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Economics of Increased Beef Grader Accuracy


  • Ibarburu, Maro A.
  • Lawrence, John D.
  • Busby, Darrell


Carcass data from more than 38,000 cattle was used to compare the called and measured yield grade in two different periods: before and after the slaughter plant incorporated another grader in the line to improve grading accuracy. The study shows that the graders accuracy significantly increased. The higher accuracy affected all yield grades, but most notably resulted in more called yield grade 4 and 5 carcasses. This analysis will develop insight of what will be the effect of instrument grading that will be more accurate than previously called grades.The results are expressed as the conditional distribution of the called yield grade for a given value of the measured yield grade. The pricing grid currently used by the industry was used to analyze the effect of the graders errors on the expected values of the premiums on both periods and by yield grade. The results show that the company has an incentive to improve accuracy of grading. Simulating the results of measured vs. called yield grade over prices at the time and a standard industry grid showed that the plant can benefit by $1.32 per head by increasing grading accuracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ibarburu, Maro A. & Lawrence, John D. & Busby, Darrell, 2007. "Economics of Increased Beef Grader Accuracy," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37558, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nccsci:37558
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.37558

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David A. Hennessy, 1996. "Information Asymmetry as a Reason for Food Industry Vertical Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1034-1043.
    2. Philippe Marcoul & John Lawrence, 2007. "Grader Bias in Cattle Markets? Evidence from Iowa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 890-903.
    3. James A. Chalfant & Richard J. Sexton, 2002. "Marketing Orders, Grading Errors, and Price Discrimination," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 53-66.
    4. Peter Bogetoft & Henrik Ballebye Olesen, 2003. "Incentives, Information Systems, and Competition," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 234-247.
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