Agricultural Marketing Service
About AMS Newsroom Opportunity Online Forms Help Contact Us
 
 
Search AMS
   Browse by Subject
 
You are here: Home
 
 
Cattle Terminology  

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

A
Aged Cows that are over 8 years old.
   
B
Base Price Price paid for livestock before application of any premiums or discounts, expressed in dollars per hundred weight. [1]
Basis Level The agreed upon adjustment to a futures price to establish the final price paid for livestock.[1]
Boner Slaughter cows expected to yield carcasses in the range of 80-85% lean. Typically a cow with between .15-.35 inches of backfat at the 12th rib.
   
Brahman X Comment used to identify cattle that possess a noticeable degree of the Brahman breed influence, usually 1/4 blood or greater.
   
Breaker Slaughter cows expected to yield carcasses in the range of 75-80% lean. Typically a cow with more than .35 inch of backfat at the 12th rib.
   
Broken Mouth Aged cows that have one or more teeth missing.
   
Bull A mature (approximately 24 months of age or older) uncastrated, male bovine. However, for the purpose of these standards, any mature, castrated, male bovine which has developed or begun to develop the secondary physical characteristics of an uncastrated male also will be considered a bull.
   
Bullock A young (under approximately 24 months of age) male bovine (castrated or uncastrated) that has developed or begun to develop the secondary physical characteristics of a bull.
   
C

(Back to Top)

Calves Comment used to differentiate between calves and yearlings weighing over 600 lbs. even when similar weights and grades are selling at or near the same price level. The weight division between calves and yearlings for market reporting purposes is 600 pounds. No comment is required on calves weighing less than 600 pounds, but all calves weighing more than 600 pounds must be identified as calves.
   
Canadian Origin Used to identify cattle of Canadian origin on market reports.
   
Carcass Characteristics Range and average carcass weight in pounds, the quality and yield grade (if applicable), and the average dressing percentage.[1]
Cattle Committed Cattle that are scheduled to be delivered to the packer.[1]
Cattle Delivered Cattle that have been delivered to the packing plant for slaughter.[1]
Confidentiality Guideline In order for Livestock Mandatory reports to be published they must meet the 3/70/20 confidentiality guideline which states that in order for a report (regional or national) to be published, at least 3 companies have to submit data 50% of the time or more over a 60-day period. No one company can account for 70% or more of the cumulative market volume for any report over a 60-day period. In cases where only one company submits data for individual reports, the same company can not be the sole reporting entity more than 20% of the time during a 60-day period.
Cow A female bovine that has developed through reproduction or with age, the relatively prominent hips, large middle, and other physical characteristics typical of mature females.
   
CME Settlement Price Livestock products are settled to the midpoint of the trades or the last valid price in the pit (including trades, higher bids, lower offers, or nominal close based on prior settle if no activity) between 12:59:30-13:00:00 CT.
   
D
Delivered Price of a trade including freight overages.
   
Discount Adjustment, expressed in dollars per hundred weight, subtracted from the base price due to weight, quality characteristics, yield characteristics, livestock class, dark cutting, breed, dressing percentage, or other factors.[1]
F

(Back to Top)

Fancy Used to identify cattle on market reports that typically sell at a premium, cattle denoted with this comment possess superior genetics or other known factors that allow for a higher price to be paid.
   
Fleshy Typical fleshy feeder cattle are beginning to show moderate fat deposits in the cod, flanks, brisket, and around the tail head. The rib bones and hooks and pins in the pelvic region are barely visible if distinguishable at all. The animal has a smooth appearance including, the curvature over the loin. Feeder cattle fleshier than typical may have fat cover more associated with slaughter cattle and show indications of being on a silage and/or grain ration. Fleshy cattle often sell at a discount, due to the expected weight loss upon change of environment.
   
F.O.B. Free on board, regardless of the mode of transportation, at the point of direct shipment by the seller to the buyer (e.g. F.O.B Feedyard).[1]
Formula Marketing Arrangement Advance commitment of cattle for slaughter using a method for calculating price. For slaughter cattle the base price is not negotiated but is based on some other price (such as plant average or weighted average price) or value determining mechanism that may or may not be known at the time the deal is struck. The final net price is determined after application of premiums and discounts.[1]
Forward Contract An agreement for the purchase of cattle, executed in advance of slaughter, under which the base price is established by reference to prices quoted on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In regards to slaughter cattle, premiums and discounts may be applied to the forward contract base price in order to determine the final net price.[1]
Full Used to identify cattle on market reports that exhibit excessive fill (water/hay weight). Cattle have the appearance of disproportionally large mid-section (belly). Typically full cattle sell at a discount.
   
