The young genomic sires list published on Tuesday by AHDB Dairy provides clear evidence of the speed of genetic progress within the Holstein breed.
There are six new entries in the top 10 genomic young sires list since the August index run and all of the top 20 exceed a Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of £700. Now 60 per cent of the UK’s black and white inseminations are to genomic young sires.
Heading the list is Westcoast Perseus, an early son of Penmanship. Perseus is out of a Doorman dam, and features high percentages of fat and protein (+0.12 per cent and +0.10 per cent), combined with a good Lifespan Index (+0.6) and a high daughter Fertility Index (+10.5). With a PLI of £779 and a Type Merit (TM) of +2.37.
Bomaz Alta Topshot is also new to the £PLI list, and the highest ranking of nine top 20 sons of Cogent Supershot. A transmitter of high production with +41.8kg fat, it has a PLI of £762.
Endco Argo is in third place with a PLI of £761, a TM of +3.04 and long daughter lifespans, Lifespan Index +0.7.
Fourth is De-Su 13181 Quantum, another Supershot son which transmits the highest weight of protein in the top 20 at +33.9kg. Its PLI is £753.
Fifth is another Supershot son, Endco Superhero, whose Lifespan Index (+0.7) contributes to a PLI of £737.
New entries in sixth and seventh place are Peak AltaRecoil and ABS Mayday AltaRecoil has a PLI of £734 and a Fertility Index of +12.9 while Mayday transmits high milk quality (+0.14 per cent fat and +0.09 per cent protein), and has a good TB Advantage (+3.7). Its PLI is £729.
Eighth position, PLI £723, is shared by the highest type transmitter in the top 20 (TM +3.11) S-S-I 1stClass Flagship and the highest milk transmitter, DG Charley.
Tenth is Progenesis Unicorn which has the highest daughter Fertility Index in the top 20 at an +14.8.
Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy says: “Young sires with figures like this are increasingly out-shining the proven sires which lag some way behind, and we now have 120 £PLI points between the best young sires and the older, daughter-proven bulls.
“I would recommend carefully selecting a cross-section of high £PLI proven and genomic bloodlines to suit your herd, but taking great care to avoid inbreeding by maintaining genetic diversity.
A father and son are the top two Holstein bulls in the proven sire rankings for the first time in recent memory.
The bulls are Kings-Ransom Erdman with a PLI of £659 and son, United-Pride Erdman Evan with a PLI of £647.
Erdman noted for transmitting outstanding fitness has a breed-leading Lifespan Index of +0.9. Erdman combines this with good daughter fertility (Fertility Index +12.5) and a Maintenance Index of -23. Second-ranking Evan moves up from sixth position thanks to improvements in Lifespan Index, now +0.8. This bull is not available in mainland GB, only being marketed in Northern Ireland.
Third is Co-op Robust Cabriolet with a PLI of £638. This calving ease specialist (+1.7 direct CE per cent) also transmits high percentages of fat and protein (+0.19 and +0.05) and low maintenance costs (-17).
Bookem son, De-Su Rookie 11057 is fourth with a PLI of £625, a good transmission of low cell counts and one of the higher Type Merits at +1.74.
Fifth ranking Tollenaars AltaMicro is the biggest improver of daughter fertility (FI +17.8) and has a PLI of £623, just ahead of calving ease specialist, Teemar Shamrock Alphabet (PLI £621).
Gen-I-Beq Lavaman in sixth has 647 UK daughters contributing to its figures and raising its PLI to £618. Lavaman’s index is noted for its high TB Advantage (+3.4).
Moving into the top 10 is Seagull-Bay Supersire, transmitting 1,049kg milk and 74kg fat plus protein, by far the highest in the top 100 and earning a PLI of £615.
Also moving into the top 10 are the highest type transmitter, S-S-I Bookem Morgan (TM +1.89) and the third Robust son, Co-op Robust Jitterbug. They have PLIs of £598 and £589 respectively.
The genetic indexes for the other breeds remain remarkably stable, with little movement to report in the December run.
Unchanged at number one on the Jersey breed’s Profitable Lifetime Index ranking is VJ Link (PLI £520), whose index shows good fitness (Fertility Index +11.5, SCC Index -15 and Lifespan Index +0.5) alongside high production.
In second is VJ Hilario (PLI £519), also offering daughter fertility and fitness (FI +14.3, SCC -17, LS +0.5).
VR Gunnarstorp Back Gobel is unchanged at number one Ayrshire, with a PLI of £573 and good milk (390kg) and solids production (16.7kg fat and 12.6kg protein). Second is new entry, VR Dansjo Haslev Hammer (PLI £489) is a strong transmitter of milk solids both for weights and percents and a solid improver of fitness (SCC -5, LS +0.1, FI +8.5).
Catlane Chad (PLI £519) retains the British Friesian lead. Transmitting good production with strong components (21.1kg (0.15 per cent) fat and 16.1kg (0.11 per cent) protein), this bull has good all-round fitness and calving ease, and is the best SCC improver in the top five.
At number two is Catlane Caleb (PLI £375). Its percentage fat transmission is outstanding at 0.31 per cent and his daughter fertility (FI +4.8) and direct calving ease (+2.5) are the best in the top five.
Jersey bulls maintain their lead in the ranking for Spring Calving Index (£SCI), but Holsteins take two of the top five positions.
The leader is Danish Jersey, VJ Tester whose components (+0.53 per cent fat and +0.18 per cent protein) together with excellent daughter fertility (Fertility Index +13.9), lower feed costs (Maintenance -61) and low cell counts (SCC Index -13), combine to earn an SCI of £452.
Second is VJ Link (£SCI 441), maintaining its good transmission of fat (10kg and +0.35 per cent) along with extremely low maintenance costs (-62), long daughter lifespans (+0.7) and excellent daughter fertility (FI +14.1).
The third Danish Jersey, VJ Hilario (£SCI 430), moves up from fifth, thanks to a similar breeding pattern featuring quality milk, health, fertility and efficiency.
In fourth and fifth are the Holsteins, Kings-Ransom Erdman (SCI £421) and United-Pride Erdman Evan (SCI £419), father and son, which also hold the top two positions on the Profitable Lifetime Index in the Holstein breed rankings.