One of the top milk quality improvers of the Holstein breed, Mr Rubi-Agronaut, leads the way amongst genomic, young sires in the new AHDB Dairy indexes, with a December 2017 Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of £812. Retaining the position he has held throughout the year, Agronaut transmits fat and protein percentages at +0.22% and +0.09% respectively, and also has the highest Type Merit of the top 20 sires at +3.12. This type score reflects the new emphasis on bulls with smaller stature in Holstein UK’s newly revised Type Merit formula.
Climbing into second place is Claynook Casper (Hang-Time x Bombero). Like all of the top £PLI sires, Casper scores strongly for both daughter fertility (Fertility Index +13.4) and daughter lifespan (LS +0.7 lactations).
VH Balisto Brook holds on to third spot, transmitting a massive weight of fat at +40.5kg and excellent udder health, with -36 for Somatic Cell Count and -6 for Mastitis.
Fourth ranking is Peak AltaDepot, another strong udder health bull, who also has excellent daughter fertility (+17.6) and the highest Lifespan Index in the breed at +0.9. This indicates his daughters last nearly a full lactation longer, on average, than those of a bull with a zero score for LS – a benefit which will accumulate down the generations.
Former number one sire, Westcoast Perseus holds his position in the top five with a PLI of £788 and high protein percentage (+0.11%), and stands ahead of the first brand new bull in the top 10. This new entry, Progenesis Doctor, rates very favourably for reducing maintenance feed cost for his daughters (-6) and has a high milk Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) at 811kg.
UK-bred Prehen Lancaster is another favourable daughter maintenance transmitter at
-3, reaffirming his position amongst the world’s best. With an excellent daughter Fertility Index of +17.4, he can also be expected to improve a herd’s reproductive performance.
In equal eighth place is Progenesis Padawan, a high milk bull (956kg), transmitting particularly high protein (32.2kg). Sharing eight position is Leaninghouse Helix who has good all round PTAs and a PLI of £773.
A newcomer to the rankings rounds off the top 10 in the shape of G-DeRuyter AltaNitro. This son of Bacon-Hill Pety Modesty x Morningview MCC Kingboy offers high production and good health across the board, earning a PLI of £757.
Other new entrants with some stand-out figures amongst the top 20 include the high percentage protein improver (+0.13%), NH Sunview Fantastic (Flattop x Balisto) and Cal-Roy-Al Yoda (Jedi x Yoder), transmitting massive production of 1,082kg milk with 48.7kg fat and 38.8kg protein.
Commenting on the new figures, Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy, says: “Holstein breeders are in a fortunate position to have access to such top quality genetics, giving great opportunities to improve daughter fertility, udder health and longevity alongside production.
“Breeders are reminded, however, to watch out for increased maintenance feed costs for the taller Holstein bulls. AHDB provides the Maintenance Index to indicate which bulls, on average, increase maintenance feed costs for their daughters (positive figures), and which reduce this cost (negative figures).
“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.”
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 by AHDB Dairy last August, now clocking up more than 1,000 milking in the UK. He earns a PLI of £690, reflecting his balanced breeding profile, with a very high Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) for protein percent (+0.18%) and low daughter maintenance costs (-9).
In second position is a bull which makes his debut in the proven bull rankings in the shape of Mocon. Bred in Germany to a daughter of Snowman, his sire is Morgan, giving him 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), reflecting his daughters’ smaller than average stature.
Teemar Shamrock Alphabet edges up to third place with outstanding fitness attributes including daughter fertility (Fertility Index 21.1) and good calving ease (both direct and maternal). Low maintenance costs (-23) and a high Lifespan Index of +0.7 help to earn him a PLI of £668.
Cell count and fertility improver, S-S-I Shamrock Mystic holds on to fourth position (PLI £640), 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 over 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, a Seagull-Bay Platinum son with exceptional udder health credentials at -38 SCC and -6 Mastitis. His PLI is £621.
In eighth place is De-Su Rookie 11057 (PLI £616) ahead of high type transmitter, EDG Rubicon, with a TM of 2.92 and a PLI of £612.
Rounding off the top 10 is new entry, View-Home Littlerock (by Cashcoin) whose well-balanced figures are wrapped up in a PLI of £603.
“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,” says Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy. “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.
“The reliability those genomic predictions offer is increasingly evident as young bulls move reliably up the rankings and will give confidence to those producers who wish to benefit from the genetic advantage young sires can bring.”
Mr Moviestar Mardi Gras (Mogul x Planet) moves to the top of the UK type rankings with +3.64 Type Merit at 91% reliability. Combining good mammary and Legs & feet scores with moderate stature and positive chest width, he only has minor deviations for rear leg side and teat length.
Next up is another Mogul son with a similar type profile, TW Goodwhone, at +3.40 TM. In third place is by Ladys-Manor Lamar (Grafeeti x Superstition) with +3.38 TM and next is Lone-Oak-Acres Altaroble, the third Mogul son in the top 5 at +3.35 TM.
Fifth ranking among daughter proven bulls is the Italian All.Nure Secretariat (Numero Uno x Baxter), with positive teat length contributing to his +3.30 overall TM at 69% reliability.
Another Numero Uno son with positive teal length is Relough Danumero, now the top UK bred daughter proven bull, at +2.70 TM (82% Rlb).
Young genomic bulls
Stantons Applicable (Silver x McCutchen), the long standing leader among Young genomic bulls stays ahead of the pack at +3.35 TM (57% reliability). He is also the top Mammary bull in the breed at +3.84. Mogul grandson, Westcoast Lighthouse (AltaSpring x Distinction) is next up with +3.27 TM. The German bred Checkpoint (Commander x Meridian), another mogul grandson, is in third place at +3.20 TM. In fourth, and top UK bred bull, is Lissue Star (Galaxy x Jeeves) at +3.14 TM. The Top PLI bull in the breed, Mr Rubi-Agronaut, sees his Type Merit improve to +3.12, putting him in fifth among young genomic bulls on Type Merit.
- UK – PLI Young Genomic Bulls – 12/17
- UK – TYPE Merit Young Genomic Bulls – 12/17
- UK – PLI Daughter Proven Bulls – 12/17
- UK – Type Merit Daughter Proven – 12/17