Breaking News straight to number one in December bull proofs

Eight new American Holstein bulls are among the top 10 in the latest Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) ranking, published this week by AHDB Dairy.

All eight young genomic sires have been introduced since the previous genetic evaluations were released in August, seven of them from the US Peak breeding programme.

Top five

Top of the leader board is Peak Breaking News with a PLI of £957. This reflects his excellent transmission of udder health, with a -35 Somatic Cell Count (SCC) index and a -4 Mastitis Index – the best in the top 20.

He also scores highly for daughter fertility, at +12.5.

Side view of bull

Photo: Peak Breaking News © Ella Wright

See also: How to assess and improve dairy herd genetics

These rankings contribute to a Lifespan Index of +207 days, and a high score for the recently launched HealthyCow, at £348. Breaking News is sired by Peak AltaZazzle.

Pushed into second place is Genosource Captain, who nevertheless retains his PLI of £944. With a Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) for milk of 1,156kg, he continues to demonstrate high milk production.

He also has a FeedAdvantage of 265, which means his daughters are predicted to save 265kg of dry matter intake during each lactation, compared with daughters of a bull of comparable production whose FeedAdvantage is zero.

This is due in part to his favourable Maintenance Index of -16.

Captain’s EnviroCow rating of 5.1 is breed-leading and shows his daughters are expected to create the lowest level of greenhouse gas emissions in their lifetimes for each kilo of saleable product they produce.

EnviroCow incorporates cow lifespan, milk production, fertility and FeedAdvantage.

New in third place is Winstar Graziano, with a PLI of £937. This reflects his transmission of very high milk solids (+0.35% fat and +0.12% protein) and Maintenance Index of -14. He is also sired by Peak AltaZazzle.

At number four is Peak AltaAlanzo. He is one of the highest protein transmitters in the top 20, at 40.4kg, and has a PLI of £922.

Fifth ranking Winstar Greycup, full brother to Winstar Graziano, has a PLI of £917 and a high EnviroCow score of 4.9.

Top 10

Peak AltaLajoy is at number six, with PTAs of fat of 60.5kg. Badger SSI Big Al Newman keeps his place in the top 10 with a PLI of £896 and is the highest ranking HealthyCow sire at £361.

Peak Rainbow is new in at eight, offering exceptional fat transmission at 62kg (0.24%) and a PLI of £887. In equal ninth position are two more newcomers, each with a PLI of £884.

Winstar Equity transmits high daughter fertility (+13.6), while Peak AltaZingler is the best daughter fertility improver of the top 10, at +15.8.

UK sires

Three new bulls from the elite Denovo female nucleus established in the UK are just outside the top 20. Denovo Rhapsody scores highly for udder health and calving ease and has a PLI of £869; Denovo Raffa transmits high fat and has a PLI of £848, while Denovo Adderley’s PLI is £841.

Proven Holstein ranking

Progenesis Wimbledon moves straight to number one in the proven Holstein ranking on PLI.

Early information on his daughters shows the top features of this bull are PTAs of +0.34% fat and +0.18% protein, a good Lameness Advantage, at +2.5%, and a daughter Fertility Index of +9.

Wimbledon’s sire is Bomaz AltaRobson and his PLI is £754.

Side view of bull

Photo: Progenesis Wimbledon © Patty Jones

Peak AltaZarek, with a PLI of £750, climbs from third to second place. He has the best Lameness Advantage in the top 20, at +3, and a Mastitis rating of -3, showing he transmits very good udder health.

His sire is former top-ranking Bomaz Alta Topshot, who still features in the top 20.

In third place is another former number one. With 413 UK daughters contributing to his production proof, Westcoast Yamaska has a PLI of £748. His protein transmission is 37kg and +0.16%.

Climbing to fourth position is Leaninghouse Helix, with a HealthyCow score of £253. He transmits excellent udder health, scoring -27 SCC, -3 Mastitis, Lameness Advantage of +2.6 and Fertility Index of +11.1.

Joining the top five is Welcome Silver Griff with an EnviroCow score of 3.6 and a PLI of £726. He features excellent milk quality, with 57.5kg (+0.26%) fat and 35.5kg (+0.09%) protein.

