Purdue Extension has developed a pair of Web-based, interactive resources to help new producers and anyone thinking about starting a small-scale livestock operation to make critical budgeting decisions.
The Purdue Comparative Decision Support matrix, known as PCDS, includes a spreadsheet tool that allows users to create an operating budget based on their own fixed and variable costs, cash flow and expected revenue. The PCDS2 profit/loss analysis function uses cost and price information to calculate potential earnings.
Before committing to a small-scale livestock operation, producers should use the tools to assess their goals and financial situation, including how much they want to earn or could afford to lose, said Joan Fulton, professor of agricultural economics and one of the creators of PCDS.
"All investment decisions are individual, and investing in a small-scale livestock operation is no different," she said. "Only you can decide whether it is right for you."
The PCDS and PCDS2 budgeting tools were developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. They are available online at https://ag.purdue.edu/agecon/Pages/Livestock-Enterprise.aspx.
To help producers use the tools most effectively, Extension is offering a series of six companion publications focusing on different types of small-scale livestock operations. All publications in the Small-Scale Livestock Enterprises series are available for free download from Purdue's The Education Store.
Titles in the series are:
* Tools for Choosing the Right Enterprise for You
* Cow-Calf Enterprise Budget
* Dairy Steer Enterprise Budget
* Goat Enterprise Budget
* Sheep Enterprise Budget
* Turkey Enterprise Budget
For more information about the series, or to download the publications, visit The Education Store at www.edustore.purdue.edu.