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Herefords retain great eating quality

TOP BREED: Hereford Australia’s John McKew believes herefords are a great breed that offers a number of good qualities.
TOP BREED: Hereford Australia’s John McKew believes herefords are a great breed that offers a number of good qualities. Stuart Cumming

THE ability to meet MSA criteria is a great advantage to producers using hereford genetics in straight and cross-breeding programs.

This is according to Herefords Australia's chief executive officer John McKew.

"MSA has grown dramatically with over two million cattle graded in the 2011-12 period which is a 45% increase on the previous year's," Mr McKew said.

"Hereford attributes such as growth on grass and grain, feed efficiency, fertility, temperament and the ability to put on optimum fat cover make the breed a perfect fit for MSA compliance, especially in cross-breeding programs in the northern industry.

The latest reports indicate that in Queensland, an MSA-graded carcase is worth 24c/kg more than a non-MSA carcase and that means a $60 bonus for a 250kg carcase.

"It is quite clear that MSA is producing price premiums for producers as well as delivering better eating quality," Mr McKew said.

The main reasons of non-compliance with MSA include dark cutting carcases and not enough fat cover.

"The hereford breed's excellent temperament can make a contribution to lowering pH levels to overcome dark cutting beef and herefords are renowned for their ability to put on optimum cover, even in challenging seasons," Mr McKew said.

Topics:  cattle herefords livestock