Results from bull beef make happy reading
BULL beef has been a successful enterprise at Transacre Estates for the second season in a row.
Last year was the first year for finished bull sales and beef manager Richard Grantham is content with this enterprises return.
"We were fairly happy with the margin they made in their first fully-costed year." Taking into consideration finished price, BSP payment and extensification payment, minus their costs, they still made a margin, he says.
At Transacre all bulls are sold deadweight through a local dealer with a target carcass weight of 300kg. During last years finishing Mr Grantham weighed and handled bulls regularly to assess how they were growing.
This, according to Signets Geoff Fish is an excellent system that could save up to £25/head.
"You find out what an animals daily liveweight gain is, and when this is not covering its costs it must be sold."
He explains that a bull near to its finishing weight growing at 1kg/day will still be eating about 11-12kg of beef nuts a day, which costs roughly £100/t.
"When a beast is not growing at more than 1kg/day then the extra lean meat it is producing is not even covering the cost of its food, let alone water, bedding and labour."
But although monitoring weight gain helps to save an animal costing money, they must be reasonably fit to kill, he adds.
MLCs Duncan Sinclair adds that the benefits of weigh crates are well illustrated in MLCs blueprint for beef production, which recommends every producer should have one. *