Getting a handle on the P8

04 January 2016

The P8 (rump) fat measurement is critical for cattle producers wanting to achieve premiums in specific markets.

In a live animal, the P8 site is on the rump at the intersection of a line going forward from the pin and a line down from the high point in the hindquarter.

The site was pinpointed in the early 1980s by John Moon, a former Department of Primary Industries District Meat Inspector from Brisbane.

“John’s research aimed to find ways to objectively classify carcases, rather than grade them,” University of Queensland senior research fellow Dr Geoffry Fordyce said.

“John was concerned with carcase fat being measured at either the 10–11 or 12–13 rib site, as he found no measure was possible on 14–15% of carcases, as the hide pullers had removed the fat on both sides at the abattoir.

“He studied eight fat measurement points, designated names of position one to eight, using 1,500 carcases.

“He found the P8 site was a standout for measurement as only 1.5% of carcases could not be measured on at least one side. Subsequent research proved it was also a better predictor of carcase fat.”

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