OPTI-BEEF: precision agricultural solution to monitor lifetime productivity and product quality

Abstract

"There is currently extensive inefficiency in the UK beef sector. Producers routinely assess the performance of their animals by eye and frequently retain them on farm too long, resulting in animals becoming too fat. This leads to increased variable farm costs, reduced annual capacity of beef finishing units and sub-optimal price paid for carcasses -- for a finishing unit producing 300 animals per year this equates to a cost of £11,400\. Over-fat animals also increase the primary processing costs for abattoirs and have a higher environmental impact per kg of product produced.

The price paid to the producer for a beef carcass is also predominantly assessed subjectively by eye. Lack of confidence in the reliability of carcass evaluation makes it difficult to agree quality-based payments that reflect the true value of carcasses.

This project aims to develop on-farm and in abattoir technologies to automate and optimise on-farm selection of animals for slaughter and carcass evaluation. The project will integrate automated data gathered across the whole life of individual beef animals (from calf to carcass) to create an enhanced decision support platform to modernise and drive efficiency improvements across the UK beef supply chain."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Hall Mark Meat Hygiene Limited, Stonehouse £399,090 £ 239,454
 

Participant

Innovent Technology Limited, Turriff £224,184 £ 156,929
Scotbeef Limited, BRIDGE OF ALLAN £74,525 £ 37,262
Hectare Agritech Limited, Rowland's Castle £124,624 £ 87,237
Randall Parker Foods Limited, TOWCESTER £73,850 £ 36,925
SRUC, United Kingdom £347,307 £ 347,307
Harbro Limited, Turriff £85,088 £ 42,544
Agri-Epi Centre Limited, Bedford £99,504 £ 99,504
David Ritchie (Implements) Limited, FORFAR £255,310 £ 153,186
Npl Management Limited, TEDDINGTON £74,944 £ 74,944

Publications

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