A new bull has taken the top spot in the first Holstein bull proof rankings of the year. Sarah Trickett reports
Outstanding health and fitness traits have seen the Oman son Whitman O Man Awesome Andy move up from fourth to top position in the first DairyCo Breeding+ bull proof run of the year.
Ranked on Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI), the US-bred Awesome lives up to his name with an overall PLI of £260, exceptional daughter Fertility Index (7.1) and good udder health (SCC Index -23) and becomes the breed leader for daughter lifespan, at 0.8. This means his daughters will, on average, last nearly a full lactation (0.8) longer than an average cow.
The former front runner Guarini with a PLI of £259, maintains his strong showing, and with an SCC Index of -32, he remains the best cell count improver of the breed.
A UK-bred and proven sire has also made it in to the top three position: Ballycairn Oman Pello. With a PLI of £248, he improves on daughter fitness and production traits, rising from sixth position in the December 2012 rankings. With a Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) that includes 981kg milk, he is the highest milk transmitter in the top 60.
Farmers seeking trouble-free calvings may look to the Buckeye son, Morningview Levi. Both his direct Calving Ease Index at 2.5 and his maternal Calving Ease Index at 2.0, indicate his calves are likely to be born with ease, while his daughters themselves should go on to have trouble-free calvings. His PLI is £243.
Long-term top 10 bulls, Mainstream Manifold (PLI £241) and Lynbrook Jancen (PLI £240) rank fifth and sixth respectively, while new into the top 10 as a second crop bull is the popular Ensenada Taboo Planet (Taboo x Amel x Duster). Planet’s 147 UK daughters have combined with the thousands he has internationally to earn him a PLI of £239 and push him up to seventh position. His outcross pedigree and long-lasting, high-production daughters have all generated interest in Planet, who has been heavily used as a sire of sons.
TOP 20 DAUGHTER-PROVEN HOLSTEIN BULLS RANKED ON PROFITABLE LIFETIME INDEX (PLI) APRIL 2013
WHITMAN O MAN AWESOME ANDY
BALLYCAIRN OMAN PELLO
ENSENADA TABOO PLANET
PLI = Profitable Lifetime Index; FI = Fertility Index; LS = Lifespan Index; SCC = Somatic Cell Count Index; dCE% = direct Calving Ease; TM = Type Merit; G = Genomic; f=fat; M=Milk;
The strong all-rounder in production and fitness traits Deangate Tarquin retains number one position for Profitable Lifetime Index at PLI £197. He stays comfortably ahead of the high production transmitter, Morcourt Hilton (PLI £174), in second position.
A new arrival ranked third comes in the shape of Catlane Carl. With early daughter information, this Catlane Speaker x Bureaucrat earns a PLI of £165.
Long-time leader in the Jersey sires DJ Hulk now shares the top spot with another Danish-born Jersey, DJ Broiler – both with PLIs of £227. All Lynns Maximus Vernon holds on to third place (PLI £216).
The top of the Ayrshire rankings remain unchanged, with Swedish Red, V Foske leading the way ahead of new entry Asmo Andrei. This Finnish Ayrshire excels in production and is followed by another Swedish bull and daughter fertility specialist, Gunnarstorp.
Mr Winters reminds farmers genetic indexes should not be compared across breeds. For those who wish to compare one breed with another in considering cross-breeding options, DairyCo provides a conversion formula for this purpose.
A new flush of young genomic sires have hit the market in the latest proof run this spring, with the number one bull Rosylane-LLC AltaBarney, remaining firmly in first position.
At £270, he has a Profitable Lifetime Index some 10 points ahead of the leading daughter-proven sire, and brings the prospect of improving production and fitness traits across UK herds.
Also one to look out for is fifth position Farnear-TBR-BH Lews Flyn. Sired by Lewis, Flyn has daughter fertility and fitness running through his pedigree and will appeal to UK breeders who were never able to use his sire or breed-leading grandsire. Flyn’s PLI is £253.
Commenting on the use of genomic sires, DairyCo’s head of genetics, Mark Winters says: “The top bulls in this list have been so highly selected from such a vast gene pool using the latest genomic technology, that many of their breeding patterns look almost without fault.
“This offers the prospect of some exciting breeding opportunities which could speed up genetic progress within any UK herd, but breeders should pay attention to the reliability of each index and use each bull accordingly.”
For more information on conversion formulae please email Marco Winters: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you confused by bull proofs and wonder how you can use them in your herd? Why not take a look at our interactive resource, which explains how bull proofs can be used effectively and things to look out for. Go to fwi.co.uk/livestock/bull-indices/.
Or is the use of genomic bulls something you wish to take advantage of? If so, we have a ‘how to’guide to help you understand how to use them. Check it out at fwi.co.uk/genomichowto