Latest dairy bull proofs feature new runners and riders

A new number one genomic sire and two UK-bred half-brothers are among the highlights of the latest Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) ranking, published today (2 April) by AHDB Dairy.

Leading the way at number one is Denovo 14566 Crosby, one of the highest production sires of the Holstein breed and predicted to transmit 1,027kg of milk and combined fat and protein of a massive 74.7kg.

The dam of Denovo 14566 Crosby © Beth Herges

He impressively combines this in his genomic index with superb udder health traits (-30 somatic cell count, -3 mastitis), good daughter fertility index (+8.4) and high lameness advantage (+2.8). This underlies his high daughter lifespan of +0.7 and his PLI of £863. A son of DG Charley, he is out of a Rubicon dam.

Crosby replaces the former number one sire, Pine-Tree CW Legacy, who has been taken off the list due to unavailability in the UK.

See also: Trial shows huge merit of using EBVs with beef herds

Remaining in second place is Denovo 7921 Atrium (PLI £861), also from the Denovo breeding programme. Atrium is a high fat percentage bull (+0.21%) with very favourable daughter maintenance (-12), indicating lower maintenance feed costs for his progeny. This ABS Achiever son also scores well for daughter fertility (+12.5) and lifespan (+0.6).

In third place is the second new entry since the December release, De-Su 14673 Appeal (PLI £856), another son of Achiever with a very similar breeding pattern to his paternal half-brother.

Climbing into the top 10 with a PLI of £846 is fourth placed VH Bosman Bahrain. This Danish-born sire transmits high protein (33.1kg, +0.11%), has excellent maintenance figures (-16) and favourable direct calving ease (+1.5).

In fifth place is Bomaz AltaCabot (PLI £842) who moves into the top 10 with high fat transmission, a very favourable lameness advantage (+2.8) and good udder health figures.

Download a PDF table of the top 20 genomic bulls

Proven Holstein sires

The ranking for daughter-proven Holstein bulls shows no change at the top with Larcrest Commend maintaining his lead with a Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) of £767.

His impressive milk components (+0.21 fat%, +0.16 protein%), as well as high daughter fertility index (+10.1) are some this Balisto son’s trademarks.

Commend is followed closely by another Balisto son, Cookiecutter Harper, with a PLI of £752. Now with 100 UK daughters contributing to his production proof, Harper climbs to second from fifth place in December, and further improves on his impressive protein transmission (+36.1kg).

View-Home Littlerock jumps to third position and scores well for lameness advantage (+3.0) and daughter fertility (+11.4). His PLI is £719.

Moving into the top 10 in the fourth spot is De-Su 12272 Apex with a PLI of £712. This son of Cashcoin transmits very favourable maintenance feed costs (-23), excellent udder health (-29 SCC, -4 mastitis), superb calf survival (+4.6) and one of the highest lifespan scores in the top 20 (+0.7).

The familiar Hoanster Zanzibarranks is in equal fifth position, now with 235 UK daughters in his production proof. He shows excellent daughter fertility index at +16.1 as well as a very good lameness advantage (+2.8).

Also equal fifth is the new entrant, ABS Crayon (PLI £708), another son of Balisto with tremendous milk yields and protein (+1,023kg and +38.5kg, respectively). However, at -0.18% fat, he may transmit less than optimal milk quality for some producers.

Download a PDF table of the top 20 proven Holstein bulls

Spring calving index

Spring block calving producers who are still looking for service sires this season may be encouraged to see a new number one bull ranked on the AHDB Dairy Spring Calving Index (£SCI).

The bull is the British Friesian, Lakemead Jingle, whose SCI of £477 gives him the edge on this across-breed ranking.

Lakemead Jingle © Jane Steel

Jingle transmits positive milk production, reduces cases of mastitis and has a superb daughter fertility index of +17.7. With a maintenance index of -16, his daughters are also predicted to be cheap to feed.

A former number one sire, Danish VJ Tester, has been in the running for £SCI for many index runs and now climbs back to second position from fifth place last December.

This Jersey sire features excellent milk quality (0.67% fat and 0.24% protein) and good fitness and fertility (FI +12.7), while his maintenance index of -64 is a reflection of the small daughter he breeds which will have low feed maintenance costs. Tester’s SCI is £476.

The British Friesian, Catlane Caleb, has also been a long-standing fixture of the £SCI ranking, moving down just one position into third on this occasion. Another great daughter fertility improver (FI +17), he too will reduce costs of production. His SCI is £473.

Down from third to fourth place is the Holstein Larcrest Commend, whose SCI of £472 reflects a breeding pattern of far higher production and greater maintenance costs than his contemporaries from the other breeds. However, his low cell counts (-18) and weight of fat plus protein will appeal to those looking to push up production.

