Beef cow-calf budgets: How are farms performing financially?

Angus cattle grazing
Angus cattle grazing (Farm and Dairy file photo)

Inventory, calving, health, growth and animal performance records are important. Financial records are also critical when it comes to determining enterprise profitability. While many keep financial records for tax purposes, these records should be used to determine financial performance and in evaluating business decisions.

Ohio State University Extension utilizes FINPACK to perform financial analysis of farms throughout Ohio. Developed by extension professionals at the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota, FINPACK is a financial package that allows farmers to evaluate current financial performance.

The program also allows users to evaluate the likely profitability of up to 15 alternatives. Farmers using FINPACK have the option to anonymously enter their results into a database that they and others can access to understand how various groups perform financially.

Below is a summary of the 2020 FINPACK financial data generated from 136 farms from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The FINPACK program does not include enough grazing-specific farms to generate a grazing only separate report.

The Ohio Farm Business Analysis and Benchmarking Program coordinates FINPACK financial analysis data collection, processing and interpretation for Ohio farmers. Reach out to your extension educator or visit the website at to learn more about program enrollment and participation.

grazing charts


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