How to get more out of carcase feedback

23 October 2015

There is a lot of information and feedback contained in the payment grid and carcase reports producers receive from processors. But how do you make sense of it?

Here, Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Producer Engagement Officer Jarrod Lees shares his tips on making the most of grids and carcase feedback.

1. Educate yourself. Each processor provides feedback in different formats, but all have similar parameters which may be measured and these include HSCW (hot standard carcase weight), bruise scoring, P8 fat, dentition, HGP status, sex and MSA grading measurements, which could include the MSA Index. AUS-MEAT and MLA have developed some great online resources explaining industry language and what processors are focusing on.

2. Market information. Understand the market you are targeting by talking to processors, buyers and agents.  Understanding the processor specifications by asking for a payment grid can help establish if you are targeting the right market. This could be as simple as knowing the specified weights and dentition, as a starting point. Keep up to date with market news for an understanding of supply and demand and current price trends for different classes of livestock.

3. Seek feedback. Examine the carcase feedback and identify any animals which fell short and find out why. Processors can provide further information on meeting particular specifications. MLA has also developed tools and information to help identify solutions for any areas of concern

4. Utilise industry tools. MSA has developed the MyMSA online resource for producers to get comprehensive feedback on the MSA measurements collected on each carcase. MyMSA also allows producers to see which animals met MSA and company specifications a well as identify their eating quality performance based on the MSA Index. Often the MSA Index can also be a company specification. Each animal is allocated an index number as a national standard measure of predicted eating quality and merit of the carcase. MyMSA also contains the index calculator to help producers understand the impact of various traits on the MSA Index. The BeefSpecs calculator is also available to help producers manage cattle to meet weight and fat specifications.

5. Management. By understanding the specifications a processor has in place on their payment grids, as well as processor and MSA feedback and the impact of meeting specifications on profitability, producers then have the power to manage their enterprise to improve their chances of meeting specifications. Learn more about the outcomes from various on-farm management scenarios via modules in More Beef from Pastures.

Beef and sheep producer groups can request free MSA workshops to learn more about interpreting feedback and using MSA tools.

More information: Jarrod Lees E:

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