Final Calculated Yield Grade
Quantity of retail product is the amount of salable meat the carcass will yield. Two alternatives are suggested for evaluating differences in yield of salable meat:
• USDA Yield Grade (an estimate of the relative proportion of closely trimmed, boneless retail cuts from the round, loin, rib, and chuck), or • Total percentage of retail product based on closely trimmed (no more than 0.25 in. surface fat), mostly boneless cuts, and a standardized fat content (perhaps 20 %) for ground beef.
USDA Yield Grad
Yield grade is an indication of cutability which is expressed in whole numbers from one to five or in tenths of a grade. Expressing yield grade in tenths of a grade is desirable in making comparisons, although in retail marketing, decimals are dropped. Yield grades are calculated by the following formula:
Yield Grade = 2.50 + (2.5 × Adj. fat thickness, in.) + (0.2 × Kidney, pelvic, and heart fat, %) + (0.0038 × Hot carcass wt., lb.) – (0.32 × Ribeye area, sq. in.)
Adjusted fat thickness is an estimate of external fat, which is the most important factor in determining retail yield. It is measured at the 12th rib, perpendicular to the outside fat at a point three-fourths of the length of the ribeye muscle from the backbone. This measurement often is adjusted to reflect unusual fat distribution of the carcass. As external fat increases, the percentage of retail product decreases.
The estimated percentage of kidney, pelvic, and heart fat (KPH) estimates fat in the kidney knob, pelvic, and heart areas as a percentage of carcass weight. As KPH fat increases, the percentage of retail product from the carcass decreases.
Ribeye area is an indicator of muscling. The longissimus or ribeye muscle is measured at the 12th rib by using a grid or a ribeye tracing that is measured with a compensating polar planimeter or image analysis system. As the ribeye area increases, retail product yield increases.
Hot carcass weight is recorded as the carcass leaves the slaughter floor. Generally, as animals increase in weight, the percentage of the retail product decreases because of increased fat deposition.