8 June 2001

HOLSTEINBULLSSTILLSTRONG…

HOLSTEIN bulls appearing in the PLI top 10 of the latest proof run remain broadly similar to February. Several, notably Manat, have confirmed strong positions with large numbers of daughters coming through.

Elite Mountain Donor rises from second to first place with a slight increase in £PLI from £83 to £85. However, this bulls marketability is limited because of his negative type merit score, according to Semen World product manager, John Cochrane. "Although he has no serious faults on type, if he scored plus 0.5 it would make all the difference."

Although having no such type troubles with a score of 3.3, Manat, in equal second place with Ricecrest Marshall, has dropped on production with a fall in PLI from £89 to £83. Manat offers 962kg milk with 26.8kg fat and 28.2kg protein. This bulls proof is strengthened by 376 recorded daughters in Germany, according to Evan Drayton of Dairy Daughters.

"He does fluctuate a little on production, but has a widespread commercial proof. Semen availability has also improved due to a US ban on European semen exports because of foot-and-mouth."

Lorak moves up to fourth place with a PLI increase of £5 to £78. He is particularly strong on protein, offering 32.4kg. Also strong on milk quality, but this time fat, is Delta Webster, scoring £77 on £PLI and offering 32.5kg fat. Previously shunned by breeders, Avoncroft livestock officer Emrys John believes there is renewed interest in higher fat bulls.

"Many breeders believed fat content could be maintained by feeding. However, as they see a decline in fat levels below 4% they are beginning to keep a closer eye on bulls fat characteristics. We are seeing far less interest in bulls with -0.3% fat or less. Breeders are looking to be as close as possible to a positive score on fat."

Cogents bull Principal enters the top 10 with a PLI of £73, an increase of £7 since the last proof run, according to the companys Martin Hall. "Principal has 223 daughters in his production proof and 142 in his type proof. He is particularly strong on feet and legs." &#42

Top 10 available Holstein bulls ranked on PLI (May 2001)

£PIN £PLI Type Price Supplier merit (£)

Elite Mountain Donor 82 85 -0.3 22 Semen World

Manat 69 83 3.3 42 Dairy Daughters

Ricecrest Marshall 75 83 1.9 30 Alta

Lorak 80 78 1.7 25 Supersires

Delta Webster 68 77 1.9 25 Avoncroft

Eastland Festival 79 76 0 17 Avoncroft

Crichel Principal 70 73 1.9 12 Cogent

Joyce Mountain 72 72 -0.8 9 Cogent

Ricecrest Lantz 71 71 1.9 32 Genus

Lexvold Luke Hershel 65 71 1.7 30 Alta

Source: Animal Data Centre and HUKI

Top three available bulls of other dairy breeds ranked on PLI (May 2001)

Breed Name £PIN £PLI Fat Protein

Ayrshire Harjunpaan Ilmio 67 67 28.5 21.6

Ayrshire Stensjo 64 64 34.5 22

Ayrshire Udden 55 55 21 18.3

Guernsey Victory Hunter 60 49 24.8 21.8

Guernsey Penny Pension 38 38 11.2 14.9

Guernsey Royal Oak 36 36 21.1 12.5

Jersey Fyn Lemvig 70 70 39.7 22.8

Jersey Berretta Flyer 69 69 27 24.9

Jersey Perimiter 71 68 29 24.5

Shorthorn Pigeonwood Red 92 89 43.6 30

Shorthorn Marty Red 72 67 39.7 24.3

Shorthorn Thorndale Prince 43 46 15.9 14.9

Bulls from other dairy breeds are shown in the table above. Ayrshire breeders are currently benefiting from access to new

purebred Ayrshire bloodlines from Finland, such as Harjunpaan Ilmio, according to Gordon Swanson of the Animal Data Centre.