Beef Resources and Publications

Budgets Decision Tools Publications Marketing



Budgets for five representative Nebraska cow herds are available on the System Budgets for a Cow Herd page. This program is set up to create separate budgets for the different enterprises in a cow-calf production system. These enterprise budgets including the breeding herd, wintering calves, summering stockers, feeding cattle out, and feeding cull cows.

Purchased Livestock
This decision aid is a spreadsheet that allows users to create separate enterprise budgets for the different phases of livestock production when animals are purchased rather than raised. It can be used when an individual purchases livestock and changes how they are handled during the time they are owned. For instance, they may be fed for a while, then allowed to grazed, and then fed again prior to being sold. Each of these phases can be analyzed separately with the results combined.

Decision Tools

Excel spreadsheet to compare value differences among bulls of the same type.

Excel spreadsheet that estimates the average annual breeding costs per calf. More information available here.

Excel spreadsheet designed for producers to estimate the cost of maintaining bulls for their herd. More information available here.

Excel spreadsheet that estimates net benefits of buying a heifer instead of raising them. Based on this analysis it provides a Cumulative Distribution Function(CDF) graph of net benefits. To learn more about stochastic partial budgeting and guidance on entering data in the spreadsheet click here.

Excel spreadsheet that gives an example of partial budgeting of buying replacement heifers vs. raising them considering the possibility of a drought.

Excel spreadsheet that calculates the cost of raising one calf. Through that computation, producers can estimate profitability. (For this spreadsheet to work correctly, please enable macros. Go to the security warning in the top menu bar. Click options, then click "enable this content.")

Calculates an equitable share arrangement for leasing cows. The password for this spreadsheet is "cow."

Excel worksheet for matching livestock size and numbers with corn stalk acres needed with a cost.

Example compares the cost of TDN and Crude Protein in different feeds considering transportation and handling costs and losses. It also calculates the feed needed and total cost given herd size and days fed. The "With Examples" spreadsheet is the spreadsheet with some sample feeds entered.

An Excel worksheet that calculates breakevens for feeders or cull cows.

A worksheet for estimating the cost for developing water sources for livestock in grazing areas. This worksheet is from extension circular EC03-821 published by the University of Nebraska.

Unstable markets can make it difficult for producers to choose the optimum time to sell their calves. There are a variety of methods available to sell calves. We have built a program that uses historical data to help users understand just one method: hedging.


Economic Considerations for Preconditioning Calves for FeedlotCow-calf producers can add value to calves by using precondition programs management practices that prepare calves to enter grazing or backgrounding programs, or into a feedlot.