A newly developed app will give lamb producers feedback at an individual carcase level, thanks to a partnership between agtech startup MEQ Probe and Gundagai Meat Processors.
The app will allow producers to receive feedback on intramuscular fat, lean meat yield and animal health, a move that comes shortly after the introduction of a lamb intramuscular fat percentage trait to Australia's AUS-MEAT language.
The feedback provided by the app will include IMF data at both a mob and individual level.
MEQ Probe utilises spectral analysis to determine the IMF percentage or the eating quality of meat and recently completed a large-scale trial at GMP where more than 12,000 samples were captured and analysed by machine learning engineers.
The technology was fundamental to the development of Gundagai Lamb's world-first lamb grid that pays lamb producers for weight and lean meat yield, along with a bonus for high IMF.
The new app is the next step of the partnership between startup and processor and will allow suppliers to receive same day information back on their animals' hot standard carcase weight, lean meat yield percentage, IMF and overall animal health via the producer portal and see how each carcase compares to the average.
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MEQ Probe CEO Remo Carbone said feedback about the app, which took around 10 months to develop, had generally been positive so far.
"So much of the lamb processing system remains in analogue modes or the data hasn't existed, making feedback to producers tough to provide," he said.
"Through the creation and use of this app, we are introducing digitisation into the process that allows for immediate action to be taken as a result of the data.
"This represents a massive shift for producers who are eager to deliver a consistent high-quality product for consumers and would appreciate timely data with integrity that they can rely on."
Mr Carbone said IMF was vital when it came to understanding meat's eating quality and considering it along with other carcase data was a great way of adding value for producers.
"You can bring that data together and bring it to life for the producer so they understand how they're going for themselves on a relative basis and how they're ranked against other producers that are also consigning to brands through a particular processor," he said.
"Then through time all that information just allows them to get really good database signals and think about how they can optimise the way they manage their lambs."
Gundagai Lamb CEO Will Barton said the technology has helped them reimagine how they procure lamb from producers.
"This app has helped us deepen our relationships with farmers as a processor," he said.
"Thanks to the transparency of information about mobs, we were able to work more collaboratively with producers to improve quality scores."
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