The importance of U.S. beef exports to the U.S. cattle markets has been well-documented.
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Beef exports on a value basis set a record high in 2014, and so did beef byproducts. Beef byproducts are less glamorous, so their importance sometimes gets overlooked by cattle producers. However, the value of byproducts, sometimes referred to as “offal or drop value,” also plays an important role in cattle prices.
Beef byproducts include all edible and inedible items from harvested cattle that are not part of the dressed carcass. The hide is the most valuable byproduct and usually accounts for about one-half of the total byproduct value. Other beef byproducts include items such as tallow, livers, hearts, tongues, oxtails, tripe (stomach) and meat and bone meal.