2012 National Beef Quality Audit Expected to Assist Producers in Improving Profitability
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Suggested Lead: The checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Audit, conducted every five years since 1991, assesses progress the industry makes on a variety of production issues that ultimately affect consumer demand for beef. Keith Belk, Colorado State University, has been involved in the development of this year’s audit and says some changes have been made in the way in which data is collected and what kind of data is included in the study.
Belk 1: “We attempted to change Phase One around this year, and Phase Two actually, to collect a bit more data that was maybe more modern using some of the technologies that are now available to us. In Phase One, we designed a survey where we used a software that allowed us to dynamically route questions based on the answers that respondents gave to various questions. And in Phase Two for the first time, have been able to collect a ton of data that resulted from the use of instruments and instrument grading systems. So there’s been a lot more information available this round of the National Beef Quality Audit than ever before.” (:42 seconds)
The amount of information collected via the Quality Audit can seem daunting, but Belk believes that the data disseminated will directly benefit all cattle producers.
Belk 2: “For the first time we’ve been able to quantify responses to gut reactions about quality issues and things that affect purchasing decisions in the industry. You know, anytime you can quantify the impact that various attributes have on purchasing decisions, that always will benefit the industry in terms of things that they can manage to improve profitability. So I’m certain that this audit will provide information that’s useful to all cattle producers.” (:30 seconds)
Belk says he’s been involved with the National Beef Quality Audit since 1991 and though it continues to evolve and change, the research has never deviated from its original intent of improving producer profitability.
Belk 3: “It’s an evolutionary process trying to collect data and trying to benchmark the state of the industry, and so every time we do one of these, we learn something that we can apply to the next audit. But it hasn’t lost its grassroots, its main original purpose of trying to quantify the things the industry could do to improve the profitability by improving the value of beef at consumption levels. So, that’s always been a primary goal of the audit and I think that’s still on target.” (:33 seconds)
The results from the 2011 National Beef Quality Audit will be released at the upcoming Summer Cattle Industry Conference in July.
For more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.