photos will be selected for you to vote on in the remaining days until Christmas. Thanks for your participation!

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: The word "cattle" comes from the Old French word "chattle" which means possession. It is believed that cattle were first domesticated in Europe and Asia during the Stone Age. (Source: CyberSpace Farm)