Carcass Data Results
The American British White Park breeders need to determine how their cattle fit the current and future needs of the beef industry. The ABWPA has provided a carcass data sample collected on White Park Steers to provide feedback to producers on how their cattle perform in the feed yard and the type of carcasses they produce. Assessment of this type of information will allow producers to determine whether or not they are on target or if they need to alter the genetics of their herd.
Actual carcass data was collected from pen close outs over several years and at various locations. Results averaged a Hot Carcass Weight of 730 #, Choice Quality Grade and a Yield Grade of 2.34.
Meat Grades are USDA designation that indicates quality or yield of meat. They are known as Quality and Yield Grades.
Beef Quality Grades identify the eating characteristics of the product like tenderness and palatability of the meat. There are eight beef quality grades that are in order of highest to lowest quality and are as follows: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter and Canner. Beef steers and heifers are eligible for all the above grade designations. Cows are eligible for all but Prime grade. The grade designation assigned to a carcass is determined by an evaluation of its sex characteristics, maturity, the quality of the lean muscle and the degree of marbling present.
Beef yield grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, are applicable to beef. Yield Grade YG 1 is the leanest whereas YG 5 is the fattest. The assessment is made by an equation which includes the measurement of the rib eye, the presence of heart and pelvic fat and fat cover thickness. In general the higher the quality grade, the higher the yield grade.
USDA Select: Select grade beef is very uniform in quality and somewhat leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades.
USDA Choice: Choice grade beef has less marbling than Prime, but is of very high quality. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful.
USDA Prime: Prime grade beef is the ultimate in tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. It has lots of marbling -- flecks of fat within the lean -- which enhances both flavor and juiciness.