Strategies for Optimizing Value of Finished Cattle in Value-Based Marketing Grids
Performance and carcass data from 624 steers in three experiments were used to evaluate potential strategies that might be used with incoming feeders to remove animals that produce low value carcasses when cattle are sold in a valuebased grid. Removing 10% of the carcasses with the lowest net value from each group increased the overall average net value of the remaining carcasses $17.50 to $21.09. Carcass weight was found to be the most significant factor determining net value of the carcass. Gain of the steers during the first 3 to 5 weeks of the feeding period was significantly related to average final gain and carcass value, but accounted for a small portion of the overall variation in gain or carcass value. Use of initial gain was successful in identifying ten of the sixty-four carcasses with least net value in a value-based grid. Adding frame score and measurement of initial thickness of backfat along with initial gain did not significantly improve identification of the low-value carcasses. Sorting the steers as feeders based on frame score and initial thickness of backfat resulted in differences in performance and carcass measurements. The low-value carcasses tended to be concentrated in the smaller-framed steers.