The latest bull proofs were released by AHDB Dairy this week and here are some of the highlights.
The number one position in the new Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) rankings for daughter-proven Holstein bulls is held by long-term leader, Gen-I-Beq Lavaman.
This bull has almost 100 more UK daughters contributing to his figures since they were published last August, clocking up more than 1,000 milking in the UK.
He earns a PLI of £690, reflecting his balanced breeding profile, with a high Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) for protein percent (+0.18 per cent) and low daughter maintenance costs (-9).
In second position is a bull which makes his debut in the proven bull rankings - Mocon.
Bred in Germany, he has both Bookem and Shottle in his pedigree. With a PLI of £679, Mocon has a PTA which combines high weight of milk (839kg) and protein (28.5kg), alongside low cell counts (-23) and favourable daughter maintenance (-19).
Teemar Shamrock Alphabet edges up to third, cell count and fertility improver, S-S-I Shamrock Mystic holds on to fourth position, closely followed by VH Cole Clark, another fitness specialist with 21.2 FI, +0.8 Lifespan and a PLI of £634.
Sixth place goes to De-Su 11236 Balisto, now with more than 200 UK daughters contributing to his proof and a PLI of £628.
New in seventh position is the former genomic young sire, De-Su Penley 11839 (PLI £621).
In eighth place is De-Su Rookie 11057 (PLI £616) ahead of EDG Rubicon (PLI £612).
Rounding off the top 10 is new entry, View-Home Littlerock (PLI £603).
Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy, says: “Proven sires continue to offer high reliability for those breeders who wish to continue to keep a proportion of their herds bred to sires which have daughter records.
“However, for others, they will serve as reassurance that genomic indexes are reliable indicators of future performance as many of the bulls entering the daughter-proven ranking today, began life as young genomic sires whose genetic predictions were based on their DNA.”
1 Gen-I-Beq Lavaman (£690)
2 Mocon (£679)
3 Teemar Shamrock Alphabet (£668)
4 S-S-I Shamrock Mystic (£640)
5 VH Cole Clark (£634)
One of the top milk quality improvers of the Holstein breed, Mr Rubi-Agronaut, leads the way among genomic, young sires with a PLI of £812. Agronaut transmits fat and protein percentages at +0.22 per cent and +0.09 per cent respectively, and also has the highest Type Merit of the top 20 sires at +3.12.
Climbing into second place is Claynook Casper. Like all of the top £PLI sires, Casper scores strongly for both daughter fertility and daughter lifespan.
VH Balisto Brook holds on to third spot, fourth ranking is Peak AltaDepot, another strong udder health bull, and former number one sire, Westcoast Perseus holds his position in the top five.
Mr Winters says: “Holstein breeders are in a fortunate position to have access to such top quality genetics. Breeders are reminded, however, to watch out for increased maintenance feed costs for the taller Holstein bulls. Breeders are advised to make their initial selection of bulls based on their £PLIs, but to drill down through the figures to ensure the bulls they choose are suited to the particular needs of their herd.
1 Mr Rubi-Agronaut (£812)
2 Claynook Casper (£796)
3 VH Balisto Brook (£795)
4 Peak Altadepot (£791)
5 Westcoast Perseus (£788)
The domination of the British Friesian bull rankings by the Catlane herd continues unabated, as the removal from the market of long-term leader, Catlane Chad, makes way for his herd-mates. Catlane Caleb (PLI £445) now takes first place, moving up from second position. He is a low volume, high milk quality bull who transmits excellent fat and protein percentages.
Higher production is on offer from the number two British Friesian, Kirkby Major (PLI £370), and remaining at number three is the high Type Merit Kirkby Jupiter (PLI £362).
In fourth position is the only new entrant to the top five, Catlane Cromwell (PLI £344) and unchanged in fifth position is Skyhigh Patrol (PLI £323).
The Jersey breed sees little reranking since the August proof run, with VJ Hilario retaining his number one position with a PLI of £572.
New in joint second place is Golden GDK Vivaldi (PLI £543). Moving up from third to share second place is the exceptional fitness bull, Danish VJ Tudvad.
Fourth and fifth placed Jerseys are both bulls from the top five in the previous proof run in the shape of Sunset Canyon Dazzler (PLI £538) and VJ Link (PLI £533).
The Ayrshire top five is dominated by red bulls from the Nordic countries which represents little change since the previous proof run.
VR Gunnarstorp Backen Gobel continues to lead the way with a PLI of £564. He holds his lead over Pell Pers, who remains ranked second (PLI £491).
The high type Gunnarstorp remains in third position (PLI £451) while fourth-ranking VR Oýòja Storegaýôrd Hasl Hat (PLI £447) transmits the highest weight of milk, fat and protein in the top five.
Rounding off the red-and-white top five is VR Dansjo Haslev Hammer with a PLI of £439.
The Jersey breed continues to dominate the ranking for Spring Calving Index (£SCI).
Expressed on an across-breed basis and therefore using a different scale from those used for each individual breed, nine of the top 10 bulls are Danish Jerseys. The sole outsider is the breed-leading British Friesian bull, Catlane Caleb, who weighs in with an impressive daughter Fertility Index.
Mr Winters says: “As with any across-breed listing, it offers the scope to compare the attributes of one breed against another but there is such a wide range of bull types within the listing that it is perhaps more important that in any other situation to be certain of selecting the right bull to breed cows which will suit the farming system.”