Beef Bites: Bos Indicus still king in live-ex

Bos Indicus still king in live-ex


Beef Bites wraps up the week in bite-sized reads.


HIGH-GRADE Bos Indicus was still the core demand for those sourcing supply for the live cattle market, exporter Tony Gooden, Frontier International, says.

Talk of a shift from Brahman-dominated cattle to composites at this month's livestock exporters conference in Townsville prompted Mr Gooden to explain importers have to balance what animal performs in the feedlot with what their customers want.

"They are selling cattle to the butcher or abattoir on a live weight basis," he said.

"Butchers want an animal reasonably fine boned, that will yield well - so the overwhelming demand is for high content Brahman, with some Euro-cross for a lean carcase, and relatively thin-skinned," Mr Gooden said.

"As exporters, we supply what our customers ask for. When you're doing a shipment every week, overwhelmingly the safest option is a high-grade Bos Indicus with a fair bit of content to handle hot humid conditions."

His comments came in response to discussion, mainly from producers of live export cattle, about the higher weight gains to be had from composite cattle in South East Asian feedlots.

Wagyu workshop

The Australian Wagyu Association will run a workshop on November 25 at the Brisbane Airport Conference Centre.

The day aims to bring together skills and knowledge to improve producers' understanding of many topics, including how the accuracies in estimated breeding values are achieved and how to apply them.

There will also be a focus on nutrition and animal health, with demonstrations of how the wagyu feed calculator can work specific to individual pasture and feed types. How that impacts on heifer performance and feedlot entry will also be discussed.

Matthew George, Bovine Dynamics will present on heifer nutrition and feedlot entry in current conditions and AWA director Peter Cabassi will launch the association's next five-year strategic plan.

The AWA annual general meeting will be held after the workshop.

CVD 'key to integrity'

With many regions across the country facing ongoing drought conditions, livestock producers purchasing fodder and grain are being urged to seek a Commodity Vendor Declaration.

A CVD is a key document within the red meat integrity system that guarantees introduced feed is safe from chemical contamination.

Industry leaders said it was an important tool in safeguarding livestock feed supply and meeting requirements for product integrity, contributing to the overall quality assurance of Australia's red meat industry.

The single-page form contains accurate details of the commodity's composition, identifying chemical treatments applied to the commodity before or during harvest or in storage.

It can be downloaded from the MLA website.

Livestock's value

THERE are big opportunities to transform food systems in tropical developing regions to help deliver the long-term sustainability society is increasingly demanding.

What is needed first is evidence of the total societal contribution of the livestock sector.

This was one of the messages to come out of the big agriculture science conference, TropAg 2019, held in Brisbane this month.

Dr Anna Okello, from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, said if the average person on the street thinks livestock is just a food source, they have the picture wrong.

It contributes to so many aspects of people's lives, she said.

In low and middle income countries, livestock - and their products - are critical sources of both income and nutrition for smallholder farmers and their communities, she said.


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