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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 14:22

Tender-er beef

The eating quality of Australia’s already world-renowned beef is on the rise with the national average Meat Standards Australia Index reaching 57.56 in 2015-17 to be 0.84 points ahead of the 2010-11 grading.

The results are revealed in a new report, 2017 Australian Beef Eating Quality Insights produced by Meat & Livestock Australia.
The report aims to help beef producers optimise the eating quality of cattle by demonstrating the impact production factors have on the MSA average.
The MSA Index is a single number between 30 and 80, and is the standard national measure of the predicted eating quality potential of a whole carcase.
The report analysed carcase grading data from 5.5 million MSA-compliant cattle processed in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years and examined compliance and eating quality performance by production categories including feed types, use of Hormonal Growth Promotants and gender.  
MSA program manager Sarah Strachan said the report highlighted the traits of carcases in the top 1 per cent through to the bottom 1 per cent of the MSA Index scale to identify the areas producers can focus on to improve their own Index results.
“The report showed the top 1 per cent of producers have an average Index of 66.19, and those in the top 25 per cent are averaging an Index of 60.61. Producers in the bottom 10 per cent had an average Index of about 52.17,” Sarah Strachan said.
“The report also found that 10.8 per cent of MSA-graded grassfed carcases did not meet MSA requirements compared with 2.3 per cent of grainfed cattle.
“And while seasonal conditions vary for each state, on average, non-compliance was highest in the winter months. The main reason for non-compliance across all cattle was consistently having a high meat pH above 5.70.”
Sarah said the report was part of a series of planned benchmarking activities to the year 2020 to continue evaluating the eating quality performance of the Australian beef herd and build on the groundwork set by the 2015 Australian Beef Eating Quality Audit.
“The project aims to provide more meaningful tools for producers and wider industry to identify areas for improvement but to also highlight reasons for celebration,” she said.    
“The results of the study confirm with confidence that the opportunity exists for MSA beef producers to continue to improve the eating quality potential of their herd as well as manage fluctuations in compliance throughout the year.
“Improving both of these areas can increase the value of the carcase they are producing and can create potential for increased profitability and enhanced farm productivity.
“Our objective is to help producers improve their MSA Index as well as ensure all cattle in Australia are eligible to be graded to receive an MSA Index.”
Producers can use the benchmarking tool and view their average MSA Index at www.mymsa.com.au <https://coxinall.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=87f4462512400a53a67349d86&id=0a7078790f&e=331c74e075>
The 2017 Australian Beef Eating Quality Insights report can be downloaded from www.mla.com.au/msa <https://coxinall.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=87f4462512400a53a67349d86&id=8927a6814b&e=331c74e075>

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