The latest profit estimates for cow-calf operations from John Nalivka's Sterling Marketing service show significant declines in potential profits this year and next.
Going back to 2009, Nalivka's data shows steadily rising cash costs alongside estimated average cash receipts for calves and cows that rise nicely and then fall back for 2015 and 2016.
Nalivka's net profit estimates climb from a loss of $19 per female in 2009 to a high of $526 in 2019. For 2015 he projects an average yearly profit of $490 per female and for 2016 he projects an average net profit of $285.
In comparison with a different economic model, Utah Extension published a paper earlier this year which suggested a 2015 cow-calf average net profit of $325, with total average receipts of $1,036 and total average costs of $711.