The National Average is currently 5% Prime/70% Choice
Beef Quality Grades (USDA Prime, USDA Choice, USDA Select)
A quality grade is a composite evaluation of factors that affect palatability of meat (tenderness, juiciness, and flavor). These factors include carcass maturity, firmness, texture, and color of lean, and the amount and distribution of marbling within the lean. Beef carcass quality grading is based on (1) degree of marbling and (2) degree of maturity.
Marbling (intramuscular fat) is the intermingling or dispersion of fat within the lean. Graders evaluate the amount and distribution of marbling in the ribeye muscle at the cut surface after the carcass has been ribbed between the 12th and 13th ribs. Degree of marbling is the primary determination of quality grade.
Maturity refers to the physiological age of the animal rather than the chronological age. Because the chronological age is virtually never known, physiological maturity is used; and the indicators are bone characteristics, ossification of cartilage, color and texture of ribeye muscle. Cartilage becomes bone, lean color darkens and texture becomes coarser with increasing age. Cartilage and bone maturity receives more emphasis because lean color and texture can be affected by other postmortem factors.
Beef Yield Grades
In beef, yield grades estimate the amount of boneless, closely trimmed retail cuts from the high-value parts of the carcass–the round, loin, rib, and chuck. However, they also show differences in the total yield of retail cuts. We expect a YG 1 carcass to have the highest percentage of boneless, closely trimmed retail cuts, or higher cutability, while a YG 5 carcass would have the lowest percentage of boneless, closely trimmed retail cuts, or the lowest cutability. The USDA Yield Grades are rated numerically and are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Yield Grade 1 denotes the highest yielding carcass and Yield Grade 5, the lowest.
The above data was collected outside of our cow herd, but reflective of our 6A493 bull, Hiro. In order to receive additional data we would have to sell our calves and that will take away from our current customers. So...we will use this as baseline information until we are in a position that exceeds our customer needs and allows more carcass data to be collected. We hope you find this information helpful.