As traditional beef cows are rarely weighed, there are few quality data available on beef cow live weights. Data were collected on 12 farms between 2008/09 and 2009/10 as part of a project validating the data used in the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Inventory Model. Beef cow live weights were collected on both herd cows (mean 541.3 kg) and on cull cows (mean 552.6 kg). Carcass data were collected at slaughter to obtain better values for dressing-out (42.6%). Carcass data provided by Landcorp Farming Ltd indicated that their average beef cow live weights were 568 kg in 2008/09. Carcass data collected by the B+LNZ Economic Service from 8511 beef cows in 2007/08 indicated that cow live weights averaged 537 kg. An unpublished MAF Sustainable Farming Fund study reported weights for 1120 cows across 15 farms and found an average beef cow live weight of 576 kg in 2006/07. An average across all these studies suggested that beef cow weaning weights between 2006 and 2010 were around 553 kg. Keywords: beef cow; liveweight; dressing-out %

BC, Thomson, NB Smith, and PD Muir

New Zealand Journal of Animal Science and Production, Volume 80, Online, 128-130, 2020
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