Big-picture carcase feedback

Tasmania’s King Island is renowned for its quality pasture-raised beef, but its remote location poses some unique challenges for producers.

The only meat processor on King Island closed in 2012, meaning cattle now travel more than 13 hours by ship and truck to processing.

Despite this, Robyn Hoare is adamant their business Hoare Family Cattle has never been more connected to the supply chain with MLA’s Livestock Data Link (LDL) system.

“For us, it’s all about ensuring our beef enterprise remains viable into the future and we rely on data from LDL to verify and evaluate these management decisions,” she said.

Robyn consigns 150 head to Meat Standards Australia (MSA) branded programs annually, and consistently achieves 97% MSA compliance.

“MLA’s MyMSA and LDL system allows us to access MSA results the day after they’re processed,” Robyn said.

“We use these results to help ensure we’re on track in terms of meeting compliance and assess how we’re performing over the longer-term.”

Launched in 2015, LDL enables the flow of carcase information between processors and producers. It allows producers to assess individual carcase performance against known market specifications.

A self-confessed data enthusiast, Robyn utilises the benchmarking feature through LDL to evaluate management decisions and track how the business is going in relation to producers on the mainland.

“Our management approach is a balance between pasture improvement and genetics, while maintaining herd numbers and meat quality,” she said.

“We base our bull selection with a focus on intramuscular fat, eye muscle area and calving ease.

More than processor data

Hoare Family Cattle is predominantly a breeding operation, with Robyn finishing approximately 20% of their annual turn-off on-farm, targeting MSA premiums. The remaining 80% of their turn-off, the majority being steers, are sold to stores for finishing.

“It’s really important to understand how each individual animal is performing, regardless of if they’re directly consigned to MSA processors, and LDL gives us that information so we can maintain a complete picture of our herd,” Robyn said.

Through the ‘bred but not consigned’ feature of the LDL system, breeders can access carcase information on animals they’ve bred but not directly consigned to the processor.

This information includes average, minimum and maximum carcase weight, P8 fat and lean meat yield.

“The ‘bred but not consigned’ report allows us to see how their weights have been, how their fat cover has been and what their meat yield is,” Robyn said.

“By using different features of the LDL system, like this report, we’re able to confirm that we’re on the right track though data analysis, rather than make assumptions on our performance.”

To see Robyn’s story, visit mla.com.au/KingIslandLDL

Link in

Producers can access the LDL system through their National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) user ID and password.

More information:

To know more about MLA’s Integrity Systems and LDL or to register, visit mla.com.au/ldl

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