THE DULVERTON MISSION
“There is no other reason to produce Beef than to satisfy the Eating Quality expectations of the Beef Consumer, Consistently and Price Competitively”.
This Mission raises two themes both to do with VALUE, where VALUE is seen as Satisfying the Consumer Eating Quality expectations at a Price-:
1. Eating quality, a function of
- Tenderness: Currently Neogen the only company commercially able to provide a genetic measure for Tenderness defined as the – Kg’s of Shear Force required to “Break through” Muscle Fibres. The lower the Shear Force the more Tender the eating experience. The Dulverton Sale teams Neogenaverage for Tenderness is 6.1 which correlates to a Genetic Effect of -0.27 Kg’s of Shear Force.
- Juiciness & Flavour: Both experiences owe their outcome to the presence of some Fat (4.5%-9.5% Fat the preferred western palate requirement). Satisfactory experience dependent on TOTAL amount plus Fineness & Distribution of Fat Fleck-Marbling. Marbling expressed as per USDA/MSA system.
Currently Neogen the only organisation able to provide a Genetic measure for CARCASE MEASURED MARBLING. The Dulverton Sale Team average for Neogen Carcase Measured Marbling is 8.0, correlating to a Genetic Effect of 110 MSA Units. One of the 16 Dulverton Sale Bulls who scored 10 for Neogen Carcase Measured Marbling (G.E. 142 MSA Units), able to shift Genetic Marble Score performance from AUS-MEAT Score 2 to Score 3, MSA Score 440 to 510.
2. Prce Competitively
A large percentage of “Protein Consumers” still prefer Beef as their No 1 protein source and so Beef doesn’t have to be cheaper than it’s competitors BUT it must Satisfy them, otherwise they will select alternative products. Traits Producers can significantly improve (Genetically and through best Management practice) to assist with Beef’s Price Competitive status for consumers-:
- Maternal Stayability: the chance a Heifer will remain in the herd as a Productive Cow until at least 6 yrs. traits incorporated; *Survival *Fertility *Calving Ease *Calf Performance *Rear a calf a year for at least 5 consecutive years. The Dulverton Sale Team average is a Neogen Score of 4.3. The 24 Dulverton Homebred sired Sale Team members have an average Neogen Score of 5.4 resulting in a Genetic effect of +15.5%, that is 15.5% more Females will stay productive in the herd until at least 6 yrs. Carry the Productive Cows for Longer sell the 15% less productive cows on better “Cow Grids”.
- Feed Efficiency: Huge Genetic gains and so dollar savings to be made with this trait, Genetic differences up to $120 per head reported between Sire Line groups (best to worst) on long fed Finishing programs. Urgently still need a Genetic measure for the Cow at pasture. Neogen uses Residual Feed Intake (R.F.I.) to measure this Trait-defined as: The difference in an Animal’s Daily Consumption of feed to achieve the same level of Daily Gain. Lower RFI equals greater Fed efficiency. The Dulverton Sale Team average Neogen score is 6.3 which equates to a Genetic Effect of 0.54kgs, that is their progeny are expected to eat 0.5kgs/day more to gain the same weight.
- Beef Yield: Neogen doesn’t have a measure for Beef Yield but does report on the three traits that are presently used to generate Yield Estimates-:
- Carcase Weight- The Dulverton Sale Team has a Neogen average Carcase Weight Score of 8.2 a very efficient conversion live weight to HSCW, given average growth scores of 6.5 (Weaning Wt.) & 6.4 (Yearling Wt.) The 8.2 Score equates to Genetic effect of +29kg HSCW. Suggest a HSCW of 300kg to base EMA and Fat measures on.
- EMA-The Measure used to indicate Total Musculature in the Carcase, goal to have Muscle comprise 60% of the Carcase. The Dulverton Sale Team has a Neogen EMA score of 7.0 which translates to a Genetic effect of an increase in EMA of 7.5 sq.cm.
- Fatness- Goal to have Fat make up 25%-27% of Carcase. The Dulverton Sale Team has an average Neogen 12th Rib fat score of 6.3 which translates to a Genetic Effect of 3mm. The average Dulverton Bull will increase 12th Rib Fat by 3mm, if mated to cows with the same Score.
THE VALUE DETERMINING TRAITS (VDT’s) INDEX
To assist identify those Bulls within the draft who have performed above average for the 4 VDT’s- Eating Quality, Maternal Stayability, Feed Efficiency, Beef Yield, The Dulverton Programme has developed a customised VDT Index. The Trait weighting’s for this Index are-:
- Eating Quality- 30%
- Juiciness & Flavour as measured by Marbling 20%
- Tenderness 10%
- Maternal Stayability- 25%
- Feed Efficiency- 25%
- Beef Yield- 20%
- Carcase Weight 15%
- EMA 5%
WHY NEOGEN ?
Neogen is the only company to commercially offer Genetic Evaluation for the two Traits that influence Eating Quality- Tenderness and Carcase Measured Marbling. They are also the only company to offer a Maternal Stayability- No Trait more important to Producer On- Farm Profitability than Stayability. In addition Neogen does produce a Genetics Effect Table for their Traits, this assists in determining how far to Push for Improvement of a particular trait- “The Biggest and the Most isn’t necessarily the Best”.
Plenty of work yet to do let’s get stuck in Now