More details have been revealed on how changes to the Meat Standards Australia model due to come in later this year, including how hump height will be used.
The changes, which will be rolled out from June, include hump height being used as a direct predictor of eating quality rather than an estimate of tropical breed content, an increased number of cut options, the simplification of how tropical breed content is recorded on vendor declaration forms and new myMSA features.
MSA producer engagement officer Laura Garland explained in a webinar broadcast that while in the past hump height, in conjunction with hot standard carcase weight and sex, was used to verify the declared tropical breed content, it will now be a direct predictor of eating quality.
"We've done some research into using genetic markers to further understand that relationship between Bos indicus content and hump height ... what was found was the accuracy of predicting eating quality using either hump height or genomic testing was similar," she said.
"Now we'll use hump height, hot standard carcase weight and sex in combination to predict eating quality for individual carcases."
The hump height to weight ratio will be a key part of model with a small ratio reducing some of the "hump effect", positively impacting the MSA index.
Changes to the vendor declaration forms include a section allowing for the provision of both vendor and owner details, if the two are different. This mean if a producer is consigning via a third party, the added owner field will allow them to receive and access the feedback directly via myMSA.
The changed forms will also include simplified reporting of males and females, and of tropical breed content.
The new forms will be available from September but producers can continue using their current forms until they run out.
The number of cut-by-cook combinations will also increase from 169 to 275, including methods like sous-vide and combi-oven roasting to keep up with food trends, with the Texas-style barbecue low and slow cooking method also due to be added in the future.
"We're including secondary cuts and seam cuts such as the petite tender and the flat iron, which both come from the blade," Ms Garland said.
"We've done some work around extended ageing predictions suitable for export markets.
"So, at the moment our max predictions for ageing is out to 35 days, we're extending that for the suitability for export out to 50 days."
Processors must make the change to the new model between June and September, with individual producers to be affected once their processor has made the switch. Producers will also be able to see the new look myMSA portal once their processors have switched over to the new model.
All MSA-registered cattle producers will be contacted in coming months.