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The 12 Sires Available In 2017 That You Should Be Using in Your Breeding Program to Achieve Maximum Genetic Gain

Picking the correct sires for your breeding program can be one of the most challenging yet still important decisions that you can make.  With new sires coming out almost every week, many breeders just don’t have the time to stay up to date. Add to that the challenge of knowing what sires are available and it can be a real challenge to pick your short list.  With that in mind, we have developed a list of 12 sires for you to take a closer look at and that should be available in most markets. To make it easier, we have broken our lists into four major categories to help you do quick corrective matings.

Balanced Breeding   

When looking for the sire that will help improve your herd across the board, we looked for sires that have a balance of production and longevity and, most importantly, a pedigree that ensures that their performance will last. We also wanted high health and fertility traits that will deliver a low maintenance cow (Read more – Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection). Here are our top three:

Mountfield SSI Dcy MOGUL
Dorcy BY x Marsh x O Man

Sire: Coyne-Farms Dorcy-ET BY TV TL
Dam: Mountfield Marsh Maxine-ET VG-88 DOM, 02-03 2x 159d 14320m 4.3 611f 3.2 454p
MGS: Pasen Marsh-ET TR TV TL TY
MGD: Pine-Tree Missy Miranda-ET VG-86 DOM, 03-08 3x 365d 35550m 4.9 1730f 3.7 1325p
MGGS: O-Bee Manfred Justice-ET TR TV TL TD EX-94
MGGD: Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy-ET TV EX-92 3E GMD DOM, 04-11 3x 365d 40880m 4.1 1665f 3.2 1308p

It’s almost impossible to talk about modern impactful sires and not lead off with MOGUL.  This sire has dominated the genetics market for the past four years.  Today’s combination of Genomic testing and IVF has contributed to MOGUL now having great great grandsons entering AI units.  As one of the first ART program bulls from Select Sires, MOGUL has certainly helped deliver on the promise that that program expected.  Mogul is one of the all-around sires that has solid numbers in all aspects of both his genomic evaluation and daughter performance. This accounts for his popularity as a sire of sons and bull mothers.  While he will not be siring many show winners, he does offer a balanced type evaluation with all composites over 2 points.  MOGUL does need to be protected on Daughter Pregnancy Rate and straightness of rear legs.

Bacon-Hill Pety MODESTY
Pety x Supersire x Bolton

Sire: Siemers Mogul Pety
Dam: Bacon-Hill Suprs Modesty-ET VG-85 DOM
MGS: Seagull-Bay Supersire-ET TV TL TY TD
MGD: Unique-Style Bolton Money EX-93 2E GMD DOM, 03-01 3x 365d 38430m 4.2 1614f 3.2 1247p
MGGS: Sandy-Valley Bolton-ET BY TV TL EX-90
MGGD: Pasen Rolex Mummy VG-88, 06-02 2x 365d 26160m 4.0 1043f 3.2 848p

With a strong, balanced pedigree and many of the breeds’ most impactful sires on both his maternal and paternal side, it’s no surprise that MODESTY tops the balanced breeding genomic lists.  With many young MODESTY sons starting to appear on the top list at under one year of age, MODESTY is showing that he has what it takes to pass it on to both his sons and daughters.  MODESTY is not an outcross sire, given the fact that his sire Pety is a Mogul son from a Mac from Welcome Goldwyn Penya. His dam is sired by Supersire and then a Bolton behind that. Modesty’s dam is a medium sized cow, but strong with width of front end and produces large volumes of milk with ease.  Given that he has almost 2000 lbs of Milk with plus components, over 2 points on type, and great health and fertility traits (+8.2 PL, +3.8 Liv, 2.7 DPR) MODESTY is very balanced in his breeding abilities.  He will need to be watched for his SCS (+3.02) as well as protected on his strength, body depth, and pin width.

