More information for bull proofs

The new genetic indexes for dairy breeds, excluding Holsteins has been launched by DairyCo and has seen a number of re-rankings within breeds.

Improvements to the bull proofs also mean producers will be able to compare between breeds and assess indexes for new breeds.

A breeder considering, an Ayrshire or a British Friesian for example will now be able to compare the genetic merit of the animals of both breeds against each other, says Marco Winters, director of DairyCo breeding+.

“Breeds are still published on their breed, so breeders will need to apply a conversion formula to individual breed figures to make across breed comparisons.”

And further improvements mean the Brown Swiss and Montbeliarde have now got their own proofs. “These breeds now have sufficient UK daughter information recorded to make this possible,” explains Mr Winters.

The inclusion within Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) for the Ayrshires, Guernseys, Jerseys and Shorthorns (already included for Holsteins and Friesians) has also resulted in some re-ranking of these breeds.

For the Jerseys, this means a new number one in the form of DJ Hulk, thanks to solid production combined with positive daughter fertility and lifespan. Number two is Q Impuls, another bull with strong daughter fertility figures.

The Ayrshires are headed up by Danish Red bull, R Ascona. He is followed by a new entry, the Norwegian Red, G Ebdo.

Sem 7 remains the leader in the Friesian list with the number one spot in the Guernsey Merit Index (GMI) shared between Beechgroves Cornelius and Coulee Crest Luxury Spider.

All breeds have undergone a base change in a similar way to the Holsteins, which generally pulls figures down, says Mr Winters. “This reflects the genetic improvements which have taken place over the last five years.”