Interactive Tools & Calculators

In addition to the beef and forage information provided in the Latest Posts, For Producers and For Veterinary Teams sections of this website, the following tools can help you make production decisions that suit a specific beef operation. For an optimum user experience, tools are best viewed on a tablet or personal computer.

Cow-Calf Production Indicators Calculator
Beef Cattle Research Council cow-calf production indicators calculator

Producers can use the Cow-Calf Production Indicators Calculator to enter their own production numbers (only 15 numbers are needed) and compare them with an Industry Target and Regional Benchmark from the most recent regional cow-calf surveys.

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Economics of Water Systems Calculator
Beef Cattle Research Council economics of water systems calculator

The following calculator is based on a study by Lardner et al. (2005) that reported calves whose dams drank from water troughs gained on average 0.09 lbs per day more than calves whose dams had direct access to the dugout. This calculator allows producers to:

  • Compare the costs and benefits of installing three different watering systems on a cow-calf operation. 
  • Compare the costs and benefits of installing five different watering systems to use with yearling grassers. 
  • Determine how long it will take to pay off any of the above water systems on an individual operation. 

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Carrying Capacity Calculator
Beef Cattle Research Council carrying capacity calculator

The Carrying Capacity Calculator allows producers to determine the carrying capacity of pastures based on two methods: 1) estimates based on provincial guides and 2) field-based sampling.

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Forage U-Pick
Forage U-Pick - Canada's interactive forage species selection tool

Forage U-Pick is a tool designed to provide users with information for forage selection, forage seeding rates, and weed management.

While every effort has been made to compile accurate and useful information, this tool should be considered a starting point for decision-making. When selecting a forage or forage mix, the Forage U-Pick tool should be used in conjunction with additional feedback from local professionals, other available technical resources, and the latest forage research.

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Impact of Body Condition on Cow Productivity and Profitability
Beef Cattle Research Council impact of BCS on cow productivity and profitability

This tool demonstrates how various body condition scores can impact pregnancy rate, % showing estrus 30 days post-calving, and calf weaning weight. This tool also calculates the value of calf crops for cows maintained at each body condition score.

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Cost-Benefit of BVD Vaccinations
Beef Cattle Research Council bovine viral diarrhea vaccination cost-benefit calculator

Producers can use this tool to calculate the costs, benefits and risks of different vaccination and disease BVD outbreak scenarios.

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Johne’s Testing Decision Tool
Beef Cattle Research Council Johne's Testing Decision Tool

Johne’s disease is a serious, long-term disease that is difficult to eradicate from a herd once present but testing can be a useful practice. This decision tool helps producers compare benefits of different testing options for Johne’s disease in cow-calf herds.

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Cost-Benefit of Feeding BRD Vaccinated Calves
Beef Cattle Research Council Bovine Respiratory Disease Vaccination Cost-Benefit Calculator

Producers can use this tool to calculate the costs, risks and economic benefits of feeding calves that have been vaccinated for BRD compared to calves that have not.

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Bull Valuation Calculator
Beef Cattle Research Council bull valuation calculator

Identifying a fair price during sire selection contributes to higher efficiency in operation economics. This calculator helps to estimate break-even bull price based on different traits and the key parameters of an individual farm.

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Value of Crops for Livestock Feeds Calculator
value of crops for livestock feeds calculator

This decision-making tool was developed to help beef producers work with their neighbors to determine a value for salvaged crops.

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Preconditioning and Backgrounding Calculator
Beef Cattle Research Council preconditioning and backgrounding calculator

This decision-making tool is designed to identify economic opportunities and risks from backgrounding and preconditioning cattle by providing a summary of estimated net returns.

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Replacement Heifer Calculator
Beef Cattle Research council Replacement Heifer Calculator

This decision-making tool was developed to help a beef cattle producer estimate the total costs of developing a replacement heifer from weaning, through breeding to preg-checking. It is adapted from the Replacement Heifer Calculator by Western Beef Development Centre, now known as the Forage and Cow-Calf Research and Teaching Unit of the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence.

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Tool for Evaluating Feed Test Results
beef cattle research council tool for evaluating feed test results

The following calculator was developed by the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre. It allows beef cattle producers to enter results from feed tests to determine if that feed is of adequate nutritional value to be fed on its own.

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Tool for Evaluating the Economic Value of Feeds Based on Nutrient Content
Beef Cattle Research council economic value of feeds based on the nutrient content calculator

The following calculator was developed by the Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre. It helps producers to determine the value of feed that they may be considering purchasing compared to the value of standard feeds.

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Winter Feeding Cost Comparison Calculator
Beef Cattle Research council winter feeding cost comparison calculator

Beef cattle producers can use the Winter Feeding Cost Comparison Calculator to calculate and compare the costs of main feed ingredients in different rations. 

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Economics of Pregnancy Testing Beef Cattle
Beef Cattle Research Council economics of pregnancy testing calculator

The following calculator is based on the economics of preg-checking model which was developed by Ben-Ezra and Muzzin in 2015. It can help cow-calf producers determine which of the following three options is most economical for their operation:

  • Preg-check and cull non-pregnant cows in the fall.
  • Preg-check in the fall and feed non-pregnant cows separately to market at a later date.
  • Do not preg-check – overwinter all cows and cull opens in the spring after calving.

A basic and advanced version are available. Both versions have the option to enter parameters for feeding cull cows as a separate group.

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Value of Calving Distribution Calculator
Beef Cattle Research Council value of calving distribution tool

Each time a cow is not bred during a 21-day heat cycle, it can cost up to 39 lbs of weaning weight (assuming an average daily gain on calves of 1.85 lbs/day). This calculator will allow beef cattle producers to see what their current calving distribution is, and what the impact on their revenue would be if they move to the industry target of 60-25-10-5, or a condensed breeding season of three cycles.

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