Endco The ANSWER-PO 
Montross x Earnhardt P x Robust

Sire: Bacon-Hill Montross-ET
Dam: Bryhill Earnhardt Mint P, 02-02 2x 121d 9960m 4.3 424f 3.0 294p
MGS: Da-So-Burn Mom Earnhardt P TR PO TV TL TY T
MGD: Sully Robust 720-ET GP-83, 02-1 2x 365d 33360m 4.0 1325f 3.4 1140p
MGGS: Roylane Socra Robust-ET TR TV TL TD VG-88 GM
MGGD: Sully Planet Manitoba-ET GP-83 DOM, 02-03 2x 365d 33290m 3.9 1306f 3.1 1041p

For those breeders that have gotten on board with the polled revolution, the answer is clear. (Read more: From the Sidelines to the Headlines, Polled is Going Mainline!) Answer-PO is the #1 NM$ polled sire currently over a year of age. With his sire, Montross, coming out with a strong official proof, Answer-PO takes a significant jump to the top of the list. He comes from the Sully Planet Manitoba-ET GP-83 DOM family.  His grand dam, Manitoba, is a sister to Meridian and the dam of AltaMerci.  Look for Answer-PO to sire significant production improvement with strong components especially fat improvement. His daughters should be easy calving with solid temperament and will be long lasting.  He is a solid type sire but will need to be protected on his teat length and body depth.


It might be easy just to choose sires from the top milk lists.  Instead, we wanted to look at a more balanced approach to overall production, so we looked at Energy Corrected Milk (ECM) Production, as well as not totally neglecting health and durability.  ECM determines the amount of milk produced and adjusted to 3.5 percent fat and 3.2 percent protein.

Mogul x Bolton x AltaRolex

Sire: Mountfield Ssi Dcy Mogul-ET TR TV TL TY TD
Dam: Unique-Style Bolton Money EX-93 2E GMD DOM, 03-01 3x 365d 38430m 4.2 1614f 3.2 1247p
MGS: Sandy-Valley Bolton-ET BY TV TL EX-90
MGD: Pasen Rolex Mummy VG-88, 06-02 2x 365d 26160m 4.0 1043f 3.2 848p
MGGS: Latuch Rolex-ET TV TL EX-92
MGGD: Pasen Trent Mermaid-ET VG-85, 03-04 2x 305d 24240m 3.8 909f 3.3 805p

You really cannot even start to talk about overall production and components, without first looking at MONTROSS.  MONTROSS takes extreme production to a whole new level.  When you consider that the seven sires for energy adjusted milk are either MONTROSS sons or MONTROSS himself, he really dominates this list.  The fact that MONTROSS has become such an impactful sire of sons is not surprising, considering his sire stack that has sires like Elton, Leadman, and Rudolph several times in his pedigree.  His maternal side also has many instances of Elevation and Valiant contributing to the potency of MONTROSS, not only as a sire but also as a sire of sons.  In fact, there was a time we considered MONTROSS an outcross sire, but he has been such a potent producer of high genomic females and males, he has now become one of the sires that dominates the lists himself. (Read More: 12 Outcross Sires to Help Control Inbreeding). He is on pace to unseat his sire, Mogul, as the number 1 selling genomic sire of all time, as he was the youngest bull at Select Sires to reach the 100,00 units mark and his popularity continues to soar.  MONTROSS’s dam is the granddam of Modesty. MONTROSS will offer an excellent production kick and have enough durability, health, and fertility to last. MONTROSS has strong functional type with moderate stature, angular frames, good depth of rib and tremendous rear udders, but should be protected for straightness of rear legs and overall frame and capacity traits. However, as we have seen from research in the past, you don’t need extreme frame traits, in order to achieve extreme lifetime production. (Read more: She Ain’t Pretty – She Just Milks That Way!).

