In 2014, prior to our production sale we felt that we had enough data to publish the results of our ongoing study, which we called the  2014 Lone Mountain Sire Performance Study. That study was based on images capture from 148 carcasses. Utilizing Dr. Kuchida’s software – the same software used by the Japan Meat Grading Association (JMGA), we ranked by Marbling percentage (IMF%), the sires and dam sires that we had used to produce the steers and a few heifers. We also ranked the sires as graded by the USDA graders at the abattoir in Omaha – and by Ribeye Area (REA) and Carcass Weight. 

It was a start. Now after five years, we are proud to publish the continuation of that study with a few changes. First, and foremost, we have more than quintupled the number of carcasses studied closing in on 1,000 – each analyzed by Dr. Keigo Kuchida’s carcass camera and software – adding significantly to the level of accuracy. In addition, we have tested almost 90 different Sires and 90 different dam sires. We hope that the data provided by our rigorous data collection proves helpful to our fellow breeders in bringing the best of this breed to bear. 

WKS Yasufuku Jr and WKS Kitaguni Jr occupied the two top spots for IMF% as both Sire and Dam Sire in 2017. Those two sires simply outperformed all other sires. As mentioned in 2017, “Most interesting about Yasufuku Jr’s numbers is that as a sire, it does not seem to matter the dam sire – Sanjirou, Toshiro, Kitaguni etc: across the board he seemed to boost the marbling by a large margin. But, when Yasufuku Jr is analyzed as dam sire, it is a different story – the vast majority was sired by  WKS Kitaguni Jr….”  

Regarding Kitaguni Jr, “Contrary to Yasufuku’s details noted above – it does not seem to matter when looking at Sire results, it does not matter who his is bred to nor does it matter who the sire is when looking at the Dam Sire results – he brings it in both cases! 

Fast forward to 2019, where no less than 8 LMR-bred sires outperform those two foundation bulls – even though Kitaguni Jr has sired 87 imaged offspring and Yasufuku Jr another 60. Both sires, it should be noted, are still the top 2 Dam Sires for IMF% – and have been since 2014. 

The top-ranked sire for marbling, LMR Kitaguni 1441Y is a full brother to the #9 sire, LMR Koichi 1409Y, and both are the result of a Kitaguni x Yasufuku mating. And both the #2 and #7 marbling sires, LMR Daisuke 2470Z and LMR Mitsuru 2450Z are also sired by Kitaguni Jr both with dams descending from Michifuku. The bull holding the #3 spot is sired by Shigeshigetani out of a dam by Kitaguni Jr. Holding the Number 4 position, LMR Yasumasa 2428Z, is a Yasufuku Jr son out of a dam by Kitaguni Jr. 

Admittedly, the numbers of harvested steers and heifers are low so far, ranging from 4 to 18, but it should be pointed out that when the 2014 LMCC Sire Performance Study was published both Kitaguni Jr and Yasufuku Jr were at the top with only 9 imaged carcasses apiece. 

The Fineness Ranking, introduced in 2017, is a very important trait to watch when raising Wagyu for beef – coarse marbling is not what you want to see in the ribeye. The top ranked sire in 2017 was LMR Akahige 8199U – with  LMR Yojimbo ranked fourth. Changed is reflected in the current study with LMR Sensei 817T taking over the top slot following closely behind is LMR Kitaguni 1441Y and two Shogo Takeda bulls. 

At Lone Mountain we are paying close attention to the REA (shown as in2), where the influence of WKS Shigeshigetani and WKS Sanjirou are felt, as this important in the beef trade. 

Of interest, as well, is the ranking of sires by the USDA Grade – and we see quite a divergence of animals when ranked by the subjective USDA Grading. All the more important to recognize the importance of actual, objective imaged carcass data as calculated by computer software. Note that Kitaguni Jr carcasses were graded by the USDA and is ranked 19th of the 20 sires. 

