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One hundred sixty medium-framed English-cross steers were used in each year of a two-year study to determine effects of three sorting strategies on performance, carcass characteristics and profitability in an extensive beef production system. Sorting by weight before the grazing period or entering the feedlot decreased variation in carcass weight. Sorting by weight before the grazing period increased marbling scores and resulted in significantly higher premiums. However, no sorting strategy significantly increased carcass weight or improved profitability.