Beef cattle nutrition and its effects on beef quality
Beef quality is often related to the amount of intramuscular fat or marbling deposited in the longissimus muscle as an indicator of consumer appeal and palatability and as a component of carcass value. The evaluation of nutrition and its effect on beef quality involves the nutrition of cattle throughout their lifetime. Beef cattle are raised in diverse production systems with diverse resources. Beef production in the United States can be divided into three major segments, the cow-calf, stocker/backgrounding and finishing phases. Around the globe, the cow-calf and stocker segments of the industry exist nutritionally on a forage base. The finishing segment will primarily utilize either a grass/ forage base, forage with supplemental nutrients from grain sources or energy-dense diets based on grains and grain by-products from other industries.