Beef Quality Audit

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.



Canada’s fourth Beef Quality Audit was completed in March 2018, following previous audits in 1995, 1998 and 2010/11. The carcass audit measured the incidence and economic costs of avoidable defects in Canadian slaughter cattle and beef and identified opportunities to avoid these losses.

What they did: Mark Klassen, Joyce van Donkersgoed and a team of technicians visited slaughter plants across Canada in the fall of 2016 and winter and spring of 2017. Thousands of cattle and carcasses were examined for a wide variety of possible defects. This column focuses on the most common and costly defects, specifically tag, carcass weight, excess fat and liver abscesses. Continue reading

Canada’s Beef Quality Audit: What have we learned? Webinar February 14

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

The latest beef quality audit not only gives insight into the meat products consumers choose at the grocery store, it also reveals the quality of beef carcasses being processed at Canadian packers. Join this webinar to learn the latest National Beef Quality Audit results, and what beef producers can do to prevent costly carcass defects.

When


Wednesday, February 14 at 7:00 pm MT

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB
  • 8:00pm in SK and MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI 

Continue reading

5 ways cattle feeders can prepare for the fall run



Before things get too busy with the fall run, take some time to learn more about (or refresh your memory on) some of the ways to promote calf health, feed efficiency and carcass quality in the animals that will be on feed in your lot this year. Continue reading

Measured changes in the quality of Canadian beef: NBQA video



You can’t manage what you don’t measure. This old saying about the need for accurate and ongoing measurements to know whether things are getting better or worse never stops being relevant to those who work toward improvement.

Let’s look at beef production through that lens. As a cattle producer, the more aware you are of what’s already working well, which aspects of your operation

can be improved, and how much each of those improvements can cost or benefit you, the better you’re able to keep your operation profitable in the long-run. Your management practices can also help or harm those who buy your feeder or fat cattle.

We know that not every animal coming through the packer’s doors is ideal. Some animals will have horns that need to be cut off, or extra mud on the hide that slows down the processing line. Some carcasses will Continue reading

Bruising and injection sites: Canada’s Beef Carcass Quality Audit

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.



The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association carried out its first carcass quality audit in 1995. The defects identified in that audit became the focus of the CCA’s Quality Starts Here program. Dr. Joyce van Donkersgoed went on to teach Canada’s cattle producers how they could improve carcass value through better cattle handling and facilities, moving injection sites from the hindquarters to the shoulder, and using products that could be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) rather than intramuscularly (in the muscle) whenever possible. A follow-up audit was carried out in 1999 to measure the progress made in response to the Quality Starts Here program. Plans to repeat the audit were postponed as a result of BSE, but Canada’s third beef quality audit was completed recently. This column is focused on surface injection site lesions and bruises in fed cattle.

Visible surface injection site lesions and bruises are trimmed from the carcass and discarded. This costs producers because it reduces carcass pay weight, and costs packers because surrounding cuts are often damaged. Continue reading

Horns and brands: Canada’s beef carcass quality audit

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.



Quality audits can identify the most costly defects that impact carcass value, and help to track changes in carcass quality over time. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association carried out its first carcass quality audit in 1995. The defects identified in that audit became the focus of the CCA’s Quality Starts Here program, and Dr. Joyce van Donkersgoed spent a lot of time educating cattle producers about how to improve carcass quality and value by dehorning calves early and moving brands from the rib to the hip or shoulder. A follow-up audit was carried out in 1999 to measure the progress made in response to the Quality Starts Here program. Plans to repeat the audit were postponed as a result of BSE, but Canada’s third beef quality audit was completed recently. This column gives a quick overview of how the carcass quality audit was conducted, and some of the key findings relevant to cow-calf operators. Continue reading

Results of Canada’s most recent beef carcass quality audit

The ultimate goal of the National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) is to continually improve the value of Canadian beef carcasses by delivering a consistent high quality, safe product to consumers domestically and around the world.

Regular audits help the industry to identify management practices that influence beef quality, and measure improvements in the quality of Canadian beef over time.

The NBQA study collects and analyses carcass data in packing plants in eastern and western Canada, including all classes of cattle. The results identify various carcass quality defects, including Continue reading