Beef Magazine is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Industry At A Glance: A-Stamp Qualification Rate

Article-Industry At A Glance: A-Stamp Qualification Rate

astamp quafication rate beef carcass
Cattle that qualify for USDA’s A-stamp are more likely to produce a higher-value carcass.

Several weeks ago, BEEF’s Industry-At-A-Glance featured some recent research regarding the use of camera-based technology to assess marbling score. That feature also included some discussion about the importance of USDA Quality Grade (QG) and its inherent relationship to consumer satisfaction.

That same research, which was commissioned by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, also reveals some interesting findings related to QG and the slaughter mix. Most notably, higher degrees of marbling are positively associated with USDA’s A-stamp qualification rate (USDA’s designation for cattle that are predominantly black in color). Specifically, the A-stamp rate for Traces, Slight, Small, Modest, Moderate, Slightly Abundant and Moderately Abundant marbling scores are 49, 55, 66, 71, 81, 84 and 92%, respectively. 

Stated another way, as marbling score (and corresponding QG) improves, there’s a greater probability the product is sourced from cattle that possess an A-stamp. Alternatively, cattle that qualify for the A-stamp are more likely to produce a higher-value carcass.

a-stamp beef carcass quality

Seemingly, that reality has also pervaded the perception among various sectors when asked about the definition and/or description of “genetics.”The most cited response among retailers, foodservice, packers and feeders in the National Beef Quality Audit, for instance, was “primarily black-hided.”

How do you perceive these findings and various USDA-certified programs upon consumer perceptions? What influence will that have upon beef marketing in the future? Will it play a bigger role in genetic and management decisions going forward, or do you think such demand will plateau because of market saturation? Leave your thoughts below. 


You might also like:

Smithfield Foods Sells To Chinese Hog Company

15 Best Photos Featuring Ranch Sweethearts

New FDA Guidance Will Alter Cattle Feed Additive Usage In Your Feedyard

Feeder Responds Positively To Tyson FarmCheck™ Audits

5 Feel-Good Stories About Beef This Week

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.