To reap the full economic potential from calves, producers must plan all selection, health, nutrition and management so that those calves are profitable for cattle feeders. That means they leave the farm or ranch of origin ready to perform and ultimately realize their best beef quality potential.
A 2012 analysis of closeouts on nearly half a million fed cattle by Professional Cattle Consultants (PCC) sorted data into low, middle and high groups for quality grade. It showed that performance and quality go hand in hand, as the high-grading cattle:
- Grew faster, at 3.28 lb. average daily gain compared to 3.11 lb. for lower grading cattle
- Had heavier carcasses by 14 lb.
- Qualified for premium Choice at nearly four times the rate as the low quality grading group
Quality Grade Profile
|Feedyard Placement Wgt.||737||737||729||734|
|Feedyard Finish Wgt. Live||1282||1297||1310||1296|
|Days on Feed||179||177||182||179|
|Cost of Gain(COG)||63.92||62.86||62.10||62.96|
|Average Daily Gain||3.11||3.22||3.28||3.20|
|Average Carcass Weight||821||828||835||828|
|% Choice or Higher||35.3||54.1||74.5||54.6|
|% CAB or Upper 2/3 Choice Prem.||5.4||11.1||20.1||12.2|
|% YG 1 & 2||61.1||50.4||37.4||49.6|
|% YG 4 & 5||8.0||11.4||15.9||11.8|
Professional Cattle Consultants LLC closeout data on 496,478 head in 4,815 lots
Feeder calf price was standardized using the CME Feeder Cattle Price Index.