X-ray scheme to reduce meat grading guesswork

Australian red meat producers are set to benefit from the installation of X-ray technology in 90 slaughter facilities to help reduce the subjectivity of carcass grading.

The scheme requires an industry loan of A$150m to start fitting dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (Dexa) units in 2017, levy board Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) announced on Thursday.

See also: Analysis: Where next for beef grading?

This is expected to improve livestock production practices and bring savings to the processing sector, according to MLA.

Processing automation, genetic improvement and farm management changes will deliver benefits to producers.

MLA said practical livestock production changes will come from the data generated by the new systems.

MLA managing director Richard Norton said: “The most important product of objective carcass measurement is the data it will generate – and MLA’s plan ensures that data will be available to all participants across the value chain.

“We are now at a stage where our smallstock Dexa technology is ready for commercial deployment, while for beef, our Dexa research and development is nearing completion.”