Dairy bull proof run puts Canadian beast in number one spot

The latest Holstein bull proof run provides a ringing endorsement of the genomic indexing system as a method of evaluating young sires.

The new number one bull is the Canadian Gen-I-Beq Lavaman, who made his name as the number one young sire on the UK’s first genomic ranking published three years ago.

Today, Lavaman has many daughters milking throughout the world, including 54 in the UK.

On the strength of their performance, he earns a massive profitable lifetime index (PLI) of £640, thanks to the transmission of plenty of high-quality milk and outstanding daughter fertility. Lavaman is a son of Man-O-Man, a former number one PLI sire himself.

See more: A guide to last year’s bull proof changes

He is joined in the top 20 by numerous former top genomic sires.

Marco Winters, head of genetics for DairyCo said: “It is particularly gratifying that the list also provides such a resounding endorsement of the genomic testing system, which has been in place in the UK since April 2012.

“With no less than 14 bulls in the top 20 which started their careers with high genomic indexes, we can gain more and more confidence is selecting young sires using indexes calculated from their own DNA.”

At number two and with a PLI of £607 is the former front-runner, Prehen Omen, the first of two UK-bred bulls to feature in the top 10, is bred by the McLean family (Relough herd), Northern Ireland.

“With no less than 14 bulls in the top 20 which started their careers with high genomic indexes, we can gain more and more confidence is selecting young sires using indexes calculated from their own DNA.”
Marco Winters, DairyCo

The third-ranking Kings-Ransom Erdman earns his PLI of £544 partly on the strength of his low daughter maintenance costs and their long lifespans while fourth placed Grafit maintains his high position (PLI 531) with an exceptional somatic cell count index (SCC) of -18.

The big mover in the rankings is Mainstream Manifold, who has jumped into fifth position after being just outside the top 20 thanks to his second-crop of daughters.

Now with 1,584 daughters milking in the UK, he boasts a PLI of £591 and has outstanding daughter fertility (+12.8) and exceptional fat production (31.3kg).

But the highest-ranking Holstein sire for daughter fertility is the sixth-position bull McCormick at +18.2 (PLI £508), who now adds even more daughters to his index with 7,549 now milking in the UK.

In joint sixth place is the second UK-bred bull to feature in the list, Laurelhill Classic. He has exceptional daughter fertility (FI) of +15.2, long daughter lifespans, with a PLI of £508.

Top 20 daughter-proven Holstein bulls ranked on profitable lifetime index April 2015 top20daughterprovenholsteinbulls_Page_3

Genomic sires

The top two young sires on the genomic PLI listing remain unchanged with the two Canadian Enforcer sons, Penmanship and Boardshop, retaining their first and second positions.

Penmanship’s outstanding lifespan transmission (LS) of +0.7; good production (predicted transmitting ability for milk 614kg) and high daughter FI of +10.4, help give him a PLI of £724, which keeps him firmly in the lead.

His paternal half-brother, Boardshop shows a similar transmitting pattern and has a PLI of £657.

Third-placed Firewall (AltaJackman cross Shamrock), edges up from fifth position with a PLI of £648. He has fantastic milk quality and low maintenance costs, including fat transmission of +0.17%.

Top 20 Holstein bulls with genomic indexes ranked on profitable lifetime index

Other breeds

Specialist dairy breeds remain largely stable. Leading the Jersey offering remains Danish VJ Link, with a PLI Of £494 to reflect his strong production and good health, including a SCC of -19 and daughter FI of +11.1.

Among the British Friesians, Langley Evolution retains his lead with excellent health traits (SCC -14) and daughter Fertility Index (FI +13.1) and a PLI of £375. Ayrshire

Former front-runner, Gunnarstorp has regained his number one position for the Ayrshire list, offering strong production and good health (SCC -14; FI +10.1). His PLI is £494.

Huray holds onto his top position for the Brown Swiss with excellent production, good daughter lifespans and fertility and a PLI of £451.

For the Montbeliarde breed, Crasat climbs to the top with high production, low cell counts and a PLI of £331.

The leading Fleckvieh is Ricki (PLI £308); new at the top of the Shorthorn list is the UK-bred Scandinavian Red, Skyhigh Oscar (PLI £354) and De Garis Bettys Bertie remains the front runner ranked on Guernsey Merit Index.

Top five bulls for non-holstein breeds

Spring-calving index

Meanwhile the top three within spring block-calving index remain unchanged, with the Jersey sires Tester, Link and Holmer holding on to the leading positions. Their spring calving indexes (SCIs) are £424, £421 and £391, respectively.

Top 20 daughter-proven bulls ranked on spring calving index