Growth Predictor Covers More Beef Breeds

AUSTRALIA - More beef producers can now benefit from a simple tool that predicts the future growth path of cattle - significantly improving profits.
calendar icon 31 July 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

"The simple BeefSpecs tool aims to help producers meet target market specifications with a greater proportion of their cattle by predicting cattle fatness and weight," said NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) animal production research leader, Bill McKiernan.

"Up to 25 per cent of cattle currently fall outside market specifications, costing producers as much as $30 per head, and the beef industry more than $100 million a year."

Mr McKiernan said the tool - developed by the Beef CRC in conjunction with NSW DPI - was initially launched for British breed steers, and has now been upgraded to include Brahmans and other Bos indicus cattle and their crosses, and heifers.

"Extensive research on cattle growth and development in the past 30 years has led scientists to develop predictive models which mimic cattle growth and fat deposition," he said.

"BeefSpecs refined these models to a simple tool, suitable for practical use on the farm."

The tool requires initial inputs by the producer on the current status of animals including live weight, current P8 fat depth or fat score, frame size and breed type.

The producer then only needs to enter some simple management intentions like feed type, how long the finishing period is expected to be and the expected growth rate of the cattle during that period.

Once entered, the tool instantly reads out predicted final live weight, carcase weight and P8 fatness.

The aim is to assist producers to make management decisions before and during finishing to achieve the desired end product.

"BeefSpecs is invaluable for producers consigning cattle direct to an abattoir and being paid on a price grid," Mr McKiernan said.

"It also aids those producers wishing to maximise price at the saleyards by nailing the exact market specifications."

Producers willing to participate in the further development and refinement of BeefSpecs, and benefit from what it can already deliver, are urged to contact their local NSW DPI beef officer for assistance in using the tool and collecting data to test outcomes.

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.