At present, diet conscious consumers are exerting considerable pressure on the beef industry. Consumers continually indicate they are concerned about, and in fact, will not tolerate fat associated with red meat products (Breidenstein, 1988). This has resulted in many retailers trimming various cuts of beef to 1/8 inch of subcutaneous fat and in some cases a complete trimming of fat. It is probably conservative to estimate the industry produces an excess of 500 million pounds of fat each year from those carcasses with a yield grade above two. This excess fat represents the nutritional energy in more than a million yield grade 2 carcasses, each weighing 650 pounds. However, because the consumer is also concerned about palatability, the industry at present seems to have no alternative except to feed beef cattle for more than an optimum length of time in order to provide some assurance of "quality". In addition, the packing industry's reliance on dressing percent provides for an even greater emphasis on feeding cattle beyond the optimum length of time.
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1991
Benyshek, Larry, "Current Status of National Cattle Evaluation Programs for Carcass Traits" (1991). South Dakota Beef Seedstock Symposium, 1991. 3.