31 May 2002

Beware deadweight variation

THE price obtained for an animal can vary by 5p/kg when sold deadweight depending on the carcass dressing specification used, according to MLC.

MLC northern region manager, Len Chamberlain, told producers at Beef 2002 that the purpose of dressing specification was price transparency. "But care is needed as four different dressing specifications are currently in use, affecting the amount paid."

They include the MLC standard, new national specification and old and new EC standards. Progressively more and more trim is removed as you go down this list, so carcass weight will decrease (see table).

Moving from the MLC standard to the old EC specification involves removing the crown fat, cod and udder fat and thin skirt, a total reduction in carcass weight of 6kg, he added.

"This means the price/kg paid has to increase by 1% as you move down to the next specification to ensure the same income for an animal." In addition, removal of kidney knob channel fat is optional within the MLC standard which accounts for 6kg in each half carcass, added Mr Chamberlain. &#42

Example for 300kg carcass to ensure £510 value

Specification Carcass wt p/kg

MLC standard 300 170

New national 297 172

Old EC 294 173

New EC 291 175

Example for 300kg carcass to ensure £510 value

Specification Carcass wt p/kg

MLC standard 300 170

New national 297 172

Old EC 294 173

New EC 291 175