Uplift in prime cattle hitting market specifications seen

Farmers are recognising the financial benefits of getting cattle away sooner and focusing on processor specifications.

A new analysis shows that an increasing number of cattle are meeting target weights and grade due to farmers noticing the improvement in profit margins when the target specifications of cattle are hit on schedule.

This analysis, by beef processor, Pickstock Telford, showed that the company had a 15 percent uplift in prime carcasses hitting specifications over the last three months.

It puts this improvement down to an increasing number of farmers recognising the financial benefits of getting cattle away sooner and focusing on processor specifications.

Farmers are recognising the financial befits of meeting cattle specifications on schedule.

“The old adage of ‘weight always pays’ has been a difficult concept to overcome but when you scrutinise the figures, the improvement in profit margins that can be achieved by finishing cattle in spec and in fewer days is clear,” said Gareth Parker, livestock procurement officer at Pickstock Telford.

He continued that there is an increase in net profit for finishing cattle earlier within specification when taking into consideration grid penalties for overweight cattle, the additional feed costs and time involved in an extended finishing period. Other financial benefits for the farmer include the greater capacity to increase the throughput of finishing cattle through a shed per year, plus bedding and labour savings.

“With ever-increasing retail demand for consistency, when it comes to meat on the shelf, it’s crucial that we produce products that are the same weight and size, and fit within specific packaging guidelines,” Parker explained.

This means the more animals we receive in specification, the better the price we can offer our farmers.”

Parker said this improvement is a big step forward and beef producers and processors must continue to work closely together to improve consistency within the supply chain. While there are multiple factors at play which are affecting current market value, he said that getting cattle finished to market spec pays dividends for farmers when it comes to maximising profitability.

“At the end of the day, sustainable beef production is important for the whole supply chain and an integrated approach can support this, but consistency and accuracy at every stage is key,” he concluded.