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Ag Department Announces Beef Grading Changes

The Department of Agriculture says it is taking another look at how it grades carcass beef.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced that dental study documentation of actual age will now be used as an additional method for classifying maturity of carcasses.

The move is getting praise from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, its President Craig Uden says the updates to the beef standards will improve accuracy by basing carcass quality grades on the most current scientific data available.

Before this change, some cattle could incorrectly be deemed ineligible for USDA quality grades because of limitations in age assessment.

Cattle industry groups says those errors cost nearly $60 million annually.