Wednesday, 16 January 2019
At the point of slaughter, AHDB collects information about the fat class and conformation of every animal in its deadweight sample. This information is currently published on a weekly basis at a Great Britain level. However, it is also possible to look at the same information, but aggregated in a slightly different way. The tables below show the share of throughputs at each point of the grid at a country level, and so it is possible to see how finished carcases were distributed across the range of available classifications, over a whole year. This information is aggregated for England and Wales together, and Scotland, and covers 2018.
For example, 17.9% of steer carcases in the deadweight sample in England and Wales were classified as R3, and 14.9% were classified as R4L. Carcases meeting these specifications will typically be achieving a processor’s base price, or at least close to it, as each processor is responsible for its own pricing grid and they may differ. In many cases a processor’s base price will cover more than one square on the classification grid.
Meeting the required specification for the target market is one way for producers to improve their returns. The AHDB Beef & Lamb Better Returns Programme encourages English beef and sheep producers to evaluate their businesses to identify where improvements can be made in terms of cost reduction, environmental impact and animal performance. For example information is available on marketing finished cattle and beef carcase traits, and is intended to help farmers identify and attain the desired carcase specifications for their target market, and select animals for slaughter.
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