Ultrasound evaluation has advanced from the early equipment, which was bulky and had limited performance, to portable ultrasound units with portable computers and sophisticated software capable of making rapid and accurate evaluations of live animals and carcasses. Currently, this technology is being used in commercial feedlots to determine the optimum time to market individual beef cattle in order to realize the maximum value. Evaluation of more than 100,000 beef breeding animals is being done each year. Pork carcass evaluation is being done on rapidly moving chain lines, and robotic automation has been tested and will soon be in use. Application of this technology for beef and lambs is anticipated in the near future.
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