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MLA R&D Snapshot | Q3

MLA releases the 2023 Australian Beef Eating Quality Insights report

The 2023 Australian Beef Eating Quality Insights report is generated from the analysis of Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading results of 6.33 million cattle, processed and graded through 39 MSA licenced processors nationally during the 2021–22 and 2022–23 financial years.

This report aims to help beef producers optimise the eating quality of their cattle by demonstrating the impact of various production factors on the MSA Index and enables the Australian beef industry to measure its improvements and identify areas where further gains can be made.

MSA graded cattle continue to represent more than half of the national adult cattle slaughter, comprising 54% at 30 June 2023 for the 2022–23 financial year.

MLA would like to provide any assistance if any feedlots would like to discuss their MSA grading and carcass data, with the potential to identify and implement practices to improve outcomes.

If you’re interested in this, contact Kate Neath, MLA’s MSA Business Development Manager, on +61 (2) 9463 9379 or 0426 494 378

Results of Western Australian Shade Study released

MLA recently funded through grain-fed levies and matching federal government funds, a 2-year evaluation of shade at a Western Australian feedlot, in consultation with the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association.

Led by Murdoch University, a total of 960 black angus steers were fed in a randomized block design trial. Treatments were applied to 80 head pens (shade 3.1 m2/head vs. unshaded treatment). There were a total of 6 pen replicates per treatment. Parameters assessed included feed intake, weight gain, rumen temperature, drinking, overall health, and behaviour.

Key findings included:

  • A trend for increased average daily gain (ADG) of 0.13kg/day in shaded cattle.

  • Shade capital cost payback period ranged from 2 to 10 years given sensitivity analysis of construction costs and carcase weight prices.

  • Shade seeking behaviour demonstrated during heat load periods.

  • Qualitative behavioural assessment indicated shaded cattle had the most positive demeanour



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