Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2012 Beef Cattle Report (2012) p. 110-111. Copyright © 2012 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Four years of data from calf-fed steers were utilized in determining factors that affect profitability of cattle marketed at an optimum endpoint. Profitability was evaluated on a live weight basis assuming $112/cwt selling price and $180/cwt dressed price. Profit was compared as corn price and Choice-Select spread increased. Overall, carcass weight was the dominant factor in determining profitability. However, at $7 corn, feed efficiency had the most influence on profit. As expected, yield grade decreased and marbling score increased in importance as Choice- Select spread increased. Under these scenarios, profitability was greatly affected by hot carcass weight, with efficiency being the most important at higher corn prices.