Factors affecting carcass value and profitability in early-weaned Simmental steers: I. Five-year average pricing

N. A. Pyatt, L. L. Berger, Dan B Faulkner, P. M. Walker, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas

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17 Scopus citations


In a 4-yr study, early-weaned Simmental steers (n = 192) of known genetics were individually fed to determine genetic, performance, and carcass factors explaining variation in carcass value and profitability. Steers were weaned at 88.0 ± 1.1 d of age and pen-fed a high-concentrate diet ($108.99/t) for 84.5 ± 0.4 d before allotment. Calves were implanted with Synovex C at weaning and successively with Synovex S (Fort Dodge Animal Health, Fort Dodge, IA) and Revalor S (Intervet, Inc., Millsboro, DE). Steers consumed a 90% concentrate diet ($98.93/t), consisting primarily of coarse cracked corn and corn silage, for 249.7 ± 0.7 d and slaughtered at 423.3 ± 1.4 d of age. Five-year price data were collected for feedstuffs, dressed beef, and grid premiums, and discounts. Average dressed beef price was $110.67/45.4 kg. Premiums ($/45.4 kg) were given for Prime ($5.62), Average Choice ($1.50), and yield grades (YG) 1 ($2.46), 2A ($1.31), and 2B ($1.11). Discounts ($/45.4 kg) were given for Standard (-$16.85), Select (-$8.90), and YG 3A (-$0.12), 3B (-$0.19), 4 (-$14.16), and 5 (-$19.56). Discounts were given for HCW extremes as well (409 to 431 kg, -$0.64; 432 to 454 kg -$11.39; >454 kg, -$19.71). Input costs included annual cow costs ($327.77), veterinary/medical and labor ($35 per animal), feed markup ($22/t), yardage ($0.25/d per animal), and interest (10%). Dependent variables were carcass value and profit per steer. Independent variables were year, weaning weight EPD, yearling weight EPD, marbling EPD, DMI, ADG, G:F, HCW, calculated YG, and marbling score (MS). Carcass value was correlated (P < 0.05) with yearling weight and marbling EPD, DMI, ADG, feed efficiency, HCW, and MS. Carcass weight, MS, and YG accounted for nearly 80% of the variation in carcass value among steers, explaining 51, 10, and 8%, respectively. Profit was correlated (P < 0.05) with DMI, ADG, feed efficiency, HCW, and MS. Carcass weight, MS, YG, and DMI accounted for nearly 78% of the variation in profit among steers, explaining 21, 18, 12, and 3%, respectively. Carcass weight was the most critical factor contributing to carcass value, whereas BW and carcass quality were the primary factors affecting steer profitability. These models represent the relative importance of factors contributing to value and profitability in early-weaned Simmental steers based on historical pricing scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2918-2925
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Carcass Value
  • Feedlot Cattle
  • Market Factor
  • Profitability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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