Ronland JEP
Montross x Sherac x Niagra

Sire: Bacon-Hill Montross-ET
Dam: Ronland Sherac Jill-ET GP-82, 03-00 2x 310d 27590m 4.2 1160f 3.5 957p
MGS: Ufm-Dubs Sherac-ET TV TL TY
MGD: Ronland Niagra Jurist-ET GP-80 DOM, 03-02 2x 316d 28370m 4.3 1216f 3.2 902p
MGGS: Ri-Val-Re 2338 Niagra-ET TR TV TL TD
MGGD: Ronland Jackie Journey VG-88, 04-00 2x 365d 35960m 3.9 1409f 2.9 1053p

For those of you looking to use a Montross son that offers something a little different from the Montross X Supersire x Snowman sire stack that many of the top energy adjusted production sires possess, there is JEP. JEP’s maternal side includes many Aerostar descendants including Goldwyn, Rudolph, Shottle, Jordan & Patron Allie.  While JEP’s maternal line may not read like a who’s who of the top females, what it does have is generation after generation of strong consistent performers who keep improving with age. JEP is an extreme production sire, who might just surprise some with how durable and low maintenance they are.  While they will not be winning shows any time soon, they will have great dairy strength, average stature, with high wide rear udders, but will need to be protected on udder depth.   For those looking to breed high production, low maintenance cows that will fit in any facility, JEP should be at the top of your list.

Superman x Mccutchen x Magna-P*RC BY

Sire: RH Superman-ET
Dam: Dudoc Mccutchen Rancune P
MGS: De-Su Bkm Mccutchen 1174-ET TV TL TY TD
MGD: Dudoc Magna Requiem P-ET, 01-11 2x 365d 28754m 4.8 1366f 3.4 981p
MGGS: Arron Doon West Port Magna P RC PO TV TL TD VG-88
MGGD: Dudoc Shottle Rhizotomie

For those of you looking for a polled production sire and if you want something with a bit of an outcross from the Montross son Answer PO, then check out STETSON P.  While STETSON P may not blow you away with his overall production (+2041 kgs, 1955 lbs.) where he will wow you is with his components (92 lbs/111 kgs Fat, 58 lbs/ 86 kgs Protein).  A quick look at STETSON P’s pedigree and you see the strong influence sires like Blackstar, Prelude and Aerostar have had, especially with the heavy Shottle influence on his maternal line.  He is a great component sire, with strong durability and great health and fertility. STETSON P is an extreme sire for heel depth but will need to be protected on his thurl placement.

Longevity Improvement

While some would try to tell you that high type equals longevity, that is not necessarily the case.    When it comes to longevity, it’s hard to argue with actual performance indices like Herd Life, Productive Life and Cow Livability.  (Read more: COW LIVABILITY: BREEDING FOR COWS THAT STAY IN THE HERD) With that in mind, we looked for those sires the excel in producing durable long lasting cows, while not totally forgetting about production.  In addition to Modesty mentioned earlier, the following are the 3 sires that came to the top of our list:

Mr Monterey MYSTERY
Monterey x Numero Uno x Domain

Sire: View-Home Monterey-ET
Dam: EDG Mist Uno Mylife-ET VG-86, 02-03 2x 365d 27140m 3.6 968f 3.1 832p
MGS: Amighetti Numero Uno-ET TV TL TY
MGD: Leaderwin Domain Mist-ET VG-87, 02-10 3x 305d 26090m 3.6 932f 3.0 772p
MGGS: Ronelee Toystory Domain-ET TV TL TD EX-90
MGGD: Leaderwin Jeeves Mace EX-91 2E DOM, 04-06 2x 365d 36250m 4.3 1560f 3.2 1164p

While MYSTERY daughters will probably not wow you with their lactational totals on milk production, they certainly will last forever and put up impressive lifetime production totals.  Also, an interesting fact about MYSTERY is that he has no MOGUL in his pedigree. This is something that is hard to find in today’s top genomic sires. MYSTERY is a Monterey from the same family that has produced the popular polled sire Milford.  His dam EDG Mist Uno Mylife sold for $160,000 in the 2013 Genomic Giants Sale.  MYSTERY combines great scores for PL (+8.5) and Cow Livability (+3.2) with outstanding mammary systems (+3.11 UDC) and strong feet and legs (+1.90 FLC).  The one area I do have concerns about with this sire is his production, as his DGV’s for production are significantly lower than his parent averages (+281 vs +407).  Considering he is not very high to start with, this is certainly an area where I would protect him.

