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Pasture-fed beef from tropical pasture systems

English, B. H., Shaw, K. A., Matthews, R. A., Rolfe, J. W. and Kernot, J. C. (2009) Pasture-fed beef from tropical pasture systems. Tropical Grasslands, 43 (4). pp. 253-254.



Since beef cattle were introduced to Australia, most slaughter cattle have been produced off pasture. Even today, of the 8 M head slaughtered each year, approximately 5.5 M head (68%) are wholly pasture-fed.
The ability to produce beef/carcases with consistent eating quality off pasture has been enhanced following the introduction of the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading system (Anon 2003). Meat Standards Australia (MSA) provides the technology to predict the eating quality of beef at the carcase stage. Management at all points along the supply chain can be modified to guarantee a high-quality, pasture-fed product.
A major requirement in meeting MSA grades is annual liveweight gain per head of at least 180 kg. This eliminates most grazing systems across northern Australia. For example, native pasture systems in Queensland can achieve these weight gains only in exceptional years and then only on the best land types. Only introduced improved pasture species in endowed land zones are able to achieve these required growth rates.
This paper identifies regions capable of producing MSA-certified pasture-fed beef and gives examples of pastures used in each region to provide the required liveweight gains. It also identifies possible market specifications for a pasture-fed product, which could take advantage of this emerging, valuable market.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:17 Feb 2022 01:18
Last Modified:10 Jul 2023 00:11

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