Farmers improve on carcase specification

A new report shows that an increasing number of farmers are getting it right when it comes to meeting the market specifications, with carcase weights well up on last year.

Analysis of the Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Limited carcase classification results by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales and EBLEX shows that in 2009, more than half the beef carcases in Britain met the market requirements for conformation and fat class.

The research also shows that while the GB herd dropped slightly again last year, it was offset by an increase in average carcase weights.

The average carcase weight for steers increased by 2kg, heifers were up 8kg and young bulls rose by 7kg - resulting in the average carcase weight for prime beef rising by 3kg.

The results come as HCC has launched a new online guide to help raise awareness of how to meet the market requirements.

The new service on the website talks farmers through the different factors that determine the price they receive for their livestock.

“Knowing when to select animals to meet the market requirements is essential for any livestock farmer as carcase classification is directly linked to price,” says John Richards, HCC’s industry information officer.

“Farmers are rewarded with better returns if they hit the targets demanded by the market.”

The new guide is part of the work that HCC is carrying out to increase knowledge of carcase classification.

Other elements include free carcase classification courses which offer farmers the chance to go inside an abattoir and look at the conformation of animals alive and after slaughter.

The carcase classification guides for beef and lamb can be found at:

Anyone wishing to attend a carcase selection should contact 01970 625050 or e-mail

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