Carcass winner a first

A NEW kind of carcass competition has underlined red meat farmers' doubts about the EUROP grading system which is commonly used to value their animals.

A recent competition for Beeflink farmers – Asda suppliers through ABP – is believed to be the first in the UK in which the overall championship was decided on retail value after boning out.

A Blue-cross steer carcass from Shropshire farmer Peter Gore, graded U+3 on the conventional grid, which goes down through the letters EUROP, beat several E-graded entries to scoop the championship.

The carcass weighed 387.8kg at 23 months and four days old and gave 0.82 per cent greater return than the first-placed young bull, an E2-graded 379.2kg Limousin-cross. And it gave a 1.09 per cent greater return than the first placed heifer carcass, an E3-classified 405.6kg Limousin-cross.

Asda and ABP are moving towards video image analysis (VIA), which is designed to read real yield and is already in use in Ireland.

CW 22/1/11