June 14, 2021

Australia's grain-fed cattle make up half of country' beef production



Australia's grain-fed cattle have for the first time made up for 50% of the country's beef production, Beef Central reported.


The milestone is attributed to relatively low rates of cow slaughter and heavier carcass weights.


ABS data shows that in the first quarter this year, cattle from grain-fed programmes made up more than half of all beef production for the first time, while 51% of domestically-consumed beef came from feedlots.


The previous record for grain-fed beef production was achieved in the first quarter last year, when 49.2% of all beef produced was from feedlots.


These calculations showed the strength of the grain-fed sector, and its ability to provide continuity of supply for processors during a period of constrained cattle supply, Meat & Livestock Australia said.


Australian Lot Feeders Association president Bryce Camm said a number of factors were in play during the March quarter that helped deliver the 50% market share milestone for grain-fed beef.


"Firstly, overall cattle turnoff is obviously down – and especially for (non-fed) cow kill. That has tended to push the proportion in favour of the grain-fed side," Camm said.


"The first quarter does not traditionally produce the volume of grass-fed slaughter cattle seen later in the year, so there is also a bit of seasonal factor there. And the whole production system has slowed down as the industry works through its rebuilding phase, so naturally, those cattle going in to feedlots are going to rise, as a proportion of overall kills."


Another factor was the heavier carcass weights in grain-fed cattle, he added.


- Beef Central