Altaspring x Distinction x Numero Uno

Sire: Westenrade Altaspring
Dam: Calbrett Distinction Lolita
MGS: De-Su Distinction 11130-ET
MGD: Oconnors Last Hope, 02-01 2x 365d 26673m 4.9 1299f 3.4 895p
MGGS: Amighetti Numero Uno-ET TV TL TY
MGGD: Oconnors Planet Lucia-ET VG-86, 02-05 2x 365d 33701m 4.5 1523f 3.4 1137p

If you are looking for high durability combined with high type scores, look no further than LIGHTHOUSE.  He is A2A2, high production, positive components with great health and fertility scores.  LIGHTHOUSE is from the family of the million dollar cow Lylehaven Lila Z TV EX-94 that produced such sires as Liquid Gold, Lexor and Latimer. (Read more: Lylehaven Lila Z : Was She Really Worth $1.15 Million?)  His grand dam, Oconners Last Hope sold in the Genetics by Design Sale for $475,000.  LIGHTHOUSE is over 2 points on all his type composites (+2.54 PTAT, +2.90 UDC, +2.19 FLC),and, as well, has an outstanding +6.9 PL and +4.0 DPR.  While they may not have showring style (-4 height at front end, -2 body depth), LIGHTHOUSE daughters will make great barn cows and will last for years and years. 

Yoder x Mccutchen x Robust

Sire: Woodcrest Mogul Yoder-ET
Dam: View-Home Mcc Alabama-ET TL TD GP-82, 02-11 3x 96d 9150m 4.1 378f 3.0 273p
MGS: De-Su Bkm Mccutchen 1174-ET TV TL TY TD
MGD: Pine-Tree 2149Robst 4846-ET VG-86 DOM, 02-04 3x 365d 32000m 4.8 1520f 3.2 1036p
MGGS: Roylane Socra Robust-ET TR TV TL TD VG-88 GM
MGGD: Pine-Tree Zenith Sheen VG-87 DOM,   01-11 3x 305d 24500m 3.9 959f 3.0 740p

CARDINALS is a Yoder from the full sister to Monterey and sister to POWERBALL-P, MISSOURI & CASHFLOW.  This potent genetic family traces back to the great Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy the foundation cow behind the top bulls Mogul, Mardi Gras, Sid, Supersire and AltaOak.  The extreme number of influential sires that have come from the Rudy Missy family is why we consider her one of the top 7 most influential cows in the breed. (Read more: The 7 Most Influential Holstein Brood Cows of the Modern Era) Like most of sires that come from this bloodline, CARDINALS numbers indicate good strength, with wide rear udders and mobile feet and legs. Combine that with high PL scores (+7.9) and strong DPR indexes (+2.3), and CARDINAL daughters will be built to last.   While not an extreme production sire, CARDINAL does have good components and health and fertility ratings.

Health and Fertility Improvement

Over the past few years we have seen a drastic swing in breeding focus to the point where now Health and Fertility scores often outrank the importance of production and, especially, type scores.  With that in mind, here are three sires that will help accelerate your breeding program in this key area.

