The objective of the current study was to develop, validate and describe a decision support system (DSS) to evaluate cull dairy cow finishing strategies. The DSS was developed within a Microsoft Excel framework. The purpose of a DSS is to assist the process of making accurate and repeatable calculations, assisting the decision on which cull cow finishing strategy is most profitable under individual farm circumstances. The model was based on data from two evaluation experiments including eight finishing strategies in total: ad libitum grass silage (GS); GS+3 kg concentrate (GS+3); GS+6 kg concentrate (GS+6); GS+9 kg concentrate (GS+9); ad libitum grass silage prior to ad libitum spring grass (GS+G); 0·75 grass silage and 0·25 straw prior to ad libitum spring grass (GS+S) and finally grass silage plus 6 kg concentrate dry matter (DM)/cow/day and milked twice daily prior to ad libitum spring grass (EXTLAC). Stochastic budgeting was included in the model to account for variability in key input and output variables on the overall profitability of various finishing strategies. The stochastic input and output variables included in the model were initial carcass value, feed strategy, concentrate cost and final carcass value. Net profit per cow was selected as the output distribution. The mean net profit per cow with the GS, GS+3, GS+6, GS+9, GS+G, GS+S and EXTLAC was €85·3, €73·7, €95·6, €58·5, €158·8 and €186·8 and €283·0, respectively. Profitability for the EXTLAC strategy was stochastically dominant to all other strategies evaluated meaning a higher level of profit and a lower level of risk is associated with the EXTLAC strategy. The optimal strategy of cull cow beef production depends greatly on the prevailing economic environment, purchase and sale price, milk price, feed costs, housing and labour.