Summary and Implications
Real-time ultrasound can be used to make marketing decisions for fed cattle. Of primary importance are evaluations for intramuscular fat, subcutaneous fat, and live weight. This information can then be used to stratify cattle into marketing groups ranging from need/ready to sell immediately (i.e. too heavy, too fat, or already reached Choice grade) to not ready for market until after feeding for several additional days (i.e. 35 days).
Real-time ultrasound can also be used to identify cattle that are approaching the threshold of a higher quality grade. These cattle should benefit from additional days on feed, and should warrant further premiums in most market situations. Conversely, cattle that are near the upper end of the fat cover limit for a particular yield grade may move to the next higher yield grade with additional time on feed and be discounted.
Iowa State University
Tait, Richard G. Jr.; Rouse, Gene H.; Wall, P. B.; Busby, W. Darrell; and Maxwell, Dallas L.
"Real-time Ultrasound and Performance Measures to Assist in Feedlot Cattle Sorting for Marketing Decisions,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 650, ASL R1873.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol650/iss1/32