Estimates of subprimal yields from beef carcasses as affected by USDA grades, subcutaneous fat trim level, and carcass sex class and type. Academic Article uri icon


  • One hundred beef carcasses were selected to represent the mix of cattle slaughtered across the United States. Selection criteria included breed type (60% British/continental European, 20% Bos indicus, and 20% dairy carcasses), sex class (beef and Bos indicus: 67% steers, 33% heifers; dairy: 100% steers), USDA quality grade (4% Prime, 53% Choice, and 43% Select), USDA yield grade (10% YG 1, 43% YG 2, 40% YG 3, and 7% YG 4), and carcass weight (steers: 272.2 to 385.6 kg, heifers: 226.8 to 340.2 kg). One side of each carcass was fabricated into boneless subprimals and minor cuts following Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications. After fabrication, subprimals were trimmed progressively of fat in .64-cm increments beginning with a maximum of 2.54 cm and ending with .64 cm. Linear regression models were developed for each individual cut, including fabrication byproduct items (bone, fat trim) to estimate the percentage yield of those cuts reported by USDA Market News. Strip loin, top sirloin butt, and gooseneck rounds from heifers tended to have a higher percentage yield at the same USDA yield grade than the same cuts from steers, possibly resulting from increased fat deposition on heifers. Percentage of fat trimmed from dairy steers was 2 to 3% lower than that from other sex-class/carcass types; however, due to increased percentage of bone and less muscle, dairy steers were lower-yielding. Fat trimmed from carcasses ranged from 7.9 to 15.6% as the maximum trim level decreased from 2.54 to .64 cm.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Griffin, D. B., Savell, J. W., Morgan, J. B., Garrett, R. P., & Cross, H. R.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Griffin, DB||Savell, JW||Morgan, JB||Garrett, RP||Cross, HR

publication date

  • August 1992