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Judging Market Steers. Principals of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Made By: Michael Baca Edited By: Charolette Atkinson. Objectives . Identifying market steer techniques. . Slide 1. Steps to Judging Market Steers.

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Judging Market Steers

Principals of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Made By: Michael Baca

Edited By: Charolette Atkinson

  • Identifying market steer techniques.


steps to judging market steers

Slide 1

Steps to Judging Market Steers

1. Evaluate steers from the ground up and from the rump (rear) forward

2. Rank the traits for their importance

3. Evaluate the most important traits first

4. Eliminate any easy placing in the class

5. Place the class based on the volume of the important traits

ranking of traits for market steers

Slide 2

Ranking of Traits for Market Steers

1. Degree of muscling

2. Degree of finish (fat cover)

3. Growth capacity

4. Soundness and structural correctness

5. Balance

6. Frame size

evaluating degree of muscling

Slide 4

Evaluating Degree of Muscling

Degree of muscling in steers is best determined by evaluating:

1. Thickness through the center of quarter

2. Width between rear feet when steer stands and(or) walks

3. Shape over the top (butterfly shape desired)

evaluating degree of muscling1

Slide 5

Evaluating Degree of Muscling

Thin Muscle

Average Muscle

Thick Muscle

Super Thick



Very good


Very narrow width



evaluating degree of finish

Slide 6

Evaluating Degree of Finish

Areas to consider when evaluating degree of finish include:

1. Top line

2. Underline

3. Body depth

4. Brisket

5. Tailhead

6. Udder or cod

7. Shoulder

8. Over the ribs

evaluating degree of finish1

Slide 7

Evaluating Degree of Finish

Smooth over top

Fat tailhead

Miss Fatty

950 lbs

0.8 inches backfat

Choice 50

4.0 yield grade

Udder fat

Loose underline

Full brisket

evaluating degree of finish2

Slide 8

Evaluating Degree of Finish

Trim tailhead

Clean over ribs

Mister Muscle

$ 1,250 lbs

$ 0.2 inches backfat

$ 1.6 yield grade

$ Standard quality grade






Tight, clean underline

Shallow rear flank

Empty cod

evaluating degree of finish3

Slide 9

Evaluating Degree of Finish

Nice brisket

Too trim

Full brisket (near ideal)

Empty brisket (lacks finish)

evaluating degree of finish4

Slide 10

Evaluating Degree of Finish


Near ideal

Cod fat

Tailhead fat

evaluating growth capacity

Slide 11

Evaluating Growth Capacity

Market steers with high growth capacity will be:

1. Wide through the chest

2. Wide between feet when walking or standing

3. Uniform in their body depth

4. Open through the ribs

5. Long bodied

evaluating growth capacity1

Slide 12

Evaluating Growth Capacity

Good growth capacity

Open rib shape

Uniform body depth



Long bodied

Wide walking

evaluating soundness and structural correctness

Slide 13

Evaluating Soundness andStructural Correctness

Sound and structurally correct animals will have:

1. Flexible, clean, flat joints

2. Long powerful stride

3. Strong pasterns

4. Good set to hocks and knees

5. Big feet that sit flat on the ground

6. Long, straight top line

7. Long, level rumps

evaluating soundness and structural correctness1

Slide 14

Evaluating Soundness andStructural Correctness

Good set

to hock

Sound and structurally correct

Good set

to knee

Strong pastern

Strong pastern

Big, square feet

evaluating soundness and structural correctness2

Slide 15

Evaluating Soundness andStructural Correctness

Poor structure

Short, steep rump

Weak top

Long, straight top line

Good structure

Long, level rump

evaluating balance

Slide 16

Evaluating Balance
  • Balance refers to market steers having the correct portions of width, depth, and length
  • Width, depth, and length should be in equal proportions that blend together
evaluating balance1

Slide 17

Evaluating Balance


Too short

Too light in hindquarters

Heavy fronted

Too shallow in rear flank

evaluating balance2

Slide 18

Evaluating Balance






Smooth shoulder

evaluating balance3

Slide 19

Evaluating Balance

Well Balanced Steer

All the parts (width, depth, and length) fit together nicely

evaluating frame size

Slide 20

Evaluating Frame Size
  • The optimum steer for today’s market should be medium framed and finish at about 1,200 lbs
  • Large framed steers will get too big before developing adequate finish
  • Small framed steers will be early maturing and get too fat before they reach optimum weight
evaluating frame size1

Slide 21

Evaluating Frame Size

I’m too big

1,400 lb large framed steer with no finish

evaluating frame size2

Slide 22

Evaluating Frame Size

I’m too small

900 lb small framed steer with too much fat

evaluating frame size3

Slide 23

Evaluating Frame Size

0.4 Backfat $ 13.5 in2 Ribeye $ Low choice quality grade $ 2.8 Yield grade

I’m just right

1,250 lb medium framed steer with proper finish


Slide 25





Placings By Traits

Official Placing: 2 - 4 - 3 - 1

Cuts: 3 - 5 - 6

Muscle: 2-4-3-1

Finish: 2-1-4-3

Capacity: 2-4-3-1

Structure: 4-3-2-1

Balance: 4-2-3-1

Frame: 2-4-1-3


Slide 27





Placings By Traits

Official Placing: 4 - 1 - 2 - 3

Cuts: 4 - 3 - 6

Muscle: 2-4-1-3

Finish: 1-4-2-3

Capacity: 4-1-2-3

Structure: 4-1-2-3

Balance: 2-4-1-3

review objectives
Review Objectives
  • Identifying market steer techniques