MSA carcase grading competition open for northern beef producers

Zoe Thomas
By Zoe Thomas
Updated May 12 2022 - 5:45am, first published 5:00am
Interested northern beef producers are being encouraged to enter their cattle into a MSA carcase grading competition to be held in Townsville in July. Photo: Bernie English.

Interested northern beef producers are being encouraged to enter their cattle into a MSA carcase grading competition to be held in Townsville in July.

The proposed competition will be held at the JBS Townsville abattoir.

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Burdekin producer Greg Brown and Tablelands producer Bernie English are spearheading the initiative as part of a newly formed local committee.

Mr Brown said the aim of the competition was to educate and lift the profile of MSA pasture fed cattle in North Queensland.

"There are grass fed brands in the south that all have to be graded and they are going gangbusters," he said.

"We want people to understand that there are a lot of good cattle in this northern country.

"We also want producers to see how well their pasture fed cattle will grade under the MSA grading system.

"This is the first competition to be held in the north under MSA rules."

The aim of the competition is to educate and lift the profile of MSA pasture fed cattle in North Queensland.

The competition is open to pasture fed cattle with a dressed weight between 260 to 340 kilograms. Entries can be either a pen of three heifers or three bullocks.

Two processing dates are available on July 19 and 26.

Mr Brown said cattle could be consigned as part of a larger mob.

"Cattle must be at the abattoir before midday on Monday 18 or 25 July," he said.

"Prices paid will be per the JBS grid for that week."

Carcase judging will be conducted as per MSA grading principles and scoring points will target eating quality.

Point scores are as follows:

  • 10 points for market specs (P8 fat, rib fat, 260-340kg dressed weight)
  • 40 points for lean meat yield
  • 50 points for MSA index-eating quality

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Mr Brown said producers can maximise their scores by entering good weight for age appropriate cattle and using breeds that marble.

"Not using HGPs or submitting cattle with a low hump height will improve your scores," he said.

"Ensure P8 and rib fat is adequate and run all the cattle together for a month that are consigned to the abattoir for the competition, to settle peck order and bullying, or run with any other cattle that are on the truck to the abattoir that day.

"This competition is aimed at producers in the endowed areas where annual live weight gain is over 180kg."

The competition is open to all northern producers.

The competition is open to all northern producers.

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"Our industry in the north operates across a wide range of country, with high rainfall and improved pastures on the eastern seaboard, to low highly variable rainfall and native pastures as you travel west," Mr Brown said.

"We are hoping to encompass a wide area right out into the north western country and up and down the coast.

"We won't exclude anybody."

Mr Brown reiterated the limited number of pens available to interested entrants.

"We are limited to small numbers of cattle and it won't take many to fill these numbers up, so producers need to take note and enter if of interest," he said.

"It is about getting the best eating experience if you can possibly have with a piece of meat."

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Prizing for best overall scores to be announced closer to the date.

For more information regarding the competition or to enquire about the committee contact Greg Brown on 0427767434.

Zoe Thomas

Zoe Thomas

Journalist - North Queensland Register/Queensland Country Life

Northern based journalist at North Queensland Register and Queensland Country Life.

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