Rancher's Risk and Return: information page

What is Rancher's Risk and Return? | What is different from Rancher's return 2011? | Rancher's Risk and Return Features | System requirements | Links | Acknowledgements | Feedback and Questions | Download Rancher's Risk and Return

Rancher's Risk and Return helps managers to evaluate cow-calf, cattle feeding, and backgrounding enterprise profitability by calculating production costs, breakeven selling prices, gross margins, and returns to equity and approximate floor returns provided by Livestock Price Insurance. It is available for free download from this web page.

What is Rancher's Risk and Return?

Rancher's Risk and Return is an excel spreadsheet template that calculates costs and expected financial returns for individual cattle enterprises including cow-calf, finishing, backgrounding or backgrounding with grazing. Replacement heifer raising activities are also incorporated into the cow-calf analysis. The economic models provide a framework for ranchers or cattle feeders to build a base scenario and then analyze that scenario with respect to different commodity prices or changes to production and management systems. Sensitivity analysis functionality is included with users able to incorporate best case, most likely, and worst case prices. Expected profitability can be calculated using the producer’s own production system and expected selling prices. A key part of the tool is its ability to calculate and graph the benefits of cattle price insurance for specific types of calves, feeder cattle or finished cattle.

What is Different from Rancher's Return 2011?
  • Is a simpler easier to use worksheet with two separates analysis pages: one for the cow-calf enterprise and one for the feeding enterprise.
  • Ranchers Risk and Return has the ability to analyze the potential costs and benefits to using livestock price insurance.
  • Gives users the ability to do simple sensitivity analysis and see the results in both table and chart formats.
  • It has flexible cattle feeding cost-of-gain and break-even calculations that can be used by both sophisticated and more occasional type cattle feeders and backgrounders.
Rancher's Risk and Return Features
  • Rancher's Risk and Return incorporates your own feeding systems and key variables to calculated production costs and breakeven selling prices.
  • Rancher’s Risk and Return lets you assess the potential benefits of Livestock Price Insurance for both cow-calf and feeding enterprises.
  • Rancher’s Risk and Return lets you assess the effects of additional leverage applied to cattle feeding investments and graphically shows changes in financial risk.
  • Rancher's Risk and Return adds flexibility to the calculation process by allowing user inputs for operating cost line items and expected production results.
  • Rancher's Risk and Return is designed for quick ‘what-if’ type analyses with sensitivity tables and charts included in the worksheet. Users can also do comparative or multi-year analyses by copying an initial worksheet into a new worksheet tab using the instructions provided.
  • Rancher's Risk and Return calculates yardage and break-even results for on-farm backgrounding in a separate worksheet. Other important results are dry matter conversion and cost per pound of gain. Using the backgrounding worksheet after the cow-calf sheet assists with the decision to sell calves or retain ownership to a later date. It also calculates break-even results and expected profits from yearling grazing in the same worksheet.
Rancher's Risk and Return has instructions and numerous cell notes to assist with ease of analysis. It is designed for quick and easy analysis of an enterprise with more accuracy and effectiveness resulting when a user has a greater knowledge of individual and unique input cost parameters. System Requirements
  • Pentium with Intel, Celeron or AMD Processor.
  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista or newer.
  • Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program capable handling a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Note: Microsoft Works is not sufficient.
  • Crop Returns crop enterprise analysis downloadable spreadsheet
  • FIR$T – Feedlot Investment Risk Simulation Tool – an innovative tool that projects cost, returns and financial risk in the feedlot enterprise.
  • Rancher's Return 201 cattle enterprise analysis downloadable spreadsheet
  • CropChoice$ - crop risk analysis software (uses the same underlying concepts and techniques as FIR$T)
  • AgriProfit$ - AgriProfit$ economic, financial & business management information for Alberta beef producers
  • RiskChoices - helps develop an overall risk management process. Useful when risks are strategic in nature or when numbers are not available.
  • Rancher's risk and Return was produced by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's Livestock and Farm Business Branch with input from the Ag Info Centre and Economics Unit.
Feedback and Questions
  • To provide feedback or if you have any questions please contact:

    The Alberta Ag-Info Centre
    Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
    Toll-free 310 FARM (310-3276).

This information is maintained by Jackie Majic

Last Revised/Reviewed January 20, 2014

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