The pricing mechanism often fails to allocate resources efficiently in production because price differentials for different grades of products at the consumer level are not accurately transmitted back to the producer.
Price differentials for different grades of meat cannot be maintained through the complex marketing system unless uniform grade standards are in general use.
Although official beef carcass grade standards have been specified by the United States Department of Agriculture, they have not been accepted by all concerned. Many reasons have been given for the failure of these grades to be accepted and used universally.
One major reason for their failure to be adopted is that they are subjective. There is no clear-cut set of objective specifications which divides the carcasses into homogeneous groups.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the possibility that the subjective terms which are now used could be described accurately by objective measurements of the carcasses.
The relationships between various measurements and grades were studied. The thickness of fat over the longissimus dorsi (eye) muscle was found to be most closely related to grade, with carcass length and carcass weight following in that order.
Clifton, E. S. and Shepherd, Geoffrey
"Objective grade specifications for slaughter steer carcasses,"
Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station): Vol. 31
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/researchbulletin/vol31/iss402/1