New genetic indexes for daughter-proven Holstein bulls, published on Tuesday (5 April) by AHDB Dairy, reflect the continuing trend towards percentage fat required for many milk contracts.

At the top of the ranking is Gen-I-Beq Lavaman, whose PLI of £626 moves him back into the leading position.

Producers aiming to increase milk components will appreciate Lavaman’s positive fat (+0.10%) and protein (+0.15%), which he combines with outstanding daughter fertility (fertility index +13.5).

His modern-type profile includes the transmission of modest stature, which reduces the maintenance cost of his daughters (maintenance -8).

In second position and with a PLI of £622 is the former number-one sire, Kings-Ransom Erdman.

This bull’s daughters are among the lowest cost to maintain, with his maintenance index at -19.

Erdman is also one of the breed-leading longevity transmitters (lifespan +0.7), which he combines with an outstanding somatic cell count index (SCC-20).

See also: December bull proofs

New in third position with a PLI of £591 is Teemar Shamrock Alphabet (Shamrock-cross Ramos).

Alphabet has a very balanced breeding profile including excellent ease of calving in his daughters (maternal calving ease +3.0); good daughter longevity (+0.6) and high daughter fertility (+13.3).

He also transmits the best resistance to bovine TB in the top 10 (TB Advantage +2.1).

Teemar-Ramos-Affirm-VG86

Teemar Ramos Affirm VG86 – the dam of Alphabet © Lea McCullough/Cybil Fisher Photography

No-Fla Emulate 30309 (Bookem-cross Oman) gains 40 PLI points to make it into the top 10 (PLI £568), transmitting a high weight of fat and protein and solid fitness.                                                   

In fifth position is S-S-I Bookem Morgan (PLI £565), who has a similar breeding profile to his paternal brother, Emulate, and the highest Type Merit in the top 10 at +2.11.          

Download a PDF copy of the top 20 daughter-proven Holstein bulls ranked on profitable lifetime index – April 2016

Genomic bulls

In the genomic rankings long-term leader, Sandy-Valley-I Penmanship, retains his number-one position, with a genomic profitable lifetime index (PLI) of £720.

But there are three new bulls in the top five on the list and many more throughout the ranking.

Sharing the number-one spot with Penmanship – who continues to impress with breed-leading daughter longevity (Lifespan +0.7) and excellent daughter fertility index (FI +12.2) – is new entrant, S-S-I 1stClass Flagship.

Flagship (Alta1stClass-cross Supersire) is the higher milk and fat transmitter of the two bulls, with 828kg milk and a massive 40.1kg fat, and has an impressive Type Merit of 3.02.

Another newcomer in third position is another son of Alta1stClass from a Supersire dam.

Triplecrown Gatedancer weighs in with a PLI of £697 and transmits a marginally higher weight of fat than Flagship – and the highest in the top 20 – at 40.5kg.

He combines this with solid fitness ratings.

Peak AltaPainter (Davinci-cross Numero Uno) makes his debut in fourth position (PLI £693) thanks to outstanding daughter longevity predictions (Lifespan +0.7).

He has a maternal half-brother, in the shape of Peak Tango Paisley, joining him in 14th place.

The very complete breeding pattern of Bacon-Hill Hurricane (Chops-cross Shotglass) earns him fifth position and a PLI of £687.   

Download a PDF copy of top 20 Holstein bulls with genomic indexes ranked on profitable lifetime index – April 2016                    

Spring calving index

Spring calving dairy producers now some way through the breeding process for next year’s calvings will be reassured to see stability in the across-breed spring calving index (SCI) rankings.

Intended for use exclusively by producers block calving in spring, operating grazing-based systems and targeting milk production of about 4,500kg a head, the SCI ranking sees the Danish-bred Jersey, VJ Tester retain his existing lead.

Featuring negative milk volume with exceptionally high percentages of fat and protein, Tester also transmits long lifespans (LS +0.6) and excellent fitness (SCC Index -15 and FI +10.8) as well as low feed costs for maintenance (maintenance -61). His SCI is £451.

Also retaining his position is the second-ranking VJ Link (SCI £413), another Danish-bred Jersey.

The maintenance cost of Link’s daughters is also exceptionally low (maintenance -62), while high fat and protein percentages again complement good daughter fitness, fertility and lifespans. SCC Index is -9; LS is +0.3 and FI is an impressive +14.0.

Even higher for daughter fertility is the highest ranking British Friesian in the shape of Catlane Caleb, who features the trait for which the breed is renowned.

With a SCI of £408 and a FI of +14.5, he is the best fertility improver in the top 10 and also brings low maintenance costs and long lifespans.

Download a PDF copy of the top 20 daughter-proven bulls ranked on spring calving index – April 2016

Other breeds

In other breeds there is little change in the top five, with only the British Friesian seeing the emergence of two new entrants.

Beneath Catlane Chad, the existing number one British Friesian sire ranked on profitable lifetime index (PLI), is his stable mate, Catlane Caleb, still ranked in second position.

Their PLIs are £410 and £391 respectively.  

The newcomer ranked third is Rearsby Black Gem, a son of Centurion whose PLI of £297 reflects his good predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs) for production, particularly for weight of fat at 21.4kg, and good fitness traits.  

Beneath Deangate Quaich (PLI £286), who retains his top five position, the second Friesian newcomer to become part of the leading quintet is Kirkby Premier.

This son of Benloyal has a PLI of £283 and is notable for the transmission of good production and very good fertility (FI +5.3).

Jersey

The Jersey breed sees almost no change since the previous index run last December, with a few leading bulls subtly changing position, and only one new entrant in the top five.

This number-five bull is VJ Herodot, a son of Q Hirse, whose PLI of £392 reflects good PTAs for production across the board, long daughter lifespans and, at FI +13, exceptional daughter fertility.

Ayrshire

Rankings for the Ayrshire breed remain similarly static, with the only newcomer among the top five being the equal-fifth ranking West Mossgiel Modern Reality.

This UK-bred Reality son has a PLI of £346 and the highest type merit among the leading Ayrshire bulls at TM 2.4.

With particularly good legs and feet, Modern Reality also transmits low cell counts and very good daughter fertility at +9.3.

Download a PDF copy of the top five for non-Holstein breeds ranked on profitable lifetime index – April 2016