The Centralized Ultrasound Processing Lab   |  The Gold Standard
Scanning Info

Scanning Info

Centralized Ultrasound Processing "CUP®" Program

CUP currently works with twenty-six breed associations. The research has indicated that breeders can scan yearling bulls and heifers for carcass traits and have this information included for National Cattle Evaluation ultrasound EPDs. Ultrasound EPDs are equivalent to carcass EPDs.

Breeder Participation

  • Breeders should request barnsheets from their respective breed association. If the breeder's association does not print barnsheets then a generic CUP barnsheet can be requested for submission of animal information. The generic CUP barnsheet is often used for unregistered animals. Barnsheets must be completely filled out by the breeder and submitted to the CUP Lab with the ultrasound images.  
  • To increase image quality, we suggest all animals are scanned in a squeeze chute and have the hair clipped to 1/2 inch or less in the scanning area.
  • Typical processing time for data is two (2) business days, unless you use a qualifying Next Day Program technician.  All breeders who use Next Day Program technicians are guaranteed all ultrasound data to be reported the next day.

Processing Fees

Beef:
Association Data: $5.25/head
Commercial Adjusted Data: $5.25/head
Commercial Actual Data: $4.25/head
Research Data: $3.75/head

Sheep:
Commercial Data: $2.75/head

Goats:
Commercial Data: $2.75/head

Hogs:
Commercial Data: $2.75/head

Rush Fee:
Same Day Data: $10.00/head (no discounts apply)

Discounts to be Applied:
Cash or check: -$0.25/head
UICS Barnsheets OR weights completed: -$0.20/head (beef only)

What the Breeder Receives

After the images are interpreted, the measurements are reported to the appropriate breed association(s) for processing. Ultrasound record processing follows the same format used for weight traits within performance programs. Breeders receive the ultrasound measurements (adjustments and contemporary group ratios) as a part of the program.

Beef ultrasound measurements collected for each animal include:

  • Rump fat thickness
  • 12-13th rib fat thickness
  • Ribeye area
  • Percentage intramuscular fat (marbling)

Sheep, Swine, and Goat ultrasound measurements collected for each animal include:

  • Loin eye area
  • Loin depth
  • 12-13th rib fat thickness

Scanning Guidelines

Yearling bulls

  • Scanning- Review the acceptable age ranges according to breed and schedule your bulls to be scanned with a certified ultrasound technician.  
    Please note: All bulls within a contemporary group are to be scanned on the same day or no more than three consecutive days.
  • Weights- Record individual bull weights within seven (7) days of the scanning date. Weights should be taken in the morning prior to feeding. Although preferred, but not required, hold the bulls off both feed and water overnight. This weight is the prediction of empty-body weight, gut fill should be minimized. The weights are recorded on the Chute Order Recording Form and given to the ultrasound technician for submission to The CUP Lab, along with the ultrasound images.
  • Gain- The best measure of a bull's propensity for marbling and muscle expression is when the bull is being fed to gain at least three pounds per day.  Additionally, these tendencies will best be expressed at the end or near the end, of a post-weaning gain test.
  • Contemporary Groups- Contemporaries must be from the same weaning contemporary groups. 
  • Central Bull Tests- Yearling bulls that are sent to a central test can be included in the ultrasound EPD program. A breeder's bulls will be evaluated as a contemporary group consistent with the weaning contemporary group of the same bulls.  Central test barnsheets must be requested by the test station manager and submitted to the CUP Lab with the ultrasound images.

Developing Heifers

  • Scanning- Review the acceptable age ranges according to breed and schedule your heifers to be scanned with a certified ultrasound technician.  
    Please noteAll heifers within a contemporary group are to be scanned on the same day or no more than three consecutive days.
  • Weights- Record individual heifer weights within seven (7) days of the scanning date. Weights should be taken in the morning prior to feeding. Although preferred, but not required, hold the heifers off both feed and water overnight. This weight is the prediction of empty-body weight, gut fill should be minimized. The weights are recorded on the Chute Order Recording Form and given to the ultrasound technician for submission to The CUP Lab along with the ultrasound images.
  • Contemporary Group- Contemporaries must be from the same weaning contemporary group.

Feedlot Steers and Heifers

  • Scans- Feedlot animals should be scanned when the contemporary group averages 0.3 - 0.4 inches of external fat or just prior to slaughter.  
    Please noteAll animals within a contemporary group are to be scanned on the same day or no more than three consecutive days.

  • Weights- Record individual animal weights within seven (7) days of the scanning date. Weights should be taken in the morning prior to feeding. Although preferred, but not required, hold the animals off both feed and water overnight. This weight is the prediction of empty-body weight, gut fill should be minimized. The weights are recorded on the Chute Order Recording Form and given to the ultrasound technician for submission to The CUP Lab along with the ultrasound images.
  • Contemporary Group- Contemporaries must be from the same weaning contemporary group. 
  • Identification- Each feedlot animal must be individually identified and produced by a registered Angus sire. The dam does not have to be registered. Birth dates are required for each feedlot animal.

Helpful Hints

  1. If there are two scanning technicians there will have to be two contemporary groups.
  2. A large group of cattle can be scanned on three consecutive day sand still remain in the same contemporary group.
  3. Animals must be weighed within seven days of scanning.  It could be seven days before or after the scan date.
  4. A few breed associations offer an electronic barnsheet format.  This format allows you to download and type directly into the excel file eliminating the need for a paper copy.  Simply email the completed excel file to cuplab@cuplab.com.
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