Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Sand, S., Saner, R., Stockton, M. “Bull Value Cow-Q-Lator (BVCQL): What It Is and How To Use It.” CAP Series 24-0203, Center for Agricultural Profitability, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Feb. 20, 2024. DOI: 10.32873/unl.dc.cap029.


It’s that time of year when commercial ranchers and cattle producers are looking to make bull purchases for their operation. With so many different breeds and types of bulls available, picking the right bull at the right price is not easy. To help in making the best selection possible the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Economics Team created the Bull Value Cow-Q-Lator (BVCQL). This tool can be used to compare your current bull value with up to 10 bulls. The Bull Value Cow-Q-Lator is a spreadsheet available to download at

Each ranch or farm is going to have different goals, values, and resources available to purchase bulls. For the BVCQL, 14 key input variables (KIVs) (Figure 1) are entered into the spreadsheet by the user. In addition to costs, users make a value judgment on the effect individual bulls are expected to have on calf value and calving rate of cows. Users are expected to provide estimates for all these values.