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Better marketing of beef - BeefSpecs workshop a success

Attendees at BeefSpecs workshopNorth Coast Local Land Services and NSW Department of Primary Industries recently conducted the first in a series of workshops looking at marketing options for beef producers.

BeefSpecs, a new decision making program, is currently being piloted and features two important tools - the BeefSpecs Calculator and the BeefSpecs Drafting Tool.  North Coast Local Land Services and NSW DPI have been working alongside local producers in the Nambucca and Hastings valleys using the Beef Specs tools to look at the marketing options for two mobs of steers owned by local landholders.

BeefSpecs enables landholders to monitor their cattle and make decisions on whether they should, if feed is available, invest in finishing certain classes of cattle to meet a higher market specification; or if feed is short, sell cattle already meeting lower specifications; or target other options.

The BeefSpecs workshops aim to increase market compliance of cattle sent to processors and feedlots thereby maximising the financial returns to the producer. The program also explains the factors affecting growth, muscle development, fat deposition and carcass quality. The BeefSpecs Calculator is used for individual animals to predict live animal and carcass specifications, based on information such as breed type, sex, age, liveweight, fat scores and hip height, feed quality and availability and local management factors.

The BeefSpecs Drafting Tool uses information from the BeefSpecs Calculator to give the producer an objective feedback on the number of cattle that will meet a range of market specifications.

To date the workshops have looked at live cattle assessment of individual cattle within a line of steers, as well as pasture assessment and feed regimes to look at expected growth rates. These steers will be followed through the program looking at their performance over the coming months. The program will also include a visit to the local meat works to look at the final product, including how the carcasses have complied with certain market requirements. 

Future workshops will be held in the Hastings and Nambucca Valleys. For further information on participating in upcoming workshops please contact Senior Local Land Services Officer; Brendan O'Brien on 6563 6709 or by email brendan.o'

Media contact:
Brendan O'Brien Phone 6563 6709

Photo caption:
Attendees at the recent BeefSpecs workshop