Ask for spec so cattle fit the bill
INCREASINGLY tight supermarket and abattoir specifications mean beef producers should consider carefully where to market their cattle.
Herefordshire-based Signet regional manager Brian Taylor says, increasingly specific requirements influence the price that is paid either directly by the abattoir or by their buyers in markets. "Producers must, therefore, be more positive about marketing."
To help ensure cattle are suited to requirements, he suggests asking buyers to supply a specification grid, detailing specifications, prices, bonuses and also deductions.
"Only 40% of clean cattle meet optimum specifications, with a weekly base price offered for average R3 carcasses and premiums or penalties paid or deducted for other categories. Breeding is the key to improving this, but feeding also helps.
"But it may be worth considering selling your cattle to another buyer with specifications which are better suited to your cattle, reducing deductions," says Dr Taylor.
lMeeting requirements is the focus of next weeks Beef for the Market event, to be held at the NAC, Stoneleigh, on Mar 11. *