The bottom line of a complete budget generally refers to what is left after covering all costs, including depreciation, labor, land, management, etc. But most of the time cow-calf producers operate with a partial budget where the bottom line is “returns to land, labor and management”. In other words, we may be interested in what’s left over after we cover “out-of-pocket” costs. Most economists would say that only works in the short-run but small cow-calf producers stay in business over many years.
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