More cattle hitting the top grades in Northern beef plants than South
A higher percentage of cattle are hitting the top grades in Northern Ireland beef plants, according to official returns for the first half of the year.
The data also reveals that Northern finishers are getting paid up to €42/hd more than their Southern counterparts for similar weight R3 grade animals.
This was on the back of an average of 12c extra per kilo, which is equivalent to €42 on a 350kg carcase.
However, Southern finishers were faring better on heifers, with an extra 7c/kg or €22/hd being paid on R3 heifers by factories in the Republic.
The figures are based on the total kill in both jurisdictions for the first quarter of 2013.
The results have been compiled by the Northern Ireland Livestock and Meat Commission and the Department of Agriculture and Food.
The classification results for the first three months of 2013 show that the kill in Northern Ireland returned 19pc U grade steers compared to just over 12pc in the South.
In contrast, there was 42pc of the Southern-based steers classified as O grade compared to 31pc in Northern Ireland.