A total of 1,033 head of steers competing in the Iowa State Fair Beef of Merit class from 1975 through 2000 were summarized. Those grading low Choice and higher averaged 55.4 percent, and the average yield grade was 2.44. Due to rule changes over time the quality grade and cutability shifted. In recent years with the emphasis placed on acceptable quality grade and carcass weight, the BOM cattle have improved dramatically in the percent grading Prime and upper Choice. However, with this change has been a reduction in the percent of cattle making yield grade 1 and 2. Growth rate increased through the late 1980s, but has remained static since that time.
Iowa State University
Strohbehn, Daryl, "A Historical Review of the 4-H Beef of Merit Carcass Contest at the Iowa State Fair" (2002). Beef Research Report, 2001. Paper 26.