Unit cost of production workshop set for Burwell

LINCOLN – A Feb. 5-6 workshop will allow ag producers to learn how to calculate unit cost of production for a cow-calf operation. 

The workshop is 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the Cedar Creek Bible Church, 23 miles north of Burwell. 

Having information to make effective business decisions is important for ranch success. Enterprise analysis and unit cost of production are tools that can help ranchers identify where value is being created on the ranch, where costs are occurring and what changes could be made to improve profit.

For cow-calf producers, unit cost of production is figured as cost per pound of weaned calf. Knowing what it costs to develop a bred heifer, harvest a ton of hay or put a pound of gain on a stocker or yearling is also valuable information for the ranch business manager. 

While it takes time to set up and calculate unit cost of production, benefits include: 

• Knowing what present costs are;

• Projecting what unit cost of production will be in 2020;

• Identifying opportunities to improve profitability;

• Using information to make management and marketing decisions. 

Participants in the workshop will work through a sample ranch to determine the economic profitability of four common ranch enterprises: cow-calf, stockers/breeding heifers, hay and land. They will analyze costs and calculate what it takes to produce a unit of product for each enterprise. Participants will also learn how to identify how changes could improve ranch profitability.

Hands-on group activities and examples of how to calculate key numbers will help participants through the process. Participants will receive access to Excel spreadsheet templates that can help analyze cost of production for their operations. 

Nebraska Extension educators will be available for follow-up after the workshop. 

Pre-registration is requested a week in advance. To register, contact the Brown-Rock-Keya Paha County Extension office at (402) 387-2213 or email [email protected]. The workshop is limited to 35 people. 

For more information, contact Aaron Berger at (308) 235-3122.


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