Monday Extension Report – September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Career Portfolio’s due Wednesday

4-H families don’t forget that this Wednesday, September 30 is the deadline for 4-Hers to turn in their career portfolio record books.

Sandhills Cow/Calf Producer Budget

Rancher’s I want to let you know about some updated resources that are available to you. Last winter Roger Wilson, an analyst with the Ag Economics department wrote a new cow herd systems budget spreadsheet for Nebraska ranchers. We gathered input from area ranchers and created a Sandhills Cow/Calf Producer Budget spreadsheet.

You can find that and other budget spreadsheets at There you will find not only the Sandhills Cow/Calf producer budget, but also a lot of other useful decision support tools like the feed cost cow-q-lator, the cow-calf share lease cow-q-lator, and the water development cost cow-q-lator for grazing livestock.

While the Sandhills budget spreadsheet, has numbers in it that we got from ranchers, those numbers are really meant only as a guide. The spreadsheet is designed for you to put in your own numbers. Like all budget spreadsheets, the information you get out it only as good as what you put in. You need to make sure that you account for everything, and that you only account for it once.

When we were putting the spreadsheet together, I almost made the mistake of charging the cows full market price for the hay and the cost of putting up the hay. That’s a definite no, no. Decide whether you are going to market price, or cost of production. Either is ok, but both is not. An of course leaving out a major cost is not right either.

You can use tools like the Sandhills Cow/Calf Producer Budget spreadsheet to help run what if scenarios as you try to keep as much of equity you’ve earned the last couple of years as possible.

As anyone knows who’s been ranching for a while, what goes up always comes down. We just don’t know when it will happen, how fast it will happen, or how far it will go. Using decision support software can help you analyze different scenarios so you will be prepared to act. No matter what direction the market moves.

If you don’t have internet access for your computer, then we can get you a copy of the tools on a cd. You will need Microsoft Excel to use the spreadsheets.

CattleFax Trends+ Webinar

As an aside, there is a trends + webinar online at that would be worth your time to watch. There is a recent market outlook presentation and a good presentation on managing through the coming downward price trend.

As always, you can call the extension office at 402-376-1850 for more information.


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