Beef Grading Alternatives

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MikeC

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1) The USDA beef grading system should
be modernized to encourage shorter feeding
periods, discourage waste-fat production, decrease
emphasis on marbling as the primary
quality trait and encourage improved efficiency
of beef production and processing.
2) Modernization of the grading system
should be based on research, and with the best
interest of both the beef industry and consumer
in mind.
3) Some level of visual quality will
continue to be important in the future, but
grades should be applicable to new processing
technologies such as prerigor boning.
4) Because grade names serve as a common
language from the consumer back to the
producer, a "grade" concept may be more
important than a "classification" Concept.
However, grade names should be chosen that
minimize connotations of superiority or inferiority
among grade names. The alternative of
changing the Good grade to "Deluxe" or
"Choice-Lite" and Standard to "Lean" or
"Lite"would minimize the connotations of
inferiority.
5) Combining Slight and Small marbling
in a new grade is scientifically valid and would
make more uniform quality grades.
6) Incorporating ES in a grading system
would be easy once ES specifications are
established. Allowing ES carcasses with one less
degree of marbling or fat thickness to achieve
the same grades as nonstimulated carcasses is
justified by research. However, this would force
almost all beef processors to use ES just to be
competitive.
7) The alternative of requiring a minimum
marbling and fat thickness such as Slight
marbling plus a minimum of 7.6 mm fat thickness
in the Choice grade is justified by research
and capitalizes on the prestigious image of the
highly advertized Choice grade. This proposal
should encourage shorter feeding periods and
less waste-fat production.

Read the entire text here:

http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/55/3/708.pdf
 

Brandonm2

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Why confuse the public and rock the boat when beef prices are up and all is more or less well with the world???
 
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MikeC

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Brandonm2":2dj28fh1 said:
Why confuse the public and rock the boat when beef prices are up and all is more or less well with the world???

Demand and consumption for beef is down compared to other protein choices. Way down.

Beef prices (what we are paid) is down significantly from what is was just a couple of years ago, yet we import all this lean beef from other countries?

Fat is the single most expensive production cost to cattle producers. It sells for around $.05 lb. yet we are producing more and more each year.

The grids are ripping us because there is too much disparity between grades, and niche markets that could be covered with them.
 

Brandonm2

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The last time we fiddled with the grades was a debacle. I honestly wish USgov had NO ROLE whatsoever in grading beef; but in this nanny state expecting our govt overlords to not interfere in the economy is pollyanna-ish. Beef is down from it's historic highs of two years ago; but historically it is still near record highs (when we don't adjust for the incredible shrinking dollar!). We are moving more product than ever before.....thanks largely to the mass influx of immigrants. I wish we would all just accept a high choice yield grade 2.2 as the gold standard and try to raise genetics that conform to that goal. Instead of accepting reality or improving the genetics they have, many will just lobby their Congressman to try to ram a new system they think is more friendly to the outlying cattle they are producing. We don't need more rules, new grading standards, or new measurements; but too many people in this industry like to feel important by attending some screwball conference or convention and call for some idiotic change just for the sake of just 'doing something'..
 

simangus23

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They already changed the grades once to incorporate those "lean Steers" to Select which is layman terms means he aint got a single fleck of marbling or to the Producer this means hey our Limmys are getting a new grade from Standard to Select lol :banana:
 

knabe

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The last time we fiddled with the grades was a debacle. I honestly wish USgov had NO ROLE whatsoever in grading beef;

this is pretty easy to do. just have your beef inspected, but not graded and sell to customers directly. it's pretty easy in some areas.

why we continually let everyone else take over the process and complaining about it is not very productive.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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I agree with Mike C system Needs work. But with the US goverment involved could get worse. Sooner or later packers will start solving the problem. By discounting cattle that produce to much trim, and moving the premiums to the more case ready type cattle. The american people have started to use more of the leaner type cattle, companys like Lauras Lean Beef have been growing rapidly the past few years. Look to see more of that in the future. Also look for more producers to market more freezer beef from home. Amercia apears to be a little more concerned about their food supply, than ever before. Might be a chance to make a little money on those Limis yet!! Just one persons veiw.
 

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