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top13of2013If you are like most breeders between the time spent sorting through the many different lists from around the world and listening to the propaganda the A.I. companies put out promoting their sires, the hype is enough to make a breeder’s head spin.  In order to bring clarity to the confusion, the Bullvine has filtered through the many lists, brought them into a common base and has developed the following four categories  sires that you should take a look specifically  for your breeding program.

Overall Performance

When looking for the sire the will help improve your herd across the board, we looked for sires that have a balance of production and longevity.  Additionally, we wanted high health and fertility traits that deliver a low maintenance cow (Read more – Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection).

    (Planet x O Man x BW Marshall)
    With his validation from top genomic sire to proven sire status, Observer is a sire that should be on all breeders’ lists.  This former No. 1 GTPI genomic young sire and worldwide father of sons is now the #1 gTPI sire in the USA and transmits excellent production (+1,602 Milk) and Protein (+52 Protein, +.02% Protein) with highly reliable data from over 200 milking daughters.  OBSERVER daughters have exceptional udders (+3.02 Udder Composite) and Type (+2.70 Type).  Observer will work best on tall females with lots of frame and that need udder improvement.
    (O Man x Aaron x Bellwood)
    When it comes to your breeding goals, Man-O-Man certainly is a sire that should still get consideration even for the most aggressive genomic programs.  Look for Man-O-Man to sire outstanding production from cattle that have correct feet and legs and strong mammary systems.  One area to watch him for is his rump angle, as his daughters can be a touch high in the pins.
    Massey is a popular sire of sons combining elite indexes with a great outcross opportunity.  Massey daughters are snug uddered with strong attachments.  Though they should be protected for rump angle (high) and dairy strength, his low somatic cell score, high herd life/productive life and strong fertility make Massey a great sire for your breeding program.
    (Facebook x Shottle x O Man)
    This Marbri Facebook son has some of the highest DGVs in the breed.  Look for him to sire extreme component yields from strong dairy cattle with great feet and legs.  One area to be cautious on using him is his body depth.  Both his sire stack and his DGVs would say this area needs protecting.
    (Man-O-Man x Lawnboy x September Storm)
    If you’re breeding for polled you are most certainly thinking of where the market is heading.  One area that I always find interesting is those breeders who breed polled, but in fact are only selecting for type.  If you are going to go polled you need to consider overall improvement and production as well.  Earnhardt P is one of the premier gTPI polled bulls in the breed.  He sires high protein and extreme NM$.  He has been used heavily as a sire of sons as a result of his polled status and high Net Merit.  Look for Earnhardt P to sire high components, with solid feet and legs and mammary systems.  One area he will need to be protected on is his rumps, as he can leave high pinned daughters that are a touch narrow.

Production Improvement

It might be easy to just take the top milk lists or combine the fat plus protein and say those sires are the best for overall production.  We here at the Bullvine would not want to totally forgo type as well as health and fertility so we are looking for the sires that give you the maximum production gain, without sacrificing everything to get it.  In addition to Observer, Man-O-Man and Earnhardt P mentioned above we recommend the following sires to improve production.

    (O Man x AltaSam x Patron)
    ALTAESQUIRE’s 2nd crop daughters seem to be outperforming his first crop proof.  Watch for ALTAESQUIRE to sire more production and components as well as better mammary systems than his current proof would indicate.  While offering dairy strength and rump improvement, ALTAESQUIRE needs to be used cautiously on mammary systems and feet and legs.  But if you are looking to put a production punch into a good uddered and legged cow/heifer, ALTAESQUIRE will do the trick.
    (Bolton x O Man x BW Marshall)
    ALTAGOALMAN is a proven sire from the high Genomic Index De-Su herd.  Though ALTAGOALMAN will sire outstanding production both his genomic proof and his daughter information would indicate that he needs to be protected on dairy strength.  He delivers significant overall production improvement.  While AltaGoalman will not hurt your udders and legs, he certainly needs to be protected on body depth and rump.  AltaGoalman is most definitely best suited for commercial environments but can also be used for a shot of production, if used carefully.
    (Robust x Planet x Shottle)
    This Robust son from 2012 Golden Dam Finalist AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA VG-87-2YR-USA, really is a genomic wonder.  Not only does he have some of the highest genomic values in the breed for production but he also has great functional type and health traits to go with it.  Here you have a sire that is over 2500 lbs. for milk, with positive component deviations, 2.50 for type, and over 7 for productive life.
    (O Man x Signif-P x Goldwyn)
    For those of you looking to get into polled there is Ohare-P.  Extreme production combined with functional type and good health traits make Ohare-P a sire that if you are breeding for the future, should be   part of your program.  He will need to be protected a little on % components, and frame and capacity.

