Donegal Meats leads R3 ratio

Marts: More than one in three bullocks supplied to Donegal Meats is grading R3, the highest ratio at any factory in the country for the first half of 2005.

Donegal edged slightly ahead of the Dawn Meat plant at Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo where almost 31% of bullocks killed were graded R3. Moyvalley Meats (Bergins) at Broadford, Co Kildare and Exel Meats at Kilbeggan were both on 25% of the kill.

Dawn Meats at Ballaghadereen were on 24%, the Kepak plant at Clonee, Co Meath on 23% and Slaney Meats at Bunclody, Co Wexford and AIBP at Clones, Co Monaghan both at 22%.

Almost 14% of the bullocks killed at Donegal Meats were U3 grade, almost four times the national average of 3.6% and more than double nearest rivals, Dawn Meats at Ballaghadereen, with 6.5%.

Exel Meats, Kilbeggan recorded just under 6% U3 animals, marginally ahead of Slaney Meats and AIBP Clones, both over 5%.

The highest percentage of O3 grade bullocks were slaughtered at Jennings of Ballinrobe at 39%, a whisker ahead of Kepak, Watergrasshill at 38.9%.

There was 35% of the kill at Charleville Foods - owned by the Dawn Group - classified O3 and almost 34% at AIBP in Cahir, Co Tipperary.

Dawn Meats at Midleton had 32%, Ashbourne Meats, Roscreea 31.8% and AIBP, Bandon 30.5%. The national average for O3 bullocks was 23.6%.

Overall, the kill for the six month period returned 7.6% U grade - across at fat scores - a total of 43.8% R grade and 41.8% of the kill O grade.

This was the first half year of grading being carried out by the newly installed mechanical grading machines, which have replaced the manual system at the factories since last Autumn.

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