G
Gaunt Used to identify cattle on market reports that are emaciated (expressing the lack of fill). Typically gaunt cattle sell at a premium.
   
Guaranteed Open Comment used to identify heifers that are guaranteed open (not bred) by the seller.
   
H
Heifer A young female bovine that has not had her first calf.
   
Heiferette A female bovine, 2 ? years old or younger that exhibits cow characteristics, that has not had her first calf or recently lost her first calf.
   
I

(Back to Top)

Inferior Cattle which suffer from disease, parasitism, severe emaciation, or any condition that must be corrected before they can be expected to perform normally, are considered unthrifty and graded U.S. Inferior. Double-muscled cattle are also graded U.S. Inferior because they do not deposit marbling normally.
   
L
Lean Slaughter cows expected to yield carcasses in the range of 85+% lean. Typically a cow with less than .15 inch of backfat at the 12th rib.
   
Load Comment used for video auction and direct reporting to segregate sales that are full semi load lots.
   
M
Mexican Origin Used to identify cattle of Mexican origin on market reports.
   
N
Negotiated Cash or spot market purchase by a producer of livestock to a packer under which the price for the livestock is determined by seller-buyer interaction. The livestock are usually scheduled for delivery to the packer not more than 14 days after the date on which the livestock are committed to a packer. However for slaughter cattle, delivery can be extended up to 30 days.[1]
Negotiated Grid Agreement under which the base price for the livestock is determined by buyer-seller interaction. The livestock are usually scheduled for delivery within 14 days. The final net price will be determined after application of premiums and discounts to the net price.[1]
Net Price Price paid for livestock after application of any premiums or discounts, expressed in dollars per hundred weight.[1]
P
Packer Owned Cattle that a packer owns for at least 14 days immediately before slaughter.[1]
Per Head Comment used to denote cattle that were sold a per head basis, instead of being sold on a per cwt. basis. Per head basis selling usually occurs when quoting replacement or bred females.
   
R
Replacement Comment used to describe mature cows or heifers that are being purchased to be placed in a cow/calf operation.
   
S

(Back to Top)

Source Verified Term used to describe cattle that qualify for a Process Verified Program (PVP) or Quality System Assessment.
   
T
Thin Fleshed Typical thin feeder cattle are angular in appearance. Their rib bones and the hooks and pins in the pelvic region are plainly visible. There is also a definite ridge formed by the dorsal processes in the short loin region. Various regions of the body such as the round, loin, rib cage, shoulder, etc. are plainly visible, and the muscular nomenclature is easily distinguishable. There is no evidence of smoothness associated with fat deposits. Thin cattle have a loss of flesh to the point that they are showing signs of muscle loss. These cattle often sell at a premium, because of compensatory gain (the expected efficient and speedy weight gain experienced when these cattle are given a proper ration).
   
V
Vaccinated Term used to describe cattle that have received a known vaccination regiment, usually part of a total pre-conditioning program.
   
Value Added Used to identify cattle on market reports that typically sell at a premium, cattle denoted with this comment have a combination of several of following quantifiers: source and aged verified, all-natural, non-hormone treated, a known vaccination program, being weaned more than 30 days, or superior genetics.
   
W
Weaned Term used to describe feeders that have been weaned for an extended period of time (typically 30+ days). Feeders that are described as weaned typically bring a significant premium over those that are not weaned or that have been weaned for just a short time.
   
Y

(Back to Top)

Yearlings Yearlings are cattle that are 12 months of age. Market reporters usually do not know the exact age of the cattle and must rely on the physical appearance of the animal to determine the age or in the case of direct cattle the information provided by the contact. The weight division between calves and yearlings for market reporting purposes is 600 pounds. No comment is required on yearlings weighing more than 600 pounds, but all yearlings weighing less than 600 pounds must be identified as yearlings.
   
Young Replacement cows that are 4 years old or less that have had at least one calf.
   

 


    1.  LMR denotes definitions derived from Livestock Mandatory Reporting regulations, found in sections 59.30 and 59.100 of the Federal Register.


 
  Last Modified Date: 03/10/2011