CPEC Ultrasound

Backfat and Marbling Presentation

 

 

 

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CPEC Ultrasound

These ultrasound images with overlays show backfat and marbling measurements using the computer processing procedures that were developed by Professor Brethour. Note the differences in the image patterns. This image on the left is chunkier and the marbling score is lower (Select grade).

CPEC Ultrasound

The smooth, gray pattern in the right image results from backscatter representing interaction of the sound beam with marbling in the tissue and is typical of an image from an animal that grades Choice.

CPEC Ultrasound

This chart shows an interpretation of the model for marbling changes showing how an animal that is Low Select takes 114 days to reach Choice and an animal that is Low Choice reaches Average Choice in 70 more days and Prime in 167 days.

CPEC Ultrasound

This chart shows the progression of marbling among different types of cattle. Differences in quality grade at slaughter reflect genetic differences among animals when they are started on feed.

CPEC Ultrasound

Backfat increases at an exponential rate and doubles about every 70 days. Small differences at the beginning of the feeding period become large at slaughter. An animal with only 0.1 inch backfat initially should still be a Yield Grade #2 in 140 days while a cohort with 0.2 inch at the start of the feeding period might grade Yield Grade #4 after the same number of days on feed.

CPEC Ultrasound

A comparison of the rates of change in backfat and marbling shows that it is usually poor strategy to delay marketing in order to increase the proportion grading Choice.

CPEC Ultrasound

Backfat thickness increases at an exponential rate in feedlot cattle. (As cattle get fatter, the rate of increase becomes faster).

CPEC Ultrasound

Marbling increases in a different manner than backfat and fits what is known as a "power function." This means that animals with low amounts of marbling increase very slowly while those with moderate amounts will increase more rapidly.

CPEC Ultrasound

The CPEC system interfaces computer intelligence which interprets the ultrasound image, to an expert system that synthesizes information into a profitability model that estimates the optimal number of days to feed an individual animal. The curve on this chart shows the relative profitability as a function of more days-on-feed.

CPEC Ultrasound

In this example the curve peaks at 91 days. This is a probabilistic model and the Choice and Yield Grade #4 markers indicate the days when the probability of being a Choice and Yield Grade #4, respectively becomes 50%.

CPEC Ultrasound

These graphs show that marketing a pen of cattle on one day is inefficient and does not maximize carcass quality or profitability. Each animal has an optimal slaughter day and those optimal days are distributed so that there is typically at least a hundred day interval from when the first should be slaughtered until the last.

CPEC Ultrasound

This chart shows that 32% of cattle are more than 25 days beyond optimum when the entire pen is marketed on one day.

CPEC Ultrasound

The outliers are those who have been kept on feed too long and have become inefficient therefore incurring discounts for being too fat or over weight. Cattle sold too early have not reached their quality grade nor weight potential.

CPEC Ultrasound

A 3-way sort seems more efficient than a 2-way sort because it nearly eliminates outliers and also leaves the middle group intact.

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