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Rancher’s Return Lite- Cow-Calf and Backgrounding Analysis Tool

What is Rancher's Return Lite? | Rancher's Return Lite Features | System requirements | Links | Feedback and Questions | Download Rancher’s Return

Rancher’s Return Lite – Downloadable Excel Spreadsheet Calculator

Rancher’s Return Lite helps managers to evaluate cow-calf and backgrounding enterprise profitability by calculating production costs, breakeven selling prices, gross margins, and returns to equity. It is available for free download from this web page.

What is Rancher’s Return Lite?

Rancher’s Return Lite is a spreadsheet that calculates costs and expected financial returns to give ranchers a base for comparing impacts of changing commodity prices, or impacts from changes to production and management systems. Expected profitability can be calculated using the producer’s own production system and expected selling prices. With this tool, meaningful results can usually be obtained in just a few minutes.

Rancher’s Return Lite Features

  • Uses single page workbooks to estimate cost of gain, expected profit, and breakeven prices for Cow-calf and Backgrounding enterprises.
  • Incorporates a user’s own feeding and grazing systems, and key variables such as feed prices, cattle prices, weaning rates, and selling weights.
  • Adds flexibility to the calculation process by allowing user inputs for operating cost line items and expected production results. Breakeven selling prices and expected profitability are two key results.
  • 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 following the cow-calf analysis 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 a separate worksheet.
  • Designed for quick ‘what-if’ type analyses. For example: What if the price of feed goes up?, What if I calve later, feed for fewer days and then sell a lighter calf?, What if I change to an organic or natural beef program that may have both higher costs and higher returns? The list goes on and on. Users can also do comparative or multi-year analyses by copying an initial worksheet into a new worksheet tab using the instructions provided.
  • Has one worksheet devoted to a variety of calculators that can be used to convert your own knowledge and numbers into the units required for the spreadsheet.
  • Ranchers Return Lite has step-by-step instructions included in the worksheets. It is recommended that these steps be followed when doing the first analysis.
System Requirements
  • Pentium with Intel, Celeron or AMD Processor.
  • Windows 2000, XP or Vista.
  • Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program capable handling a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Note: Microsoft Works is not sufficient.
Links Acknowledgements

Rancher’s Return Lite was produced by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s, Livestock and Farm Business Branch.

Feedback and Questions

To provide feedback or if you have any questions please contact Bruce Viney at 403-556-4250.

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This information is maintained by Bruce Viney

Last Revised/Reviewed September 28, 2018

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