Rounding off the £SCI top five is Danish Tudvad (£SCI 455), a high percentage fat improver transmitting low cell counts (-21) and good daughter fertility (+12.5).

Autumn Calving Index (£ACI)

Autumn calves will be pleased to see little change in the Autumn Calving Index (£ACI) ranking, which sees many of the same bulls leading the way.

Number one position is retained by the Holstein Larcrest Commend (£ACI 657), whose excellent milk and solids production (719kg milk, 35.4kg fat, 30.1kg protein, 0.10% fat, 0.11% protein) are complemented by low cell counts (SCC -18) and good daughter fertility.

Remaining in number two position is Teemar Shamrock Alphabet (£ACI 624), a transmitter of high production (794kg milk, 21.5kg fat, 22.7kg protein) and excellent daughter fertility (FI +15.7).

Moving up from fourth to third position, Hoanster Zanzibar (£ACI 617) offers excellent weight of milk (843kg), fat (33.1kg) and protein (27.1kg) combined with low cell counts (SCC -21) and great daughter fertility (+11.4).

The biggest jump in the top five comes from De-Su 12272 Apex, who moves from 11th to fourth position with an ACI of £616. He too features high weights of milk, fat and protein, outstanding cell counts (-28) and long lifespans.

Unchanged at number five is S-S-I Mogul Multiply (ACI £603), offering a good balance of production and health, including a superb daughter fertility index of +13.9.

Download a PDF table of the Autumn Calving Index

Non-Holstein breed rankings

Two newcomers from North America have entered the running to create a reshuffle in the Jersey table. 

The highest ranking bull, CDF Irwin Steve, weighs in with a Profitable Lifetime Index of £549 and massive production predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs).

CDF Irwin Steve

This includes 526kg milk, 48.3kg fat and 24kg protein (0.33% fat, 0.08% protein). This is far ahead of his Scandinavian cohorts, although he is slightly below breed average for daughter fertility. However, he is the top improver of udder conformation in the top five.

Danish VJ Link, which had held the number one position, moves to second place. His PLI of £522 reflects his daughters’ solid production and excellent fertility (FI +9.2) and fitness, including -21 SCC index and -3 for mastitis. His lifespan index (LS) is equal best in the top five and he also transmits the best legs and feet (+1.6).

Third ranking Danish VJ Tudvad retains his previous position, featuring outstanding components, particularly percentage fat (+0.35%), and the best udder health (SCC -28, mastitis -4) and fertility index (FI +9.9) in the top five. His PLI is £515.

CDF Trajectory is the second newcomer, and the second in the new wave of high-production Jerseys to make the running. With 796kg milk, 41.7kg fat and 32kg protein he is streets ahead of other Jerseys for production although won’t improve cell counts, mastitis or fertility. His PLI is £494.

Danish VJ Zummit retains his fifth position with a PLI of £462 built on good daughter fertility and cell counts and positive milk components.

British Friesian

Unchanged in the British Friesian ranking is Catlane Caleb who continues to show good daughter fertility (FI +7.1) and milk solids and earns a PLI of £477.

He stands ahead of newcomer, Beaufort Karactacus (PLI £473). This son of Morcourt Hilton has the highest production among the top five Friesians (473kg milk, 20.6kg fat and 17.7kg protein) while also improving cell counts and mastitis (-6 SCC, -3 Mast).

Dropping from second to third is Catlane Cromwell with a PLI of £463 ahead of a newcomer in fourth position, Lakemead Jingle. This Lakemead Pinnacle son’s PLI of £457 reflects his transmission of very good production solids (11.4kg Fat, 14.2kg Protein) and health across the board, in particular, +7.8 for fertility index, the best in the top five.

Down one place to number five is Skyhigh Lord, the best SCC improver in the top five (-13), who earns a PLI of £354.

Ayrshire

The top five in the Ayrshire breed represent a reshuffle of the December index places with the same bulls featured.

Unchanged at number one is VR Nivalan Fimbe Faabeli with a PLI of £561 and retaining his position at number two is VR Gunnarstorp Backen Gobel (PLI £507), the best mastitis and fertility improver among the top five.

Moving from fifth to third is Rosehill Manderville, the highest PTA fat kg bull among the top five red and whites at 29.2kg. This, together with good health and fitness, contributes to his PLI of £496.

Retaining his fourth position is Pell Pers (PLI £489), the biggest improver of cell counts in the top five, while the red and whites are rounded off with VR Kuusian Valpas Vimpula. With a PLI of £486, he is the highest milk production bull in the Ayrshire top five.

Download a PDF table of the top five bulls for non-Holstein breeds

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