Calculator Adds up to Better Beef More Often

AUSTRALIA - The Beef CRC has welcomed the launch of a new tool which helps beef producers predict the growth rates of their stock, months in advance.
calendar icon 16 October 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Photo: Beef CRC

The BeefSpecs calculator predicts carcass weight and fat depth for groups of steers. It is designed to take the guesswork out of selecting and managing cattle during a finishing period.

Dr Heather Burrow, Chief Executive Officer, Beef CRC said the BeefSpecs calculator is a practical example of how the Beef CRC is helping producers better meet market specifications.

“Whether you’re supplying the local trade, the butcher trade, supermarkets or even the export market, you get paid on weight and fatness. There are significant penalties for animals which are under-done or are over-fat,” Dr Burrow said.

The tool uses a number of inputs such as the groups’ average frame score, weight, current fat score and the quality of the feed available to determine the final average liveweight of the group prior to sale.

“Alternatively producers can calculate the type of feed needed and for how long it’s needed before the group of animals reaches a certain weight and fatness,” said Dr Burrow.

She said the great thing about the BeefSpecs calculator is that it can be used for both grain and grass finishing systems.

“Producers can use this information to make better management decisions. They might want to make their animals grow faster, or let them grow out gradually so they don’t get too fat,” she said.

Dr Burrow paid tribute to the dedication of the team of scientists involved in developing the BeefSpecs calculator, adding it truly was a collaborative effort, led very capably by Mr Bill McKiernan, NSW DPI, Orange.

“This launch wouldn’t have been possible without the large team of scientists, extension staff and industry collaborators,” she said.

“New South Wales Department of Primary industries (NSWDPI), University of New England (UNE), the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPI&F), Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and also the University of California, Davis all contributed to getting this calculator up and running.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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