Potential Economic Returns from Selling Beef in a Specified Value-Based Market
Three groups of steers--one theoretical group and two experimental groups—were evaluated for marketing cattle live, as boxed beef, and grade and yield when the live price was $71 to $73/cwt, grade and yield price $125/cwt for Choice yield grade 3 carcasses with $20/cwt discount for Select carcasses, and in a commodity-trim or close-trim boxed beef market. The results show that the value of highyielding steers can be significantly increased if sold in a close-trim boxed beef market. The close-trim premiums ranged from $5.06 per head for Select close-trim yield grade 4 carcasses to $87.18 per head for close-trim Choice yield grade 1 carcasses. A group of experimental steers averaging 82% Choice and 60% yield grades 1 and 2 returned an additional $104 in the close-trim boxed market compared with selling live for $73/cwt. Another group of experimental steers averaging 21% Choice, 18% Standard, and 93% yield grades 1 and 2 had $29 per head greater return than if the steers had been sold live for $71/cwt. These comparisons emphasize the importance of knowing how cattle will potentially grade before selecting an alternative marketing strategy. This prior knowledge is most important when the spread in price between Choice and Select is high. Producers need to learn more about their cattle to predict how the cattle may grade for a specified value-based market.