As producers are faced with the challenge of improving the consistency of beef, they are turning more and more to the use of today's technologies. Real-time ultrasound offers producers a means to determine end-product merit of live yearling bulls and developing heifers.
Relative to progeny testing and carcass data collection, ultrasound is a less expensive and more efficient means of evaluating carcass traits in breeding seedstock. The traits measured are rump fat, ribeye area, fat thickness between the 12th and 13th ribs, and percentage of intramuscular fat (marbling).
These traits are collected by a Annual Proficiency and Testing Certification (APTC) certified technician and the images are then sent to the APTC certified lab where they are interpreted and cross-checked by a certified lab technician. After the collection and interpretation process, the data is electronically sent to the RAAA National office where adjustments and ratios are calculated.
Overall, ultrasound is a great method for seedstock producers to achieve a fast and objective prediction on the composition of their herd, while improving the accuracies of their carcass EPDs.