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Agricultural News

Marbling Scores Can Make All the Difference When It Comes to Getting the Best Price for Your Cattle

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:47:16 CDT

Marbling Scores Can Make All the Difference When It Comes to Getting the Best Price for Your Cattle What if you knew your cattle “just missed it” when it came to qualifying for the Certified Angus Beef® brand?

For millions of cattle across the United States, that’s reality. The brand’s “consist study” looked at data on nearly 40% of the Angus-influenced, or “A-stamped,” carcasses during three separate two-week periods.

“We do hear that grade has continued to improve. Choice and Prime percentages continue to get higher and higher,” said Justin Sexten, Certified Angus Beef director of supply development. “The reality of it is the bulk of the cattle still sit below modest zero marbling score. So, there are a tremendous amount of those cattle that are oh so close to making the brand’s marbling specification and just are outside the money.”

To watch a video clip featuring Justin Sexten, Certified Angus Beef director of supply development, discuss the company’s 2016 study of more than 850,000 carcass records, click or tap below on the PLAYBOX.

If those cattle moved up from a marbling score of 492 to 500, they’d be eligible for C-A-B premiums.

“Half of the cattle are below that 500 threshold,” Sexten said, “and so there’s a lot of cattle that we say are ‘right on the line,’ and are just outside of that score that’s required to get the $40 per head premium for Certified Angus Beef.”

The analysis contains 850,000 records that include four of the brand’s 10 carcass measurements: ribeye area, hot carcass weight, fat thickness and marbling.

“The biggest finding that we get out of the consist data is we look at the reasons that cattle don’t make the brand,” he pointed out. “And in this case and like all those before it, marbling inadequacies are the number one reason. Of the cattle that did not qualify for the brand, 92 percent of those cattle were inadequate in marbling.”

Some might wonder if more days on feed has increased brand acceptance in recent years.

“That trend is true,” Sexten affirmed, “but it’s a very weak trend in that just continuing to make those cattle bigger does not always mean that they are going to achieve adequate marbling. There’s numerous factors as we know that influence marbling. That may be from how the cow was handled when that calf was in gestation all the way through the implant and feeding program. The high carcass weight, we’ll see cattle that make the brand from as low as 650 pounds of high carcass weight all the way up to 1,049. But it’s not a direct relationship as to if they are bigger they will meet the marbling requirements.”

An emphasis on carcass quality must start long before cattle are placed on feed, Sexten says.

Source - Certified Angus Beef



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