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Beef Cattle Budgets

Updated May 09, 2022
Professional headshot of Heather Gessner

Heather Gessner

SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist

The SDSU Extension Beef Cattle Budgets can be used to estimate revenues and costs associated with six different beef cattle enterprises: Heifer development, Cow costs, Backgrounding from November to February, Finishing Steers, Backgrounding Yearlings from 750-1100 pounds, and Finishing Yearlings from 1100-1400 pounds.

To use the spreadsheets producers need to have an understanding about the costs related to their operations. Balanced rations should be created to ensure that the number one expense in the cattle operation is accurately represented. SDSU Extension Cow-Calf and Feedlot staff can aid with this activity. An accurate representation related to the weight and value of the animals in the herd, transportation expenses, veterinary and medication expenses, breeding related expenses, culling rate, bull value and salvage value should also be used in the spreadsheet.

These budgets are provided to aid producers with risk and price management decision making. Producers that know their cost of production can combine risk management tools, like Livestock Risk Protection insurance, with marketing tools to limit losses or increase their average selling price.

Disclaimer: The preceding is presented for informational purposes only. SDSU does not endorse the services, methods or products described herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding them. This publication is not legal advice and should not be substituted for the guidance and recommendations of experienced legal counsel. Legal questions specific to your situation should be directed to a licensed attorney.