Understanding Feed Costs 

Feed costs represent the largest annual operating cost for most commercial cow-calf enterprises.   In order to maintain an optimum balance between feed costs and production, you must analyze feeds and use these analyses to formulate rations and/or supplements, according to Rick Rasby and Jeremy Martin with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Feedstuffs vary widely in nutrient […]

How to Measure Beef Cattle Benchmarks 

In addition to standard benchmarks measuring financial health, you should also keep track of specific guidelines for beef cattle operations.   These target levels, adapted from Adapted from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, are some suggestions of what you can use (see downloadable pdf below). Collecting data to help evaluate […]

How to Determine Your Farm Business Goals & Objectives  

The information you collect on farm efficiency and yield will only benefit your operation if you have a destination in mind.   You want to know that you’re making progress toward your goals. Consider your overall mission, objectives, goals and checkpoints.   This exercise seems obvious, but it will force you to examine short-term and long-term objectives […]

How to Determine the Health of Your Farm Operation 

How is your operation doing?   To help you understand the current financial health of your farm operation, use this Farm Financial Scorecard of ratios and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) (see downloadable pdf below) from the Farm Financial Standards Council.   Select two measures for each category. Then calculate and determine if your measure indicates whether your […]

How to Create an Income Statement For Your Farm 

An income statement shows the revenue and expenses of your operation over the course of a year.   The difference in revenue and expenses is the net farm income. Use this template, adapted from Northwest Farm Credit Services and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, to track these items for the year.   Your income statement is […]

How to Create a Cash Flow Statement For Your Farm 

A series of cash flow statements will allow you to see or project your ability to meet cash payment obligations.   It can also show you when you might have excess cash available to pay ahead on existing liabilities.   Cash flow statements can be completed on intervals tailored for the operation such as monthly or quarterly. […]

How to Create a Balance Sheet For Your Farm 

Your balance sheet is a snapshot of what your farm looks like today.   At a current point in time, a balance sheet will show you what you own and what you owe.   Below is a downloadable balance sheet from Northwest Farm Credit Services, Noble Research Institute LLC, and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, that […]

How Much Water Do Livestock Need?  

Water is a key part of grazing livestock.   Lack of water can reduce animal performance more quickly and severely than any other nutrient.   This table from Roger Ingram, a farm advisor with the University of California, shows the amount of water per day different livestock require (see chart pdf below).   “In cooler weather, below 75 […]

Soil Health Benefits and Improvement Tips 

Healthy soils are fundamental to sustainable rangelands. In fact, “grazing lands occupy nearly half the Earth’s land area, provide livelihoods for millions, and mitigate climate change via massive stores of carbon,” explains Ken Tate with UC Rangelands. “Maintaining and restoring soil health is essential to ensuring these benefits in our ever changing environment.” Healthy soil can […]

How Climate Change is Impacting Rangelands 

Rangelands encompass over 770 million acres of land in the U.S., and despite their classification as a single land type, these U.S. rangelands occur across a variety of ecosystems and have unique vulnerabilities. There is consensus in the scientific community that rangelands are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and that management will […]