Unit Cost of Production Workshop to be Held Near Burwell, Nebraska

Photo credit: Troy Walz
January 22, 2020

Lincoln, Neb. — A two-day workshop on Feb. 5 and 6 will provide a hands-on learning experience for producers to learn how to calculate unit cost of production for a cow-calf operation.

Having information to make effective business decisions is important for ranch success. Enterprise analysis and unit cost of production (UCOP) 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, UCOP 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 a yearling are valuable information as well for the ranch business manager.

While it takes time to set up and calculate a UCOP, but the benefits are:

  • 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 this 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 go through the steps of analyzing costs and calculating what it costs 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 own operation.

Nebraska Extension Educators will be available for follow-up after the workshops at the Cedar Creek Church Building located 23 miles north of Burwell, Neb. from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Pre-registration is requested one week in advance by contacting the Brown-Rock-KeyaPaha County Extension office at (402) 387-2213 or emailing hannah.greenwell@unl.edu. Workshop size is limited to 35 people. Contact Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122 with questions about the workshop.

Keith Glewen
Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension

Gary Lesoing
Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension

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