Ten newcomers in the top 20 and 10 bulls with the same prefix will arouse interest among Holstein breeders in the genomic young sire list. And although Denovo has an impressive, possibly unprecedented, 10 of the top 20 bulls on this Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) ranking, it is Genosource Captain which retains his position as the front-runner with a PLI of £880.
Captain combines high predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs) for production (1,002kg milk, 48.5kg fat and 34.8kg protein) with superb maintenance feed costs figures (-15) as well as high daughter fertility index (11.6).
Holding on to second position, just as in the August release, is Peak AltaPlinko (PLI £859). This son of Progenesis Marius and maternal grandson of former number one daughter-proven Holstein, Bomaz AltaTopshot, is a high protein transmitter (41.6kg) with good maintenance feed efficiency (-6).
Newcomers since the August release are the third and fourth ranking Siemers Brave (PLI £830) and Denovo 3303 Citizen (PLI £817).
In fifth, up from ninth position, is Denovo 15826 Knight with a PLI of £808 and TM of 1.9. He is the first of no less than four De-Su 14222 Kenobi sons in the top 10, the others being Kenmore, Targaryen and Kahuna.
Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy says: “With half of the top 20 young sires being new since the August release, the list once again emphasises the speed with which progress is being made in the Holstein breed.
“The top £PLI bulls transmit a good mixture of high yields or high components to suit various milk contracts and combine these with strong daughter health and fertility.
“The majority of these sires will also favourably reduce maintenance costs, as indicated by the reduced maintenance figures averaging -2 across the top 20 sires. With feed savings and environmental credentials high on the agenda, these sires will be able to make a worthwhile contribution to the efficiency of UK herds.”
Stability at the top of the proven Holstein rankings sees Westcoast Guarantee hold on to the number one position in the PLI rankings. With a PLI of £697 Guarantee transmits excellent udder health (-27 SCC, -4 mastitis) and strong calf survival (+3).
From the same herd, Westcoast Yamaska remains in second position (PLI £672) with strong PTAs for fat and protein percentages and 1.9 type merit.
A former number one proven sire, Bomaz AltaTopshot takes equal third position (PLI £655), now with 268 UK daughters contributing to his figures. The other at third ranking is the high fat producer, Welcome Silver Griff with 46.6kg and 0.23 per cent fat.
Mr Winters says: “It is encouraging to see so many bulls near the top of this list which have daughters milking in the UK, indicating how this country’s dairy farmers are making good use of young sires at the earliest opportunity when they were offered with genomic indexes.
“Eight of the top 10 have daughters milking in UK herds, which is a credit both to UK producers and the genomic evaluation system through which the bulls have graduated.”
1 – Westcoast Guarantee £697
2 – Westcoast Yamaska £672
=3 – Bomaz Altatopshot £655
=3 Welcome Silver Griff £655
=5 – View-Home Littlerock £651
=5 - Bomaz Damien Kanzo £651
7 – Hoanster Zanzibar £648
8 – Seagull-Bay MJ Applejax £645
=9 – Stantons Close Up £640
=9 - Endco Supreme £640
As the season for spring calving approaches, producers running grazing-based systems will be pleased to see three dairy breeds feature in the top five in the Spring Calving Index (£SCI) ranking.
In number one position is the familiar Danish Jersey, VJ Tester, which offers producers big gains in milk quality, daughter fertility and lifespans, and has an SCI of £477.
The Holstein beneath him, Progenesis Unicorn (SCI £439) will boost milk volume and weight of fat and protein while also reducing cell counts, ahead of the Jersey, VJ Hoeholt Jern James (SCI £426).
The Autumn Calving Index (£ACI) ranking, by contrast, sees more dominance by the Holstein, and little change at the top since the last index run.
Westcoast Guarantee (£ACI 619) remains in number one position, ahead of Progenesis Unicorn (£ACI 600) up from third place. Hoanster Zanzibar (£ACI 595) moves one place down to third while Westcoast Yamaska (£ACI 578) moves up to fourth position.
The only newcomer in the £ACI top five is Stowey Magician (£575), which graduates as a milk quality and daughter fertility improver, also improving lameness and lifespans.
1 – Danish VJ Tester (Jersey) £477
2 – Progenesis Unicorn (Holstein) £439
3 – VJ Hoeholt Jern James (Jersey) £426
4 – Glamour Boghill Casper (Holstein) £419
=5 – Catlane Caleb (British Friesian) £415
=5 – Danish VJ Tudvad (Jersey) £415
7 – Hoanster Zanzibar (Holstein) £411
8 – Westcoast Guarantee (Holstein) £410
=9 – Danish VJ Raastrup Hihl Gislev (Jersey) £406
=9 – Danish VJ Zolt (Jersey) £406
1 – Westcoast Guarantee (Holstein) £619
2 – Progenesis Unicorn (Holstein) £600
3 – Hoanster Zanzibar (Holstein) £595
4 – Westcoast Yamaska (Holstein) £578
5 – Stowey Magician (Holstein) £575
6 – Glamour Boghill Casper (Holstein) £573
7 – View-Home Littlerock (Holstein) £571
=8 – Welcome-Tel Bromley 3195 (Holstein) £561
=8 – Bomaz Damien Kanzo (Holstein) £561
10 – De-Su 12272 Apex (Holstein) £558
The top bulls in the December AHDB Dairy proof run offer new choices for producers using breeds other than Holstein, although the number one in Jersey breed stands firm for the third consecutive run.
The Jersey bull, River Valley Cece Chrome, is the outstanding production bull of this breed’s ranking with PTAs for milk at 856kg, fat 35.8kg and protein 28.4kg. Chrome weighs in with a PLI of £575, and is also the highest type Merit bull in the top five, at 1.8.
Second ranking Danish VJ Raastrup HIHL Gislev moves up from fourth position, transmitting excellent milk quality, udder health and daughter fertility. All of this is reflected in a high lifespan index at +110 days and a PLI of £493.
Viking Reds made a clean sweep at the top of the Ayrshire rankings, with little change seen among the leading names.
The daughter fertility improver VR Alatalon Flame Feton moves up from second position, with a PLI of £506, switching places with the higher production VR Gobel (PLI £479).
British Friesians demonstrate a similar stability, with four of the top five bulls also featuring high in previous rankings. Inch Persistent (PLI £440) leads the way, up from fourth position, but it should be noted that as yet, this bull has no information on his type transmitting ability. He ranks ahead of Carrickshock GTW at £437.