Diesel Yardage Calculator Can Help Producers Estimate Yardage Costs



Person using an electronic spreadsheet on a mobile device.

AMES, Iowa – Current retail values of diesel fuel can be used as an index to estimate current and near-future yardage charges in maintaining livestock. Iowa Beef Center associate scientist Garland Dahlke said it’s important for producers to know their costs, especially in light of higher fuel prices.

Energy cost are highly correlated to all other costs of production and as energy costs climb the cost of doing business climbs proportionately. When feeding cattle the yardage charge, or more accurately, the items that make up the yardage cost are influenced by energy costs, and diesel fuel prices are a good gauge to what should be happening to the yardage charge within a given operation and when it needs to be adjusted.

Dahlke has updated the Iowa Beef Center’s Yardage-Diesel Fuel Relationship calculator to help producers determine cost estimates. This Excel-based calculator allows an existing yardage fee to be adjusted as changes in diesel fuel price occur.

The calculator file is available for free download from the calculators page on the IBC website.

For more information on the use of energy, specifically diesel fuel, as a common input from which others are influenced determining yardage costs, see this ISU Animal Industry Report by Dahlke: “Diesel Fuel Price as a means of Forecasting Livestock Yardage Costs.


The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit www.iowabeefcenter.org.

Garland Dahlke, Iowa Beef Center associate scientist, 515-294-9910, garland@iastate.edu

Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Beef Center, 515-294-4496, shoyer@iastate.edu


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