Carcase comp offers valuable feedback

By Astyn Reid

Ensuring your grassfed finished cattle make the grade has never been more important according to Penola grass finisher Allan Kain with buoyant cattle prices and premiums of 40c/kg or more available for those hitting the Meat Standards Australia or Pasturefed Cattle Assurance Scheme programs. The chairman of SA’s successful carcase competition -the Southern Grassfed Carcase Classicsays the event now in its eighth year has affirmed itself as an important event for stud and commercial producers, consistently attracting more than 200 cattle. Entries opened this week for the 2015 competition to be held at Teys Australia’s Naracoorte abattoir this spring. Entrants are required to deliver their cattle during the fortnight of October 12 to 23 with the four classes of different weight categories remaining the same as 2014. Points are awarded for meeting market specifications, high saleable meat yield, and complying with MSA criteria. Mr Kain says the SGCC has been a valuable source of feedback for beef producers across the state to understand how to maximise their returns. It has created friendly rivalry enabling producers to benchmark their genetics, nutrition and management systems against each other, and has given stud breeders bragging rights on the performance of their genetics. “If you are not trying to master all these areas the premiums on offer will not be achieved.” “It is particularly important now with recent price rises with 280 -340kg carcases making close to $2000 that you don’t miss out.” He said the consistent growth of the MSA beef program including a 22pc increase in the number of cattle graded in SA and 30 per cent increase in Vic in 2014/15 made it critical that every animal met processors’ specifications. The committee is hopeful of a similar number of entries given the strength of the cattle market. “We have had a reasonable start to the season in the Lower South East and Western Victoria and we have had a fairly mild winter so the cattle have continued to grow and put on weight,” Mr Kain said. Mr Kain expects the standard of entries to again be very high with the area renowned for producing some of the nation’s best grassfed beef. “We have gained good ideas of the bloodlines which have been siring the animals with consistency of carcases with rib fat, P8 fat and muscle.” “We are finding it comes down to a combination of good genetics, good animal husbandry, animal health and livestock handling skills.” The competition has proven a valuable fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service with 1.5 per cent of the total proceeds presented to the worthy cause each year. The total figure is expected to top the $30,000 mark this year. Mr Kain attributes the success of the SGCC to the support of the whole supply chain from breeders and backgrounders, to livestock agents and livestock transporters. “Whether you are stud or commercially orientated and whether you are a breeder, trader or finisher of livestock the competition is for you.” Entries close on September 11. Entry forms will be sent to all 2014 entrants and are also available on the SGCC Facebook page. A presentation dinner will be held in Penola on Friday November 6. Details: Allan Kain 0409 366 010, email at; secretary Tom Dennis 0427 975 207 or; Teys Australia Naracoorte Livestock Manager David Woolard 0418 832 045. For more information contact Allan Kain 0409 366 010

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