Quality over Quantity
We see choice/select spreads on fed cattle reach above the $20 range and prime/select spreads over $40; for an 800lb carcass, that is upwards of $160 and $320 per carcass, respectively. The United States has established itself as a high-quality beef market, and that is not changing any time soon. The challenge is achieving those quality premiums without giving up yield, which is where high marbling Charolais cattle come in. You get to have your cake and eat it too, with cattle that both grade and yield.
As we see cow size increase across the country, there is lots of research going on that suggests no matter how much more growth we put in our cows, we have maxed out weaning weight because of our limited resources. For example, if we have 300 acres and can keep 100 cows on the resources provided of those 300 acres. I can then wean 100 calves at 600 lbs or 60,000 lbs of calves. Research suggests that if we increase the size or growth genetics of those cows we likely will not increase their output (60,000 lbs of calves) without increasing their inputs. If our inputs are fixed at 300 acres, weaning weights will not rise unless we buy more land or feed.