The April proof run saw a base change and a reshuffle of the rankings, but steering away from bulls in the top positions are a pair of intriguing genomic sires slightly lower down the pecking order. Hannah Noble reports.
ST Gen Dedicate Heir – Dedicate x Dearing x Balisto
By Mr Superhero Dedicate, a Supershot grandson, Heir is out of a dam by Mr Day Dearing, whose sire line goes back to Charlesdale Superstition.
One of the first things which strikes you about Heir’s genomic Type linear is a group of bars which stretch over to the left-hand side.
Historically, this may have been cause for concern, but when broken down it is clear Heir is a bull which will suit today’s commercial dairy farmer, especially those looking to reduce the stature of cows.
With a predicted transmitting ability (PTA) for stature of -1.26, Heir will make cows smaller while keeping the chest width (-1.39) and body depth (-1.35) in proportion. These traits contribute to his maintenance score of -22, which means daughters are expected to be 22kg lighter than the average.
Despite the reduced stature and body size of Heir’s daughters, they remain efficient and profitable with a profitable lifetime index (£PLI) of £738, which stems from a collection of very favourable production and health traits.
Heir’s £PLI means daughters are expected to produce £738 more profit over their lifetime than daughters of an average bull.
Part of Heir’s profitability comes from a combined fat and protein (CFP) value of over 65kg, which is dominated by a PTA for fat production of 39.9kg. This combined with a PTA for milk of +590kg equates to a very respectable +0.18% fat.
Heir also brings to the party a PTA for fertility of +6.2, which means daughters are expected to hold in-calf 3.7 days sooner than daughters of a bull with a PTA for fertility index (FI) of 0.
This is combined with a score for somatic cell count of -15, which predicts a 15% reduction in cells compared with a bull with a PTA of 0.
Protect for: Low foot angle (-0.98), direct calving ease (0) and low body condition (-1.06).
Great for: Lifespan (+161), weight of fat and protein and fore udder attachment (+1.54).
Morningview Homeground – House x Jedi X Numero Uno
By Leaninghouse Helix 22137, Morningview Homeground is out of Morningview Jedi 4869, which traces back to Whittier-Farms Lead Mae EX95.
The outstanding feature of Homeground’s linear is his Type Merit at +2.36, which is a combination of outstanding traits right across the board.
He scores +2.69 for mammary composite, which is backed up by PTAs for fore udder attachment of +2.24, rear udder height of +1.97 and udder depth of +1.89, and paints a picture of daughters with beautiful shallow udders which are high in the rear and welded on at the front.
Homeground’s body traits are moderate, meaning daughters have the desirable Type, but without being extreme in any individual trait.
Progeny are well balanced, with average stature (+0.68), average chest width (+0.79) and average body depth (+0.27).
As well as a great overall linear, Homeground offers some favourable health and production features, including a PTA for FI of +7.6, which equates to 4.5 days less spent open than the average cow.
Daughters are also expected to live for 103 days longer than average and produce 471kg milk more each lactation than daughters of a bull with a PTA for milk of +0, making them valuable members of the herd.
As well as this, Homeground provides a PTA for CFP of over 50kg, equivalent to +0.13% fat and +0.05% protein.
Homeground’s genomics also highlight a favourable 17% reduction in SCC (-17) and maternal calving ease PTA of +0.6.
Protect for: High pins (-0.72), direct calving ease (0) and straight legs (-0.46).
Great for: Type Merit (+2.36), fertility index (+7.6) and udder traits.