- Author: Devii R. Rao
Are you thinking about going into the cattle business?
Or are you a staff person at an agency that uses livestock grazing as a land management tool, and want to better understand how ranching works?
Click here to check out the new cow-calf production cost study for California's Central Coast.
This cost study represents a fictitious 300 head cow/calf ranching operation on California's Central Coast. It begins with a narrative, describing the kinds of costs that are typically incurred in a ranching operation. The tables at the end of the study offer a line item for each cost and for revenues. Much of the information in this cost study is based on interviews with long-time ranchers in San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties, along with others in the livestock industry.
This cost study can be a valuable tool for someone who is thinking about going into the cattle business because it will help them think through the various categories of costs and aid in developing a budget and business plan. The study can also be used by a seasoned rancher. The first cost table (on page 11) has an empty column titled, “Your Costs.” This is probably one of the most useful pages for the experienced rancher. A producer can use this column to enter their own costs and compare it to the costs in the study. It will help them think about where they can make changes in their operation to reduce costs. This study will also be of value to land management agencies who lease their lands for cattle grazing. Many agency staff are not familiar with the different aspects of cow/calf operations. For land management agency staff, the most useful portion of the study is likely to be the Operations Calendar (on page 4) which summarizes the timeline for breeding, branding, vaccinating, calving, shipping, etc.
If you're interested in cost studies for other commodities, click here go to the UC Davis Cost and Return Study website.