New technology improves beef carcass profiles

by Bryan Salvage
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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Canadian Member of Parliament Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt) announced Sept. 6, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, that an investment of $750,000 (US$756,811) was being awarded to Quantum Genetics Canada Inc. to commercialize a new technology that is now helping North American producers send their cattle to market at the optimum time.

Quantum Genetics Canada developed a management services system that improves the quality of beef carcass profiles and this funding has helped the company market the system to feedlots throughout North America. The tool uses DNA testing and genotyping to help producers and feedlot operators distinguish between genetic variations in beef cattle that are related to growth and fat profiles. These profiles tell feedlot operators the best feeding schedules for the animals.

They also inform feedlot operators when the animal has reached the targeted body-fat profile. This prevents feedlot operators from spending additional money keeping the animal on the feedlot unnecessarily and allows them to process more cattle more quickly – and more profitably, the company said. It will also help them capture premiums for their product for attributes like marbling and tenderness.

"Quantum Genetics is pleased to accept the investment made by the Agri-Opportunities Program, which allowed Quantum to further commercialize our breakthrough technology," said Leigh Marquess, vice president and COO. "This investment will further advance Quantum Genetics in the field of beef genomics, in turn advancing value creation for primary feedlot producers."

The project is also creating 30 jobs in Saskatchewan, generating new revenues for this Canadian-based company and reducing operating costs of feedlot operators.

Project funding came from the Agri-Opportunities Program, which focused on commercializing innovative new agri-products, processes or services that are currently not produced or available in Canada and that are ready to be introduced into the marketplace.
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