FRENCH BULL PROGRAMME
French producers benefit from a national sire proving scheme which guarantees top genetics at competitive prices. Jessica Buss reports
FRANCE progeny tests 600 bulls a year – making it the largest breeding programme in the world outside the US.
Its three main AI organisations work together to market semen internationally through the umbrella organisation Sersia France.
French breeders receive semen at a competitive price so reliance on imported semen is low. The three progeny testing schemes select bulls independently using their own sire analysts. But all the organisations are also keen to work on the female lines – and no longer rely on imported semen and embryos to strengthen the genetic merit of these lines.
In the south and west of France bulls are tested by the co-op OGER-MIDATEST, in the north-east by UNECO and in central France by URCEO. All these organisations insist that milk recording members progeny test sires on their first lactation heifers.
• 3.2m Holstein cows.
• 2.5m first inseminations.
• 1.9m milk recorded cows.
• 585 young sires tested each year (in the US 1200 bulls are progeny tested).
SECOND ONLY TO THE USA
Top 10 French sires available in the UK ranked on PIN (Oct 96)
SireRel (%)MilkFat (kg)Prot (kg)Fat (%)Prot (%)PIN UK type
Daughter of one of the top French sires, Dombinator – bred by UNECO.
Daughter of Gibbon, bred by URCEO and the top French sire now available.