May 23, 2008 — NNYADP Project
Beef producers in Northern New York want to raise animals of more consistent quality. To help them do just that, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is funding a beef quality improvement project in 2008. The project includes the use of ultrasound and on-farm skill development workshops.
Improved grading skills can help farmers maximize profit potential.
Jefferson County beef producer Don Holman of Holmdale Farms in Adams, NY, says, “Knowing when to send an animal to the market or the butcher brings us a greater return on our investment in that animal.”
Knowing the amount of marbling assists farmers in gauging when an animal has reached its optimal sale weight. Ultrasound is also a means of determining if an animal has been overfed, which results in an undesirable carcass and needless cost of production.
On-farm workshops in the fall of 2008 will explain the grading system used to group cattle for sale at auctions. Producers will be able to practice their grading skills, see how ultrasounding impacts grading evaluation per the amount of fat and muscle shown by the ultrasound results, and will view a “Hoof to Rail” video that compares live animal grading with actual hanging carcass results.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research, outreach and education program for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. # # #