October 17, 2008


Australia's Beef CRC invents tool to aid beef producers



The Beef CRC has welcomed the launch of a new tool, BeefSpecs, which helps beef producers predict the growth rates of their stock months in advance and help them to better meet market specifications.


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 of Beef CRC said that whether you are supplying the local trade, the butcher trade, supermarkets or even the export market, you get paid on weight and fatness and there are significant penalties for animals which are under-done or are over-fat.


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 live weight 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, Dr. Burrow added.


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


Beef CRC specialises in gene discovery and expression technologies.

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