HAMPTON, Iowa – Current diesel fuel retail values can be used as an index to estimate current and future yardage costs for maintaining livestock. It is important for producers to know their costs, especially with rising fuel prices. An updated resource from the Iowa Beef Center, part of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, helps producers better estimate energy costs.
When feeding livestock, the components that make up the cost of yardage are influenced by energy costs, and diesel fuel prices are a good indicator of what should happen to yardage costs in a given operation and when it needs to be adjusted.
“The beauty of this app is that energy costs precede all other costs, and the price of diesel fuel is something that’s easy to discover and has less ‘data noise’ than tracking the price of oil in the House of commerce,” explained Garland Dahlke, an associate scientist at ISU Extension and Outreach. “With that in mind, we can do a pretty good job of estimating what it will cost to yard to feed a pen of cattle. We need to do a bit of work to establish what the initial yardage fee should be. With this reference point, variations in the price of fuel will influence this basic calculation accordingly. »
Dahlke updated the Iowa Beef Center’s Yardage-Diesel Fuel Relationship Calculator to help producers determine cost estimates. This Excel-based calculator allows existing mileage charges to be adjusted based on changes in the price of diesel fuel.
The calculator file is available for free download from the calculators page on the Iowa Beef Center website at https://iowabeefcenter.org/calculators.html.
This article was submitted by Dahlke Garland, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.