Shorthorns top grading trial

29 Jul, 1999 02:13 AM
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A MAJOR cattle feeding and cutting trial has provided some key performance indicators prior to the introduction of national meat grading. Meat Standards Australia, in association with Primex Field Days at Casino, on NSW's north coast, held a demonstration for cattle feeding and chiller assessment to provide a working example of the MSA grading scheme. The 21 teams of five steers in the trial were fed for 100 days to heavy domestic weights, with the carcases graded under MSA's new cuts-based system. The results were combined with the actual primal weights and retail prices, based on MSA grade and cooking method, to provide a value for each carcase. A team of five milk tooth Shorthorn steers entered by Gerald, Linden and Matthew Spry, Spry's Shorthorns, Wagga Wagga, southern NSW, produced the highest value per kilogram of carcase weight at $2.30. The top individual kilogram value was $2.43 for a son of Spry's Jackpot P69, with an average price of $2.12/kg for the trial. The trial comes as producers increase their level of interest in the MSA scheme before a stage national rollout. Already, 1400 producers have completed licence applications for involvement with MSA, which covers about 1.2 million cattle. The scheme will be introduced in WA in mid-2000. MSA senior grading officer Cye Travers said results of the trial showed Shorthorns had the potential to capitalise on performance payment systems. He said the Spry's Shorthorns outyielded the majority of other British breed steers, being among the highest yielding teams. He said all three Shorthorn teams in the trial achieved above average vale-based marketing results, with the Spry's steers also finishing third in the MSA meat quality section. ÿ

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