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Friday, March 27,2015

Beef Talk

Can profitable beef operations go broke?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
There is the question: Can profitable beef operations go broke? Absolutely, is the answer. Why? For one thing, the definition of profit is misused. And the longer the wrong numbers are applied to the word “profit,” the more likely an operation can get into financial trouble.

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Friday, March 20,2015

Beef Talk

Is return on assets large enough to expand the cow business?

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Some events in one’s life become stories because they have an impact on the future. These stories are used to teach and add wisdom to current conversations. Sometimes the discussion may stray, but if the facts are true, the story continues to add wisdom.

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Friday, March 13,2015

Beef Talk

Commercial beef production remains a stable business

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
In fact, when one takes a look at data in the world of commercial production, gradual changes are noted, but radical change is not something that is evident within those commercial beef units. Production through decades is a better indicator of change than year-to-year changes.

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Friday, March 6,2015

Legally Speaking

The material participation test can trick taxpayers

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Often enough taxpayers who are audited in connection with their farming or livestock activities are questioned on the issue known in the tax law as the “material participation test.” Under this legal test, you are permitted to deduct losses against outside salary and wages only if, among other things, you “materially participate” in the activity.

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Friday, February 13,2015

Beef Talk

Feel good by feeding some alfalfa

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Alfalfa is an excellent choice to feed as a supplement to beef cows that are later in their pregnancy. Seldom do we think of hay as being a supplement, but the right high quality forage, such as alfalfa, certainly can be fed as a supplement to the lower quality forages generally available for the main ration of a beef cow.

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Friday, February 6,2015

Beef Talk

Feed those cows the right amount of feed

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
However, the cows still need to be fed. In fact, a common mistake that is made as the weather warms is to reduce the feed a little bit. In reality, yes, that extra feed for body heat may not be needed, but every day that a cow gets closer to birth, the more demanding the pregnancy becomes.

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Friday, January 23,2015

Beef Talk

Buy wisely and spend thriftily

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Dollars are the common denominator. Why be in the beef business without a return to labor and management? With current demand for replacement cattle indicative of a positive industry stance to maintaining and expanding the beef business, now is a good time to ponder some fundamental costs of the business.

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Friday, January 16,2015

Beef Talk

After-the-party blues

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Beef fever, the 2014 attitude. Ever hosted one of those over-the-top parties? They seem to be enjoyable and many people attend.

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Friday, January 9,2015

Beef Talk

Revising the bull pen

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
Each year, the Dickinson Research Extension Center reviews the bulls from the previous year to cut back on what bulls need to be overwintered.

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Monday, December 29,2014

Beef Talk

Step 1 for bull buying: Simmental example

by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University
At the center, values for the current bulls are entered into a simple spreadsheet to allow for easy tracking. The breeding inventory and registration numbers from this past breeding season included five bulls. Their year of birth and registration numbers are: 2013-born bulls, 2790504, 2790544, 2800373 and 2800393; and 2012-born bull, 2669482.

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