Director x Halogen x Shamrock

Sire: Mr Delicious Pre 57512-ET
Dam: EDG Jacey Halo 57887-ET VG-85
MGS: Cookiecutter Petron Halogen
MGD: Butlerview Sr Jacey-ET GP-80, 03-05 3x 305d 28490m 4.4 1262f 3.0 864p
MGGS: Ladys-Manor Pl Shamrock-ET TR TV TL TD VG-88
MGGD: Coyne-Farms Freddi Jeven-ET VG-87 DOM, 04-02 2x 365d 36760m 4.8 1757f 3.5 1281p

From the Elite Dairy Genomics Program, HANCHO is a great example of how tight the generational interval has become, considering that his sire, Director, is just three years of age now, and his maternal grand dam is only 5 years of age. (Read more: The Genomic Advancement Race – The Battle For Genetic Supremacy) HANCHO is certainly a specialist sire that is going to give an instant impact on the health and fertility of the breed.  He will need to be protected on his overall production as well as his feet & legs (low foot angle and slightly sickled) but he is line bred to be an extreme health sire (Director is a Shamrock grandson, and HANCHO’s 2nd dam is also a Shamrock).  His accelerated sire stack is a big reason that HANCHO gets most of his superior genetics from his paternal side, a strong indicator of a sires ability to be an impact sire (Read more: Why Braedale Goldwyn Wasn’t A Great Sire Of Sons)

Endeavor x Monarch x Robust

Sire: De-Su 12365 Endeavor-ET
Dam: No-Fla Monarch Bri 38395-ET
MGS: S-S-I Twist Monarch-ET TV TL TY TD
MGD: No-Fla Robust Lisette 33031, 03-00 3x 354d 29170m 3.6 1044f 3.1 898p
MGGS: Roylane Socra Robust-ET TR TV TL TD VG-88 GM

Another sire bred to be an extreme health sire is BIGSTONE.  From the relatively newly developed female program at ABS, BIGSTONE’S maternal line was developed by one of the great breeding minds of our generation, Don Bennink at North Florida Holsteins (Read more: NORTH FLORIDA HOLSTEINS. Aggressive, Progressive and Profitable!!) True to Bennink’s progressive philosophy, BIGSTONE is not necessarily a high PTAT sire (+0.98) or even an extreme production sire (+856 lbs PTAM), but rather is a high component sire (+101 combined lbs of fat and protein) high PL (+8.8) high DPR (+6.5), low SCS (+2.79) and moderate calving ease (+6.9) sire.  (Read more: Flukes and Pukes – What Happens When You Don’t Have a Plan).  While BIGSTONE’S daughters may not be flashy, they are certainly going to be low maintenance, trouble free cows that last for many lactations.

Powerball-P x Supersire x Colt P-Red

Sire: View-Home Powerball-P-ET
Dam: Butlerview Pixie Ss57453-ET
MGS: Seagull-Bay Supersire-ET TV TL TY TD
MGD: Butlerview Colt Pixie-ET RC EX-90, 02-02 2x 305d 23230m 4.2 970f 3.2 745p
MGGS: Sandy-Valley Colt P-Red-TW PO TV TL TY TD
MGGD: Richmond-Fd Pompey-ET BY EX-91 DOM, 03-10 3x 305d 30050m 4.3 1282f 3.1 938p

When looking for healthy, low maintenance cows, why not throw in polled ? In that case, then POWERMAN P is the sire to go with.  Combine that with A2 A2 and you pretty much have all the boxes checked. From the Richmond-FD Ramos Poppy EX-91 cow family, POWERMAN P is high DPR (+4.9), low SCS (+2.68). When you combine that with the fact that his Canadian genomic tests indicate that he is relatively resistant to mastitis (+108), easy calving (+111 Daughter Calving Ability) and high daughter fertility (+111), then there is no question that POWERMAN P will give a potent shot of health and fertility to your breeding program.  POWERMAN P will be best used on high production cows that are strong fat testers, as these are areas where he will need to be protected.

 The Bullvine Bottom Line

We have stated it many times, “When maximizing your genetic gain, you can’t just pick from the top of the TPI or LPI list.”  You need to make sure that your matings are the best corrective cross.  Breeding great cattle is part art and part science. You need to have both parts.   It takes careful consideration and generation after generation of corrective mating to produce great cow families.  That is why, instead of just giving you a list of the top 12, we have tried to provide you with insight into which sires will provide you with the maximum gain in each particular area.



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