A new bull has taken the top spot on the Profitable Lifetime Index rankings published by DairyCo Breeding+.
The number one daughter-proven bull, Morningview Levi, has featured in the top 20 for more than a year, but has now risen to the leading position largely by virtue of improved daughter Fertility Index, which now stands at +5.7.
This Buckeye son from an Oman cross Durham dam goes back to the famous Whittier-Farms Lead Mae Ex95. Now with a PLI of £256, Levi sums up all this index stands for, transmitting good production and superior fitness. He rises from third position in the previous proof run.
New at number two, and again rising two positions, is German-bred Guarini, a Goldwyn son which is the best somatic cell count improver in the top 100 (SCC Index -31) and who now weighs in with a PLI of £249.
Number three bull, Lynbrook Jancen (PLI £246), is a former number one sire and exhibits all the commercial strengths for which he is well known, while fourth position features the leading UK-bred and tested bull, Ballycairn Tiergan.
Tiergan’s PLI at £241 has scarcely changed since the last proof run, as improvements in Fertility and Lifespan Indexes have been countered by a slight reduction in yield. However, he holds the position of the highest percentage fat improver in the top 30.
In fifth position, Goldfire is the full brother to second-placed Guarini. With a PLI of £238 and a Fertility Index of +6.8, Goldfire is the best daughter fertility improver in the top 10.
In sixth position is newcomer, Danillo (Goldwyn x Oman), who is the highest type transmitter among the leading bulls. From the popular Markwell Bstar Raven Ex95, Danillo is also the only bull from the Netherlands in the top 10.
Co-op Oman Logan also moves into the top 10 with a rise of 24 points in his PLI, due to improvements across the board, which take his PLI to £235. With a Predicted Transmitting Ability for milk of 903kg, he is the highest yield bull in the top 10.
Whitman O Man Awesome Andy (Oman x Zade) ranks eighth with a PLI of £234 and has a massive daughter Lifespan Index of +0.7. This is the highest in the top 100, indicating his daughters live, on average, more than 200 days longer than those by the average bull.
Ninth ranking D Omar is the only Danish bull to feature in the top 10, and descends from the same cow – Tirsvad Luke Classic EX90 – as Jancen.
And rounding off the top 10 is the second highest bull with UK daughters, Cogent Twist, with a PLI of £230. This Shottle son transmits a massive 39.7kg fat and also improves on his previous Lifespan Index.
Further UK highlights
Continuing UK highlights beyond Tiergan and Twist include newcomer, Smiddiehill Saratoga, a Goldwyn from the well-known Shottle daughter, Riverdane PS Sara EX93. His initial daughter index, based on 23 daughters, earns Saratoga a PLI of £223 and a 13th position ranking, although he will have to wait until December for his official type index.
Ranked immediately beneath him is the Oman cross Laudan, Laurelhill Classic, whose 36 UK daughters excel for fitness traits and who earn him a PLI of £219.
Other leaders for the UK are Woodmarsh Zoro (Goldwyn x Outside) with a PLI of £179; Ballycairn Mascol Mars (Mascol cross Comestar Export) – PLI £175; Woodmarsh Olympian (Goldwyn cross Jolt) – PLI £171; Refined Kingpin (Mascol cross Picston Shaker) – PLI £169; and Bassingthorpe Drayman (Goldwyn cross Mtoto) – PLI £166.
This isn’t a proof run for sweeping changes or an abundance of new high fliers, says Marco Winters, head of genetics with DairyCo. “And while that may not make for a sensational listing, we have just the sort of stability in the proving system we always like to see.
“These are daughter-proven bulls that farmers can increasingly rely on for their breeding programmes, although I’d always recommend checking reliability and the number of daughters contributing to any bull’s figures.”
The Ayrshire breed’s Profitable Lifetime Index ranking has a new front-runner for August 2012, although the bull – Viking Red Cirkel Cigar – is actually of Danish Red breeding.
With a PLI of £199 and solid production with good fitness and type, his progeny are eligible to be registered with the Ayrshire Cattle Society.
Fellow Danish Red, R Fastrup, makes gains for daughter Lifespan Index (now +0.5), which help increase his PLI to £197 and move him into second position. And former number one sire, Finnish Ayrhire, Asmo Tosikko, now ranks third with a PLI of £190.
For the Jersey breed, DJ Hulk makes his re-appearance at the top of the DairyCo ranking with a PLI of £247. High daughter lifespan and production are characteristics for this Danish bull.
Hulk pushes last time’s leader, DJ Broiler, into second position although with a PLI of £221, Broiler still makes a strong showing with high daughter fertility, low cell counts and long lifespans.
Tittenser Hylke sons dominate the Friesian ranking with Morcourt Hilton retaining his number one spot with a PLI of £203. He is followed by his paternal brother Deangate Tarquin (PLI £185), while Lakemead Randolf (PLI £179) ranks third.
Huray leaps into first place on the Brown Swiss rankings with improvement of his genetic figures across the board. Sniders Option Aaron returns to the top of the Guernsey Merit Index (GMI) rankings (GMI 403). Drisgol Watzon remains in number one position for the Shorthorn breed with a PLI of £178, while the leading Montbeliarde sire is Odislait (PLI £162).
Understanding what to select for when looking at bull proofs can be difficult. Take a look at our online guide to bull proofs