A repeated study has validated the variation that exists in Angus carcase value.
The study revealed a $695 per carcase difference based on carcase data collected in Cohort 5 of the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP).
The study compared carcase values, on a progeny average basis, between the highest and lowest ranked sires. This is similar to the difference observed in Cohort 4 of the ASBP, being $619.
The progeny average carcase values were derived by applying industry based parameters to each steer carcase (n=556) from Cohort 5 of the ASBP.
The parameters are based on a general long-fed production system (200+ days) with the aim of producing and selling high quality Angus beef products. The specific parameters applied were:
- $8/kg carcase weight for an AUS-MEAT marbling score 3 carcase
- Add $0.40/kg carcase weight per AUS-MEAT marbling score above 3.
- subtract $0.80/kg carcase weight per AUS-MEAT marbling score below 3
- Subtract 10c/kg carcase weight if >25 mm but less than 30 mm p8 (i.e rump) fat
- Subtract 15c/kg carcase weight if 30 mm of p8 (i.e rump) fat or greater.
Additionally, progeny average values, including Carcase Value ($), are calculated using a least squares means (LSM) model which takes into herd and other contemporary group effects.
As expected, the sires with the highest carcase value progeny averages had progeny with higher carcase weights, coupled with higher marbling scores and rump fat in the optimum range.
For example, the sire ranked 1st with a carcase value progeny average of $3,774 had a carcase weight, MSA Marbling Score and Rump Fat progeny averages of 449 kg, 508 score and 14.3 mm respectively.
The outcomes show that there is significant scope to select Angus sires and genetics for the component traits that impact on the overall value of Angus carcases such as carcase weight and marbling score.
Importantly, the corresponding EBVs available for selection decisions, being the Carcase Weight EBV and Intramuscular Fat (IMF) EBV, have a strong, positive relationship with the progeny average values for carcase weight and for IMF EBV to MSA Marbling score.
Angus breeders with a goal of genetically improving carcase value should therefore have confidence in utilising related EBVs in their selection decisions.