The new genetic indexes for Holstein bulls published this week by AHDB dairy show some changes at the top
Regaining number one position with a £PLI of £645 is Kings-Ransom Erdman. This Planet son and breed-leading Lifespan transmitter now scores +0.9 for this trait, equivalent to an extra nine months of productive life. It also shares the strongest Maintenance score of -22 in the top 20. Erdman also ranks fourth in the multibreed Spring Calving Index (£SCI) rankings.
New entry in second place is Shamrock son, Lepacha Loberry, which confirms earlier genomic predictions with a £PLI of £618.
Former number one Gen-I-Beq Lavaman moves to third place. Now with 531 UK daughters contributing to his production proof he is the highest ranked reliability sire, transmiting high milk quality and with the best TB Advantage score in the top 20, about 2.8 per cent fewer of its daughters are predicted to become infected during a TB breakdown.
1 Kings-Ranson Erdman (PLI £645)
2 Lepacha Loberry (PLI £618)
3 Gen-I-Beq Lavaman (PLI £610)
4 De-Su Rookie 11057 (PLI £608)
5 Delta G-Force (PLI £597)
Fourth place is another new entry, De-Su Rookie 11057 with a £PLI of £608. A son of Bookem, it is also the third-highest Type Merit transmitter in the top 20 at +1.81.
High protein at +24.2kg and +0.10 per cent help Delta G-Force to number five. Holding its position at number six is United-Pride Erdman Evan, a son of Erdman.
Co-op Robust Cabriolet climbs to seventh with high fat per cent (+0.19) and excellent direct and maternal Calving Ease scores at +1.4 and +3.2. This Robust son ranks just ahead of his paternal half-brother, De-Su Ransom in eighth.
Completing the top rankings are Tollenaars AltaMicro at ninth and Teemar Shamrock Alphabet at 10.
Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy, says: “The strengthening in fat kg, fat per cent and protein per cent scores within the top 10 bulls show the response to the changing milk contracts and will afford plenty of choice to farmers aiming for these traits.
“Notable overall is the quality of fitness traits displayed by the top £PLI sires, in particular in the Fertility Index, which is now having a direct impact on cow fertility in the national herd.”
the highest ever £PLI score of £728. An AltaSpring son from a Tango dam, Unicorn excels in daughter fertility (+14.5 Fertility Index) and SCC (-27).
Second in the rankings at £727 is DG Charley, the first Cogent Supershot son to make an appearance. Out of a Mogul dam, Charley combines high production potential (1,023kg Milk, +29.9kg Protein) with a strong Lifespan score (+0.7).
1 Progenesis Unicorn (PLI £728)
2 DG Charley (PLI £727)
3 S-S-I IstClass Flagship (PLI £725)
4 Seagull-Bay-MJ Applejax (PLI £715)
5 Bush-Bros Deify
S-S-I 1Stclass Flagship, an Alta1stClass bred-bull from a Supersire dam, ranks third with a £PLI of £725.
Two new Supershots follow in fourth and fifth place, with Seagull-Bay-Mj Applejax (£715 £PLI) and Bush-Bros Deify (£711 £PLI) respectively.
High Fat (kg) transmitter at +39.7, Triplecrown Gatedancer (Alta1stClass x Supersire), is sixth with a £PLI of £703, followed by components specialist, Apina Nadal (£698 £PLI), a Rocky son.
New in eighth is Mr Pre Director (Predestine x Robust) with a £PLI of £697. Two more Supershot sons take ninth and 10th in: Peak AltaTrueshot (£694 £PLI) from a McCutchen dam and Co-op Aardema Black Jack (£687 £PLI) out of a Numero Uno.
Mr Winters says: “With a wide choice of high merit genomic young sires on offer now form about 55 per cent of Holstein bull semen sales. All top 20 genomic Holstein bulls exceed the top 20 proven bulls on £PLI, and a genomic bull £PLI with reliability of 65 per cent has a correlation of about 0.8 to its eventual proven £PLI of maximum reliability.
“It is important with unfamiliar bloodlines emerging within these genomic sires, farmers check for possible inbreeding. Any matings which result in an inbreeding level of more than 6.25 per cent are best avoided.”
The top of the British Friesian rankings remains unchanged, with Catlane Chad in the top spot with a £PLI of £454. Chad has increased his £PLI score by £44 since April’s rankings and combines good production with strong components, showing +20.2 Fat kg, +15 Protein kg, +0.15 fat per cent and +0.10 protein per cent. Its fitness scores are favourable, with a Lifespan of +0.3 and a Fertility Index of +3. He also has good direct Calving Ease at +2.2.
AHDB Dairy has released the first genomic evaluations for young British Friesian bulls, with the first top genomic young sire named as Goonhilly Joseph. September 2015-born and a son Catlane Chad out of an EX92 Hylke dam, it has a £PLI of £349.
The top rankings remain unchanged with VJ Link, £PLI of £536 and also the second-ranked £SCI bull, retaining number one. It combines good fitness traits with a Fertility Index score of +11.3, SCC of -17 and Lifespan of +0.5. Remaining in second is VJ Hilario with a £PLI of £469 and the top SCC score of -18. Hilario is noted as a fertility improver (+11.1). A new entry in the third position is VJ Zummit, a DJ Zuma son, with a £PLI of £399.
Climbing from third to the top position is VR Gunnarstorp Back Gobel with a £PLI of £556. It has the best Fertility Index (+15.1) and Lifespan (+0.7) in the top five Ayrshires alongside solid production figures.
It overtakes his sire and previous top Ayrshire Gunnarstorp, which with a £PLI of £489 and scoring -10 on SCC, +0.5 on Lifespan and +10 on Fertility Index, remains a good all-rounder.
Down one to third is Pell Pers with £PLI of £455, which combines good production solids with strong Lifespan and Fertility Index scores, and a SCC rating of -16.
Other dairy breed indexes are also published online (www.ahdb.org.uk), where the Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Shorthorn and Fleckvieh are all represented.
The Spring Calving index (£SCI) rankings have little change on the April rankings, with the top three bulls retaining their positions.
Holding on to first place with £SCI of £452 is VJ Tester, a Jersey excelling in transmitting high fat per cent and protein per cent to its daughters while combining good fitness traits with low maintenance.
Remaining in second is another Jersey sire VJ Link (£446 £SCI), which transmits a high Lifespan score of +0.7.
Link is followed by British Friesian sire Catlane Caleb (£414 £SCI) which has the best daughter Fertility Index in the top 20 (+15.1).
Moving up to fourth is the number one Holstein sire in the £PLI rankings, Kings-Ransom Erdman. Producing daughters which are much smaller than the average Holstein, it combines high production potential with the best daughter Lifespan score in the £SCI top 20 at +0.8.
Completing the top five is the Jersey sire, VJ Hilario, which has moved up from seventh with an £SCI of £395. It transmits good protein and fitness traits (-47 Maintenance, 0.6 Lifespan, -11 SCC, 13.7 Fertility Index).