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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11SF322 Teagasc €1,328,701

Project Title:

Profitable production of bull beef to market specification while ensuring optimum quality for the consumer

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Aidan Moloney

Project Abstract

This multidisciplinary proposal addresses the Food Harvest 2020 recommendation that “market-led production systems for young bulls from both the beef and dairy herd should be encouraged through enhanced research with clear price incentives that result in animals being finished to market specifications”. The overarching tasks concern the modification of production systems for bull beef to increase profitability and the assessment of the resulting bull beef for marketrelevant quality characteristics. Underpinning research tasks will focus on elements within the pathway from farm to fork that limit achievement of market specifications. The impact of slaughter age, a key requirement of the UK market, on eating quality and its interaction with carcass intervention strategies to enhance the eating quality will be examined. Insufficient fat cover is a limitation in several markets so the potential to enhance fat deposition in bulls by nutritional intervention at various phases in the life cycle will be examined. Rumen metabolism and health during transition to high energy finishing rations together with the influence of pre-slaughter ration composition per se on fat deposition and meat quality will be examined. A suite of instrumental and sensory measurements, in particular of colour and tenderness will be made. The underlying basis of these traits will be investigated. Deliverables from this project will be 1. Blueprints for farmers for producing bull carcasses of defined weight and classification, 2. Information for the meat industry on the associated quality characteristics of bulls produced in a range of systems and 3. A contribution to a database on bull carcass composition from which a future quality payment system for bulls could be derived.

Final Report:

Not available yet.