Livestock traceability helps King Island producers

The MLA's new Livestock date link system assist a king island producer to keep track of goals

Pastures
King Island island cattle producer Robyn Hoare

King Island island cattle producer Robyn Hoare

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A cattle producer on King Island is putting new market tracing and data link to good use.

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King Island, off the northern tip of Tasmania is renowned for its quality pasture-raised beef, but its remote location poses some unique challenges for producers.

The only meat processor on King Island closed in 2012, meaning cattle now have to travel by ship and truck to processing.

Despite this, King Island producer Robyn Hoare believes their family business Hoare Family Cattle is staying connected to the supply chain with the help of modern technology, in particular Meat & Livestock Australia's Livestock Data Link system.

"For us, it's all about ensuring our beef enterprise remains viable into the future and we rely on data to verify and evaluate these management decisions," she said.

The Hoares consign 150 head to Meat Standards Australia branded programs annually, and consistently achieve 97 per cent MSA compliance.

"The MLA MyMSA and LDL system allows us to access results the day after they're processed," Robyn said.

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"We use these results to help ensure we're on track in terms of meeting compliance and assess how we're performing over the longer-term."

Launched in 2015, LDL enables the flow of carcase information between processors and producers. It allows producers to assess individual carcase performance against known market specifications.

A self-confessed data enthusiast, Robyn utilises the benchmarking feature through LDL to evaluate management decisions and track how the business is going in relation to producers on the mainland.

Hoare Family Cattle is predominantly a breeding operation, finishing approximately 20 per cent of their annual turn-off on-farm, targeting MSA premiums. The remaining 80 per cent of their turn-off, mostly steers, are sold to stores for finishing.

"It's really important to understand how each individual animal is performing, regardless of if they're directly consigned to MSA processors, and LDL gives us that information so we can maintain a complete picture of our herd," Robyn said.

Through the 'bred but not consigned' feature of the LDL system, breeders can access carcase information on animals they've bred but not directly consigned to the processor.

"The 'bred but not consigned' report allows us to see how their weights have been, how their fat cover has been and what their meat yield is," Robyn said.

"By using different features of the LDL system, like this report, we're able to confirm that we're on the right track though data analysis, rather than make assumptions on our performance."

Producers can access the LDL system through their National Livestock Identification System user ID and password.

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