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Unit Cost of Production Workshop

8:30 am – 4:00 pm
New Christian Church in Rushville
Jack Arterburn, (308) 327-2312,
Two-day workshops in McCook, Ainsworth, and Rushville in November and December, sponsored by Nebraska Extension, will provide a hands-on learning experience for producers to learn how to calculate a 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.

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 2019;
• 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 profitability of four common ranch enterprises: cow-calf, stockers/breeding heifers, hay, and land. Participants 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.

Sound difficult? 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 them analyze cost of production for their own operation. Extension Educators will be available for follow-up after the workshops.

Below are dates, locations and contact information for pre-registration with the local host.

Nov. 5 and 6 at McCook: 4-H Building at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds, 8:30 am – 4 pm CST; contact Erin Laborie at 308-268-3105 or

Nov. 15 and 16 at Ainsworth: Ainsworth Community Center, 8:30 am - 4 pm CST; contact Jace Stott 402-387-2213 or

Dec. 13 and 14 at Rushville: New Christian Church , 109 Loofborrow St. 8:30 am - 4 pm MST; contact Jack Arterburn at 308-327-2312 or

Cost is $50 per person and covers meals for both days. Please pre-register one week prior for a meal count. Payment is due the day of the workshop. Workshops are limited to 30 people per location. Contact Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122 with questions about the workshops.

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