We have included the Standard Deviation (STDEV) in both the IMF% and Fineness Ranking tables. STDEV is the average deviation from the mean. The higher the standard deviation number, the more divergent the results are and thus, to an extent, less meaningful. A low STDEV makes for a consistent outcome. 

This study is the sole property of Lone Mountain Cattle Company. Any reproduction of the data should be attributed appropriately. 

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Sires & Dam Sires Ranked by IMF%

Intramuscular Fat Percentage (IMF%) is the amount of marbling in the ribeye as a percentage of total meat surface area, as measured objectively by Dr. Kuchida’s Carcass Camera. Standard Deviation (STDEV) indicates the amount to which the samples deviate from the average IMF% – thus, a smaller STDEV indicates the IMF% of samples of a sire are closer to that average IMF%. Sires with 5 or fewer samples are omitted.

 

IMF% Sire Rankings 2019

Current SIRE rankings at Lone Mountain Cattle for Carcass Quality Assessment (Intramuscular fat (IMF%) calculated with the Japanese Carcass Imaging Camera)

IMF% Dam Sire Rankings 2019

Current DAM SIRE rankings at Lone Mountain Cattle for Carcass Quality Assessment (Intramuscular fat (IMF%) calculated with the Japanese Carcass Imaging Camera)

Sires & Dam Sires Ranked by Marble Fineness

Marble Fineness EBV (Marbling Fineness Index) is an estimate of the genetic difference in the Marbling Fineness Index (degree of fineness of marbling fat) as measured by the Japanese digital image camera. Sires with higher EBVs are expected to produce progeny with higher levels of marbling fineness.

Not only does the camera identify traits that hold economic importance, it also measures traits such as fineness / coarseness of marbling that can influence greatly the value of the carcass which is depicted below in the two images.

 

 

The focus of this trait has been of particular interest to the Japanese and is now increasingly being identified as animportant characteristic to those countries producing Wagyu outside Japan. We here at Lone Mountain evaluate and assess the Fineness Values of our genetics in our breeding program and whole heartily believe the eating quality attributes (texture, flavor, juiciness and palatability) of Wagyu beef is highly correlated. As such, we incorporate both the raw and the calculated observations in our carcass assessment.

Below is a table of our slaughter data illustrating the phenotypic or “raw” fineness value (as determined by the Beef Analyzer II software) of the Sires used in the Lone Mountain meat program.

Marble Fineness Sire Rankings 2019

Current SIRE rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program for Marble Fineness (MF).

Marble Fineness Sire Rankings 2019

Current DAM SIRE rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program for Marble Fineness

Sires & Dam Sires Ranked by Ribeye Area (REA) by Square Inches

Affixed by USDA reps at the time of fabrication, Ribeye Eye Muscle Area (REA) is a measure of ribeye size, and thus, the greater the REA, the greater the yield of meat.

REA Sire Rankings 2019

Current SIRE Rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program by REA

REA Dam Sire Rankings 2019

Current DAM SIRE Rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program by REA

Sires & Dam Sires Ranked by USDA Grade

Affixed by USDA reps at the time of fabrication, USDA (marbling) Grading Scores range from SM (Small) to VAB (Very Abundant), with ranges in each quality from 0-100 The full breakdown of potential USDA Scores follows, and for purposes of averaging, we have transposed these USDA scores to numbers.

 

USDA Sire Rankings 2019

Current SIRE rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program by USDA Grade

USDA Dam Sire Rankings 2019

Current DAM SIRE rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program by USDA Grade

Sires & Dam Sires Ranked by Carcass Weight – CWT

Carcass Weight EBV (kg) estimates the genetic difference in a standard AUS-MEAT carcass weight at an age of 750 days. This is an AGBU adjusted Days of Age value that allows animals to be compared on a “level playing field”. More positive EBVs indicate heavier carcass at a given age.

2019 CWT Sires

Current DAM SIRE rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program by Carcass Weight.

2019 CWT Dam Sires

Current DAM SIRE rankings in the Lone Mountain Meat program by Carcass Weight.

2017 Performance Data Archive