Sixth ranking ABS Crimson, with a PLI of £722, also has an EnviroCow score of 3.6. His strong Calf Survival Index (+2.8) boosts his environmental credentials.

New entrants take the next three places, two of them equalling Crimson’s PLI. Denovo 8084 Entity is a former top-ranking genomic young sire, while Bomaz AltaCabot has the best Maintenance Index in the top 20, at -16.

The third is Mr Farnear Helix Twitch, with favourable calving ease (0.8), a FeedAdvantage of +97 and a PLI of £720.

In 10th place is S-S-I PR Renegade, with a PLI of £707.

AHDB’s head of animal genetics, Marco Winters, says: “Although their PLIs are inevitably lower than those of the leading young sires, some of these slightly earlier generation bulls have hundreds, and, in some cases, thousands of UK daughters, and many more around the world.

“With high reliabilities and proven breeding patterns, there’s no reason why they can’t continue to have a valuable place in producers’ breeding programmes.”

Spring Calving Index

Daughter fertility improver Progenesis Unicorn stays in top place with a Spring Calving Index (SCI) of £485.

He is followed by the leading proven Holstein bull, Progenesis Wimbledon, whose SCI of £472 reflects his transmission of high milk solids, lameness reduction and fertility improvement – all key traits for spring block calving herds.

In third position is Schoene AltaRobert, with an SCI of £457. Just behind, at £456, is Peak Motion, while VH River Ramsey is in fifth place with an SCI of £441.

Bull grazing

Photo: Progenesis Unicorn © Han Hopman

Genetics for autumn calvers

Top proven Holstein sire and second on the SCI, Wimbledon also takes the number one spot on the Autumn Calving Index (ACI). His ACI of £661 shows he is as suited to autumn block calving as year-round calving.

Wimbledon is followed by VH River Ramsey, with an ACI of £633. In third place is Peak Motion (ACI £632), Unicorn is in fourth (ACI £629) and former top-ranking ACI sire Westcoast Guarantee (£619) is fifth.

The SCI and ACI are across-breed indexes.

Other breeds

Lower numbers tested mean fewer changes across the Jersey, Ayrshire and Friesian PLIs.


Jersey bull River Valley Cece Chrome retains the number one spot for the breed. He has a PTA of 841kg milk and a combined fat and protein of 64.6kg. His PLI is £546.

Danish VJ Raastrup Hihl Gislev is in second place with a PLI of £471. He has a breed-leading SCC of -22 and a HealthyCow score of £102.

And new at number three is VJ Ravninggaard Huus Hamlet with a HealthyCow index of £168 and a PLI of £459.

In fourth place, with a PLI of £425 and a HealthyCow ranking of £169, is VJ Hagenbjerggaard Hian Hitman.

VJ Aarre Lappe Lari takes the number five spot with one of the highest EnviroCow scores of the breed, at +2.6.


VR Vilano remains in top place among the reds and Ayrshires with a PLI of £468. He offers good PTAs for production and daughter fertility and an EnviroCow of 2.8.

VR Gobel, with long daughter lifespans (+116 days) and a PLI of £467, remains at number two, while VR Vimpula moves up to third position, transmitting the highest milk production of the breed, an EnviroCow ranking of 3.2 and a PLI of £426.

VR Alatalon Flame Feton drops to number four but takes the top spot for Fertility Index at +15.2. VR Fabu, another daughter fertility improver and the highest ranking HealthyCow bull, at £238, moves up to number five. His PLI is £406.


Top of the Friesian leader board is unchanged: Carrickshock GTW has a PLI of £396. He has the second highest milk PTA, at 546kg, and the highest fat (23.2kg) and protein (22.4kg).

Inch Persistent, with a PLI of £366, moves back up to number two, and staying in third is Catlane Caleb, with excellent daughter credentials for fertility, a top score for maintenance and and EnviroCow of 2.2.

Moving up to fourth place is Manorpark Google, with a PLI of £316. And in fifth is Catlane Cromwell, with the best HealthyCow ranking in the top five, at £209.

Indexes for Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Shorthorn and Fleckvieh can be found on the AHDB website.