#32 Optimizing the Beef Sector: Introducing Innovative Technologies for Farmers and Abattoirs


In this episode, representatives from a large consortium, including Agri-EPI, Ritchie, and SRUC, discuss the OptiBeef project, which aims to introduce new technologies to the beef sector to improve efficiency for farmers and abattoirs. The project started in 2019 and is set to wrap up in summer 2023. The OptiBeef project was inspired by the lack of available technology and inefficiency in the beef sector, which often leads to out-of-spec carcasses.

Currently, abattoirs in the UK mainly use a manual grading system, which depends on a trained individual visually grading carcasses for confirmation and fat. However, it is becoming harder to recruit and train individuals for this task. The OptiBeef project aims to automate this process and standardize it across abattoirs.

The project seeks to provide technology on farms to better manage the selection and processing of animals, as farmers often do not have accurate data until the animals have left the farm. OptiBeef aims to improve this by collecting data on the farm, such as daily weight measurements and grading information, to help farmers make more informed decisions on the optimal time to sell animals based on size and classification.

Additional technologies being developed by the consortium include the ability to monitor feed intake to calculate feed conversion efficiencies and better understand the value of inputs versus the value gained by the animals. The goal is to identify the most efficient point to sell the animals, reducing inefficiencies that arise from sending animals to abattoirs either too early or too late.


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