LAMBS have flocked into the 2024 LambEx AMPC Feedlot Carcase Competition — believed to be the largest cuts-based comparison of commercial lambs ever held in Australia.
The competition carcases will be assessed under the Meat Standards Australia cuts-based model including assessments on eating quality criteria such as intramuscular fat and lean meat yield.
Interest in the competition led to entries being closed two weeks earlier than expected as the initial allocated capacity at the Thornby Feedlot in South Australia was exceeded.
Australian sheep producers have entered 1800 lambs across 15 different breeds in the commercially-focused lamb feedlot carcase competition. Entries will arrive at the Thornby Feedlot at Sanderston on 1 December 2023.
LambEx chair and South Australian sheep producer Jason Schulz said the response by producers to benchmark sheep genetics is significant in the current market conditions.
“The response has been really pleasing particularly with representation and entries from a cross section of states across Australia, including South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
“Entries were actually closed off two weeks early such was the demand,” he said.
“Producers have really embraced and appreciated the chance to profile their genetics and put themselves up against other producers from across Australia and it has been fantastic to be able to fill and extend the Thornby pens.
“Aggregated results will inform and substantiate breeding profiles to determine what makes profitable lambs, presenting a great opportunity for lamb producers,” said Jason.
The competition entries have come from South Australia (48 percent), Victoria (26pc), New South Wales (13pc) and Western Australia (13pc).
Owner and manager of Thornby Feedlot Alex McGorman said the initial capacity allocated was about 1200 lambs, but based on the national response the feedlot allocation was increased to 1800 lambs.
“Given the current state of play, the incentive for producers to combine lamb sales and also benchmark their production and capacity at the same time has been really appealing.
“Under the same conditions and feed regime, it will be interesting to see the results across a combination of breed types,” he said.
“We are looking forward to welcoming entries in December and tracking their progress across the 60 days,” he said.
Australian Meat Processor Corporation chief executive Chris Taylor said the commercially-focused feedlot competition was a perfect fit for AMPC to be involved in profiling and determining desirable yield attributes for the lamb sector.
“The LambEx Feedlot Carcase Competition is a great initiative to delve deeper into what makes a profitable lamb and we are pleased to support and profile recognised production qualities that enhance and improve lamb eating quality,” he said.
“Benchmarking provides invaluable insight and analysis in producer performance and this contribution in developing desirable lamb genetic profiles will be immeasurable.
“Awards and recognition will be announced at LambEx 2024 in Adelaide 7-9 August 2024 and we look forward to recognising industry performance across MSA graded carcase merit in aggregated results,” Mr Taylor said.
The AMPC LambEx Feedlot Carcase Competition has been a collaborative effort between key partners AMPC, Thomas Foods International, Thornby Feedlot and Meat & Livestock Australia to deliver a Meat Standards Australia cuts-based graded commercially-focused lamb feedlot carcase competition across Australia.