With a new program structure, the carcase competition has allowed beef producers to enter their cattle in local carcase competitions plus nominate the same cattle for entry and assessment in Beef 2018 National Carcase Competition.
Beef carcase competition chairman, David Hill, said the program has received almost double the entries from the previous event in 2015.
“It’s a matter of lifting the profile of the competition with the ability to nominate cattle entered in other carcase competitions,” Mr Hill said.
“The dual nomination concept means a beef producer isn’t just benchmarking their cattle regionally in a competition because they can then go on to receive feedback from our national carcase competition assessment.”
Mr Hill was a key driver of the new dual beef carcase nomination idea with the concept capturing high-quality cattle entered in local carcase competitions around Australia during different region’s peak cattle turn-off times.
“To keep a consistency across our national carcase competition we have a single grader who assesses every single carcase entered in the competition,” he said.
The carcase competition grader is Meat Standards Australia (MSA) research, development and integrity manager, Janine Lau, who has visited 21 processing facilities during the last 10 months to grade carcase entries during the competition.
As a MSA senior grader, Ms Lau first took on the judging task for the event at Beef Australia 2015 with this year’s competition introducing a new yield prediction analysis, which means more accurate yield feedback according to beef experts.
"The last competition introduced the MSA Index to measure the eating quality component – this time we will add yield prediction," Ms Lau said.
“This will offer entrants the chance to see just how futuristic carcase feedback systems will work.”
Ms Lau will carry out judging in every state of Australia during the carcase competition.
"The event guidelines have been created to embrace the latest science, which makes it really exciting," she said.
"It's a great opportunity to benchmark your herd against the best in the country."
Mr Hill said the carcase competition has worked closely with processors across Australia to understand local carcase competitions and encourage them to promote beef producers to enter in Beef 2018’s national carcase competition.
Entries opened in June last year with 1092 carcases in total nominated for the competition. Nomination entries closed for the carcase competition on March 31.
“It’s about the beef brand a producer supplies into having the opportunity to compete against other beef products from processing plants and brand owners, which makes our carcase competition a great national benchmark for the industry,” Mr Hill said.
“Australian beef in amongst the best in the world, so performing well in our national carcase competition puts a beef producer’s product amongst some of the best in the world.”
An extra class was also added to the this year’s ANZ National Beef Carcase Competition called the Open class (unrestricted feeding) – Pen of three Heavy Trade chiller steers or heifers – 260.1 to 340 kilograms.
“There are a number of beef producers who aren’t accredited as a feedlot, but have grain bins in their paddocks to help feed cattle,” Mr Hill said.
“There’s a lot of good product that comes from supplementary-fed cattle and we wanted to include them in the national carcase competition.”
Mr Hill said the competition committee chose the 260kg to 340kg weight range for the class due to the relevance to today’s Australian beef industry.
Exhibitors will be provided with result details of their entries in the ANZ National Beef Carcase Competition.
All Winners will be announced at Beef Australia 2018 Gala awards dinner on Tuesday May 8.
“The collaboration between the processing plants has been fantastic and we’re trying to foster a positive relationship of beef producers and processors working together more collaboratively,” Mr Hill said.