New Cow-Calf Budgets Available for Nebraska

New Cow-Calf Budgets Available for Nebraska

With input from cow-calf producers, five representative budgets are now available. Photo credit Troy Walz.

As a part of the UNL multidisciplinary Beef Systems Initiative and a complementary project funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), five geographically identified Nebraska producer panels were formed to provide input and feedback on University research and extension projects involving integrated beef systems. These panels have met a combined eight times over the last two years. One of the tasks being worked on is the development of representative cow-calf enterprise budgets for typical cow-calf herds in different geographic regions across the state. With the input from the cow-calf producer panels, five representative budgets are now available.

The completed representative cow-calf budgets include two from the Nebraska Panhandle region, a 400-cow herd in the northern panhandle and a 75-cow herd in the southern panhandle. They also include two representative cow-calf budgets from the northeast /north central area of Nebraska, a 50-cow herd and a 200-cow herd. The other representative budget is a 50-cow herd typical of southeast Nebraska.  The five budgets utilize various management practices, e.g. growing replacement heifers or purchasing bred cows, selling calves at weaning or backgrounding to add extra weight before selling.

Background stories are provided for each of the budgets to assist producers in determining their own cost of production and cow costs. The budgets are available online along with an Excel livestock budget template file for producers to download and use. Producers can modify the example budgets in the Excel templates to reflect their own economic costs and net returns for a production season.  The budgets are available online at http://go.unl.edu/cow-calfbudgets.

This work is supported by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research under award number 534675 and the Beef Systems Initiative at the Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln