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Beef Marketing and Economics

All Beef Marketing and Economics Content

herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture


Home to more than 1 million head of cattle, South Dakota’s producers can rely on SDSU Extension for research-based information, best management practices and resources to support healthy and profitable herds.

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Move the Cows or Move the Feed

This calculator is designed to aid producers making the decision to buy feedstuffs and haul the feed to the operation, or to haul the cattle to the feedstuffs.

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Beef Cattle Budgets

Beef Cattle Budgets can be used to estimate revenues and costs associated with six different beef cattle enterprises.

Red angus cattle gathered in a feedlot in winter.


South Dakota is home to a dynamic livestock industry.

Several bales of hay stacked in a shed.

Planning Forage Needs

Inventorying and planning for hay and other forage feed needs is essential every year, especially when production is uncertain due to drought or excess moisture.

small group of cattle at hay feeder

Herd Management: Keep or Cull During a Drought?

Drought forces unexpected changes so it’s critical to have a strategy to keep only the “right” females that will benefit the operation.

Group of mixed, brown cattle being moved into a feed yard.

Culling Decisions Due to Drought

Learn some key considerations for developing culling strategies that align with the goals and objectives of your operation when facing potential prolonged drought conditions.

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Monthly Cattle Prices and Basis Levels

Effective marketing and risk management techniques often rely on sound benchmarks. Those marketing cattle need reasonable metrics to evaluate received and expected prices.

Beef carcass with a transparent grading grid placed over the cut.

Beef Carcass Yield Grades: What do they mean and how are they calculated?

Beef carcass yield grades are used to estimate cutability, which is the amount of boneless, closely trimmed retail cuts from the round, loin, rib and chuck a carcass will yield.

Herd of black angus cattle feeding in a feedlot.

Cull Cow Management and Marketing Opportunities

No matter the reason for culling, it is important to evaluate the opportunity to add value to cull cows at marketing, as they make up a significant portion of annual ranch income.