Bay Area Working Rangelands
University of California
Bay Area Working Rangelands

Rangeland Economics

Sample Costs for Finishing Beef Cattle On Grass

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 There is increased interest and effort among some California ranchers to offer a value-added, ranch-raised grass fed product. The goal is to sell the beef product for a higher price and improve ranch profitability. The scale of operation can vary between a few head per year to a company marketing thousands of head per year. Ranch-raised meat products can increasingly be found in natural food stores, restaurants, and farmers markets.

Changing the business structure of the ranch from selling live animals to merchandising meat requires a new set of skills and knowledge. The producer must enjoy dealing with people and be comfortable marketing the family ranch experience and the wholesome product that is produced. It requires knowledge in food safety, marketing, and meat quality. Case studies have indicated the success of the new ranch enterprise is highly correlated to how the business in constructed to minimize transportation and labor costs. Get the Full Study

Sample Costs for Beef Cattle Yearling-Stocker Production

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The cattle industry in California has undergone dramatic changes in the last few decades. Ranchers have experienced increasing costs of production with a lack of corresponding increase in income. Issues such as international competition, new regulatory requirements, changing consumer demand, economies of scale, and competing land uses affect the economics of ranching. Rangeland makes up the largest percentage of acreage in the state. Cattle operations play an important part on California’s environment and landscape. They need to be economically viable to maintain the current landscape.

Sample costs to raise beef cattle are presented in this study. This study is intended as a guide only, and can be used to make production decisions, determine potential returns, prepare budgets and evaluate production loans. Practices described are based on production practices considered typical for a beef cattle yearling/stocker operation, but will not apply to every situation. Sample costs for materials, equipment and custom services are based on current figures. Get the Full Study

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