19 May 2000

Surprise at NZ bulls in top 10

WHILE Eastland Festival maintains a good lead in the PLI ranking, only three other bulls – Jocko Besne, Elite Mountain Donor and Ricecrest Brett – remain in the top 10 from February.

The biggest surprise is the appearance of three New Zealand sires in this quarters top 10 – Collins Royal Hugo, Etazon US Dalton and Delta NLD Gerris. But their appearance in the ranking is not without controversy, as is the ranking of Elite Mountain Donor in eighth position. No conversion is available for their type, so they take on their PIN value as PLI.

Holstein UK and Irelands Simon Gee says the data needed to convert these bulls type has not been forthcoming from their home country. But this should be overcome by the November proof run via developments from Interbull.

Lack of type proofs means it is impossible to guarantee bulls are ranked accurately on PLI, he adds. PLI figures should include adjustments for lifespan, which are based on type figures until actual longevity is available. "But the PLI ranking is only intended as a guide for selecting bulls, and should be used with type figures."

For these New Zealand bulls it should be possible to gain an idea of type based on their home country proofs, says Mr Gee.

Miles Brown of Livestock Improvement in the UK says that only the top bulls on type are selected for marketing in the UK. "The level of type in New Zealand is high. And the survival of cows is an average of 1.5 lactations more than in the UK," he says. "Dalton is strong on type in NZ as is Gerris, who has no negative scores in his NZ proof. Hugo is positive for NZ dairy conformation and scores +311 days on longevity, so he produces daughters lasting 155 days more than the NZ average of 4.6 lactations," he adds.

Also new to the top 10 are Delta Largo with £69, Woudhoeve Russell with high positive scores for fat and protein % and Delta Webster, offering 1.43 type merit and high milk volume at +684kg. &#42

Top 10 UK available Holstein Friesian bulls (May 2000)

£PLI £PIN Type merit Supplier Price

Eastland Festival 76 79 0.41 Genus 30

Delta Largo 69 74 0.18 Avoncroft TBC

Woudhoeve Russel 69 72 0.91 Avoncroft 14

Jocko Besne 69 66 2.27 Supersires 40

Collins Royal Hugo 68 68 NC LIC 14

Etazon US Dalton 68 66 NC LIC 10

Delta Webster 68 62 1.43 Avoncroft 35

Elite Mountain Donor 67 67 NC Semen World 26

Delta NLD Gerris 67 67 NC LIC 14

Ricecrest Brett 66 72 1.55 Genus 27

Source: Animal Data Centre and Holstein UK and Ireland.

TBC – to be confirmed. NC – no UK conversion available.