NBQA: Carcass sizes continue to increase
Canadian steer carcasses are 125lbs heaver than in the previous NBQA audit.
The 2016/2017 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) completed a carcass grade cooler audit to assess marbling and lean meat yield.
Since the previous audit in 2010/2011, the number of Canadian cattle grading AAA significantly increased which has supported the growth of branded beef programs in retail and the restaurant sector.
Yield grade performance has decreased over the same time period. Due to the increase in fat cover, fewer cattle are meeting the yield class 1 designation. In fed cattle, the cost to industry from discounts on yield grades has increased from $12.57/head or $32 million in 2010/11 to $12.81/head or $33 million in 2016/17.
The average steer carcass rate has increased from 857 lbs in 2010/2011 to 982 lbs in 2017. Larger carcass sizes present challenges because larger muscle sizes require steaks to be cut thinner to fit portion sizes on restaurant menus. Since 1975, carcasses have increased 7 lbs annually.
Read more on carcass grading from the NBQA audit from the Beef Cattle Research Council here.
- Beef Quality Audits overview
- National Beef Quality Audit – 2016/17 Plant Carcass Audit
- National Beef Quality Audit – Benchmarking Progress
- National Beef Quality Audit – 2014-18 Retail Beef Satisfaction
- Watch full video series