August bull proofs: Genomic sires showcase performance ability

Young genomic sires are proving their ability to perform, making up the entire top 10 of proven Holstein sires in the August bull proof run released today (13 August) by AHDB Dairy.

Taking the top spot is the Danish-bred Viking bull VH Balisto Brook, graduating from the young sire genomic ranking with early milking daughters.

Brook has the highest Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of all the proven bulls at £794, reflecting the high fat and protein percentages in his Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA), at +0.23% and +0.12%, respectively.

He combines this with breed-leading udder health figures (-40 SCC, -5 Mastitis), reflecting the significant emphasis placed on these traits in the Nordic countries over many years.

Also graduating from the genomic young sire ranking is the new second place, Bomaz AltaTopshot (PLI £766). This Cogent Supershot son transmits high production figures with 1,187kg milk and 71.2kg combined fat and protein.

The familiar name of Co-op Robust Cabriolet features in third place, now with 684 UK daughters contributing to his production figures.

He excels in calf survival (+4.2), lameness advantage (+4.2) and maintenance index (-21), earning him a PLI of £755 at a reliability of 95% – the highest in the top 10.

See also: How to achieve an efficient dairy breeding programme

Commenting on the results, AHDB Dairy’s head of animal genetics, Marco Winters, said:

“Every one of these daughter-proven bulls has graduated at some point from the young sire genomic ranking, each bull helping to build confidence in the UK and international dairy sire proving systems.

“They serve as a reminder that genomic evaluations are proving their value, as one tranche of young sires follows the next into the proven rankings.”

Download the PDF: Proven Holstein sires August 2019

Autumn Calving Index (£ACI)

The number one proven Holstein sire, VH Balisto Brook, also leads the new Autumn Calving Indexes and features in the top five for Spring Calving Index (£SCI) with an £ACI of £668.

Brook is the first of 10 Holsteins to take the top 10 places on this across-breed ranking, designed to pinpoint the sires which transmit economic superiority in a typical autumn block-calving, winter-housed, UK situation.

£ACI and £SCI are calculated across all dairy breeds, allowing each breed to be compared on a completely level playing field, and helping those crossbreeding to fairly assess the sires most suited to their system.

Remaining in second position is Teemar Shamrock Alphabet, whose exceptional daughter fertility and lifespan are combined with lower maintenance costs than most of his cohorts, to earn him an ACI of £647.

Also with an ACI of £647 and with equal second ranking is the newly proven Siemers Bloomfield.

He excels for both weight and percentage of fat and has good fitness across the board. He also has the highest Type Merit amongst the top 10 £ACI sires.

Spring Calving Index (£SCI)

Producers forward-buying for the spring calving season have a slightly different mix of leading sires and a broader mix of breeds from which to select at the top of the £SCI ranking.

In number one position is the British Friesian Catlane Caleb (£SCI 482), who moves up from third place, transmitting high quality, low volume milk production, low maintenance costs and superb daughter fertility – all considered key traits in a spring block-calving herd.

Second ranking Lakemead Jingle (£SCI 481) also features the characteristic good fertility of the British Friesian breed alongside the highest TB Advantage among the top 20 £SCI bulls.

In third place is the leading Jersey in this ranking, Danish VJ Tester (£SCI 471), who brings the high milk quality typical of the breed, with lower volume than his cohorts.

Equally typical for the Jersey breed are the low maintenance costs of his daughters, who also feature good fertility.

Download the PDF: Block calving August 2019

Other breeds

There are two new front-runners among the breeds other than Holstein in the Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) ranking.

The British Friesian breed’s new number one is Lakemead Jingle, whose PLI of £521 lifts him from fourth position. This high-production son of Pinnacle also transmits good daughter fertility (+5.4) and lifespan (+0.4).

Jerseys also have a new front-runner, as Danish VJ Tudvad moves up from third position, with a PLI of £508.

This high milk quality bull also stands ahead of his closest rivals for reduced cell counts and mastitis (-28 and -4) and improved daughter fertility (+9.2).

There’s no change in the number one position for the red and whites, with VR Nivalan Fimbe Faabeli retaining his lead at PLI £644.

Download the PDF: Other breeds August 2019

Young genomic sires

A tie for the number one position and three new entrants to the top 10 indicate the vibrancy in the £PLI ranking for young genomic Holstein sires.

The Denovo prefix – a joint creation between ABS Global and De-Su Holsteins – has taken equal first place and features five times in the top 10.

Their number one bull is Denovo 8084 Entity, which moves up from sixth position in the April 2019 listing and features a massive Predicted Transmitting Ability for fat of 48.4kg alongside the expected superb daughter health and fertility traits which are characteristic of the high £PLI bulls.

He also has excellent calf survival (+2.7) and maternal calving ease (+2).

Tying in first position is Bomaz AltaCabot. He also transmits high fat (44.7kg) and good maternal calving ease (+2.1), while excelling in udder health (-28 SCC and -4 Mastitis) and lameness advantage (+2.8). The PLI of these joint number one bulls is £871.

Holding their places in the top five are De-Su 14673 Appeal (PLI £864) and Denovo 7921 Atrium (PLI £863).

With a Type Merit of +2.5, Appeal ranks as the highest type sire in the top 20 and has impressive daughter fertility (+12.8).

Atrium also transmits very good fertility (+11.9) and has an outstanding maintenance score at -12. Both are sons of ABS Achiever.

Download the PDF: Young Holstein sires August 2019