Cattlemen's group want to ensure quality grades in cattle

US - A gradual trend of declining marbling levels in beef has become more dramatic in the past 18 months, and a session during the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association Convention will delve into why and what can be done about it.
calendar icon 6 March 2007
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“Marbling, because of its relationship to flavor in beef, is very important,” said Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef. “Unfortunately, we've seen a decline in marbling levels over the past 25 years, which has been particularly accentuated in the last 18 months.”

While the exact cause for the decline in marbling and quality is unknown, there are a number of changes in the cattle industry that could be contributing factors.

One is an increase in the incidence of health problems at the feedlot level. “When health problems occur, quality grades are dramatically impacted,” Corah said. The increased use of ethanol byproducts, which are low in starch, could also be playing a role.

Another possibility could be the restructuring of the feed industry toward larger feedlots. “Our data shows that larger feedlots, for a variety of reasons, have lower quality than smaller feeder types,” Corah said.

Source: The Prairie Star
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