Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2000


Published in Nebraska Beef Cattle Report 2000, published by Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.\


Data from 534 cattle serially slaughtered indicate percentages of carcasses grading Choice increased 30 + 2.4 percentage units for each .1 in increase in rib fat. Marbling score increased 75 units (200 = Slight00) for each .1 in increase in fat. If cattle are fed to a common rib fat endpoint, and within the ranges of winter (.51-1.35 lb/day) and summer gains (1.26-1.85 lb/day) studied, we conclude backgrounding program has little or no effect on marbling or carcass quality grade. Also, systems that increase age of cattle will reduce tenderness, but if meat is cooked properly, risk of tough steaks is small.