There are sales every week where dairy cattle are bought and sold for milk production purposes. Not often anymore are there public auctions where only very elite genetically rated dairy animals are offered for sale. Bovines-on-the-Goal-Line, held on September 12th, hosted by Ri-Val-Re Genetics LLC, Michigan and Faria Brothers Dairy, Texas, with the management assistance of The Cattle Exchange, was truly a trendsetting sale where fifty-four genetically elite Holsteins and Jerseys were sold. It was a very successful online sale held in a lounge at the University of Michigan overlooking the football stadium.
To make our readers aware of the facts The Bullvine decided to do a deeper dive into the facts and figures.
Organizers Dedicated to Breed Advancement
“It only takes a spark to get a fire going”. Well in the case of Bovines-on-the-Goal-Line there were two sparks. Jerry Jorgensen and Jason Faria. With the encouragement of family and friends, they put together a sale of only top of the line Holstein and Jersey heifers. Knowing that both the Holstein and Jersey breeds are moving to moderately sized animals with high genetic ability beyond just production and functional type, Jerry and Jason selected animals that also had high genetic indexes for PL, LIV, DPR, SCS and CFP.
What Constitutes Elite?
Elite can have many definitions. For dairy cattle, in the past, it has meant high production, high classification or show winners. But in 2017 it equates to animals that have high genetic indexes for all of production, type, pedigree, fertility, longevity, and health (including disease resistance) traits.
An analysis of the pedigrees for the forty-one Holsteins and fifteen Jerseys cataloged in the Bovines-on-the-Goal-Line sale shows the following averages:
Holsteins: TPI 2791, CM$ 937, CFP 152, PL 7.9, LIV 2.3, DPR 2.3, SCS 2.82
Jerseys: JPI 209, CM$ 718, CFP 123, PL 7.3, LIV 1.5, DPR 0.4, SCS 2.84
By comparison and to assist readers to know how truly elite these heifers are, listed below are the top CM$ (Cheese Merit) proven sires, top cow and heifers in the sale.
Table 1 Cheese Merit Indexes (CM$) for Top Holsteins and Jerseys *
|Top Proven Sire||Top Milking Cow||Top Two Heifers**||All Heifers (avg)**|
|Holstein||909||970||1035 / 1032||937|
|Jersey||685||672||781 / 760||718|
* Indexes and information as published by CDCB – August 2017
** As per the Bovines-on-the-Goal-Line catalog
Outstanding Sale Average
The fifty-four animals sold averaged just thirty-eight dollars short of $30,000 at $29,962. Holsteins (39x) averaged $28,653 and Jerseys (15x) averaged $33,367.
The vast majority of the heifers sold were born in 2017, with some as young as two months. Some consignments were old enough to start on an IVF program. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of the animals cataloged came from the Ri-Val-Re and Faria breeding programs with multiple consignments from Genosource, Peak and Pine Tree. In total, there were ten consigners. Fifty-four percent (54%) of the consignments were sold via the online bidding app, www.cowbuyer.com.
Our readers are always interested in the top sellers and who bought them, so here are the top lots, including sire stack, total merit indexes and sale price:
Table 2 Top Sellers at the Bovines-on-the-Goal-Line Sale
|Animal||Sire Stack||gTPI / gJPI||gCM$||Sale Price||Buyer|
|Lot #1||Modesty x Montross x Supersire||2913||1021||$230,000||Genex (CRI)|
|Lot #3||Achiever x Silver x Supersire||2865||1035||175,000||Genex (CRI)|
|Lot #11||Frazzled x Rubicon x AltaOak||2863||1032||120,000||ST Genetics|
|Lot #10||Delta x Kingboy x Punch||2827||916||42,500||ST Genetics|
|Lot #6||Soectre x Delta x Supersire||2802||1014||42,000||De Novo Genetics|
|Lot #22||Disco x Hilario x Action||224||781||80,000||Progenesis (Semex)|
|Lot # 31||Jodeci x Chili x Apparition||214||722||50,000||Progenesis (Semex)|
|Lot #24||Vandrell x Mackenzie x Dale||215||760||44,000||Genex (CRI)|
|Lot #27||Pele x Hulk x Action||213||715||44,000||ABS Global|
|Lot #32||Vestige x Chili xApparition||211||719||35,000||ST Genetics|
Five Take-Home Messages
Here is how The Bullvine sees the sale results:
- AI organizations see the need to have elite females in their programs for producing bulls, selling embryos and for producing females that will themselves become bull dams;
- AI organizations are prepared to pay high prices in order to get the top females;
- Breeders with elite females can ask high prices for animals in the top 0.5% of the breed;
- Innovative breeders joining forces can bring attention and returns to their breeding programs;
- Genomic indexes are the first step to identifying elite animals. The second step is a sound and healthy animal.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
The dairy cattle breeding industry has adopted social media as the communication and commerce vehicle of choice. Bovines-on-the-Goal-Line helped to move the marketing of top dairy cattle forward by providing a successful way for breeders to sell their very best animals in the future.