With most of agriculture mired in the deepest economic slump since the 1980s, ranchers enter the New Year with a much sunnier outlook for their cattle enterprises.
That’s not to say cattle and beef markets have returned to boom times. Ranch profits are down substantially from peaks in 2014 and 2015. But 2017 was much kinder to both ranchers and feedyards than anyone would have anticipated, bringing both caution and subdued optimism for 2018.
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