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Carcass Ultrasound
  We have all seen it happen. Go to a purebred cattle sale and see which animals are selling for the most money.

Sure the animal probably has many things going for it in order to attract the interest, but you can bet it will have good carcass genetics. During Texas purebred Angus sales in the spring of 2004, average ultrasound carcass EPDs were calculated using over 75 of the highest selling lots. Among the high selling bulls, their ultrasound carcass EPDs on average ranked in the top 25% of the entire Angus breed for % intramuscular fat (marbling), ribeye area, and percent retail product. Among the females, which included both open and bred females, pairs, flushes, and pregnancies, their ultrasound carcass EPDs on average ranked in the top 30% of the entire Angus breed for % intramuscular fat (marbling), ribeye area, and percent retail product. You need to be measuring your cattle for carcass traits so that they will reap you the highest profits.

If the breed of cattle that you are currently raising is not placing much emphasis on carcass genetics today, they will be soon.

Here is your chance to get ahead of the competition. The largest driver for improving carcass genetics today is the fed cattle pricing methods that have rapidly evolved from live animal price per pound to valuing individual carcasses using grid pricing. When fed cattle are sold using the traditional live-weight pricing, the same prices are paid for all of the cattle in the lot regardless of carcass quality. Therefore, those animals that weigh the most bring the most money. The message this sends down the beef chain is to make the cattle heavier. With grid pricing, the value of the animal is determined by their individual carcass merit. This system sends strong signals to producers regarding the desires of the packers and consumers to improve carcass quality. A recent survey of cattle feeders located in Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa indicates that live-weight pricing is being replaced by grid pricing (Schroeder et al., 2002).

In 1996, 82% of fed cattle were marketed on a live-weight pricing system (traditional method) and only 16% were marketed through a grid. By 2001, 52% of the cattle were sold based on live-weight while 45% were sold on a grid. By 2006, grid based sales are expected to increase to nearly two-thirds of fed-cattle sales (Figure 1). Do you see the need and demand for greater carcass quality becoming the trend? Do not let your competition pass you by!
  Today with the use of ultrasound equipment, carcass measurements can be determined in live animals.

Not only is this technique non-destructive, using ultrasound is an accurate, fast, and inexpensive method to determine carcass merit in breeding animals. Casey Worrell with The Rancher’s Resource is certified by the Ultrasound Guidelines Council to submit images to every major breed association. Scanning your cattle for carcass traits is an extremely important part of performance testing. However, what you do with the ultrasound results is even more important. The Rancher’s Resource will not only scan your cattle, we will use the data to help you increase your profits.

We will work with you throughout the entire carcass ultrasound process, which includes:

  • Determine the optimum ultrasound scan date based on the animal’s age, breed association’s policy, and contemporary groups
  • Help in preparing the animal for the actual ultrasound measurement
  • Explain and interpret the processed ultrasound carcass data
  • Work with you to determine, implement, and reach carcass trait goals within your herd
  Call us today at 512-413-1610 to book your ultrasound!  

The Rancher's Resource • Casey and Erin Worrell

657 Blue Oak Trail • Harper, TX 78631
Cell: 512-413-1610
email: casey@theranchersresource.com
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