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Abstract

Beef tenderness is critical in consumer satisfaction with beef steak products. Current fed cattle valuation systems do not differentiate carcasses based upon tenderness variation. However, considerable research indicates consumers are willing to pay more for tender relative to tough beef steak. This article develops a tenderness-augmentation to current fed cattle grid pricing systems. Using a large set of actual carcasses, we determine that a tenderness-augmented price grid would reorder fed cattle value by on average nearly $5.00/cwt dressed relative to current valuation methods. Substantial opportunity is present to improve beef tenderness through new price signals to producers.

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