Longevity Improvement

For those of you who  are looking to breed cattle that last lactation after lactation, or maybe you are having problems with your 2 year olds not coming back for a 2nd lactation, we recommend the following sires:

    (Goldwyn x Durham x Storm)
    While many would consider Atwood a show bull, and he is very good at that (Read more: 7 Sires to Use In Order To Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion) he is also a great longevity sire as well.  Unlike many of the top show sires who are negative for production and low fertility scores, Atwood actually has solid components and acceptable health and fertility numbers.  While you most certainly would want to protect him on production and daughter fertility, Atwood will add a punch of type to your high producing 2yr olds that, for whatever reason, may not be around for many more lactations.
    (Bolton x Bret x Rudolph)
    Dorcy is proving to be an outstanding longevity improvement sire, through both his sons and daughters.  Breeders interested in a Bolton son from an outcross pedigree, top-notch udders, very good feet & legs and functional traits may consider using DORCY.  Dairy Strength and Rump are only slightly above breed norms.
    (Altakool x Atwood x Shottle)
    An Atwood son sure to get a lot of attention is Alta5G.  While not from a big name show ring family, this type sire has a breed leading +23 DGV for Conformation in Canada.  Alta5G is from the same family at De-Su as Observer and, much like the other members of this outstanding genomic family, it seems that generation after generation keeping getting higher and higher numbers.  Look for him to sire daughters with outstanding udders and feet and legs, with loads of dairy strength.  One area that he will need to be protected on is his rumps, specifically rump angle and pin setting.
    This outcross sire offers great longevity improvement combined with strong health and fertility.  He does need to be protected on protein and milking speed.  However his great feet and legs, udders and health and fertility make him an outcross sire you don’t want to miss.

Health and Fertility Improvement

One area that is not getting enough attention from most breeders is health and fertility.  While there is no question that every breeder knows that more pregnancies equal more profits, many of the top ranking sires actually have negative values for health and fertility.  The following are some sires that should help you change that:

    (O Man x Die-Hard x Metro)
    If you are going to talk health and fertility, you’re going to have to take a look at Freddie.  While his type numbers may scare some, you cannot deny his extreme health and fertility numbers combined with solid production.  While I don’t expect to see many Freddie daughters in the show ring any time soon, he will work well in most commercial environments.  He will leave moderate sized daughters that have strong udders but very much need to be protected for dairy strength.
    (Domain x Bolton x O Man
    S-S-I DOMAIN LITHIUM has some of the highest DGV’s for health and fertility.  Lithium is from one of the top genomic cows in the breed, GLEN-TOCTIN BOLT LUCILLE VG-87-DOM. Combining high herd life, low Somatic Cell counts and high daughter fertility with over 1600 lbs. of milk, 110 of fat and protein and 2.5 points on type makes Lithium a great choice when looking for improvement.  It is interesting to note that his DGV’s for health and fertility are almost 8% higher than the next highest genomic young sire (BRANDT-VIEW ALTAOTIS) and 50% higher than his own official index, indicating that he really is the sire to use when wanting to address this area that has flown under the radar far too long.
    (Destry x Lawn Boy x September Storm)
    For those of you that are really looking to breed to where the market is heading, there is LADD-P-RED.  He is the highest health and fertility polled sire in the breed today.  These are two key aspects that breeders around the world are looking for.  (Read more: Why Is Everyone So Horny For Polled? and How Healthy Are Your Cows?).  While LADD-P-RED will not wow you with his production, his strong components, with solid type make him a sire that will fit into most breeding programs.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

We have stated it many times.  In maximizing your genetic gain, you can’t simply choose   the very 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 breed great cow families.  That is why, instead of just giving you a list of the top 16, we have tried to provide you with insight into which sires will provide you with the maximum gain in each specific area.  It`s all about choosing what is best for you.


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In this information age it is surprising how difficult it can be to get the latest information on proof day.  For that reason the Bullvine has compiled a quick summary of the genetic evaluations from the United States and Canada.


  • DE-SU OBSERVER debuts as #1 gTPI sire in the USA.
    Call it validation or even redemption but, if Observer’s first proof had him falling drastically, it might have put the industry back a few years.  With over 195 sons already being sampled, there is no question that the industry could not afford to have him not achieve a successful daughter proven proof.  Fortunately for all, he not only held his most recent (December 2012) genomic index, but he actually went up.  The biggest change in his numbers was an increase of 142 lbs. of milk, while maintaining his component percentages.  Observer also saw significant increases in his type composites, something the breeders who had been milking Observer daughters had already been forecasting.  While he still needs to be protected on body depth and F&L, he is now over 3 points for udders and has a solid score for rumps. (Click here for a High Ranking Sire Report (April 2013) and Top 100 TPI International Bulls (April 2013) )
  • ZAHBULLS UNO GULLIVER new #1 gPA TPI Sire in the USA
    While there were not many new sires in the top gTPI list other than Observer, the same is not true for the gPA TPI list.  Leading the way is ZAHBULLS UNO GULLIVER (Though Supersire may still be the #1 gPA TPI available sire at this time).  GULLIVER is a NUMERO UNO from a DORCY then Toystory and Rudolph.  His dam ZAHBULLS DORCY GLAMOUR was fresh in December and is yet to be classified.  His 2nd dam JOHNAN TOYSTORY GLITTER is classified EX and has a 4yr record of 29,220 lbs. of 3.5%f 3.0%P.  Look for GULLIVER to sire strong components, especially fat, with solid type.  He will need to be protected slightly on his straight legs and depth of heal, but will greatly improve bone quality and foot angle.  His daughters will not win many shows, but they will be large enough however, they will need protection on body depth.  He will bring loads of genetic potential in the areas of health and fertility, especially productive life. (Click here for Top 100 gPA TPI Sires April 2013) (Please note semen available is subject to stud and age)
  • BUTZ-HILL SUPERSIRE 1757 new #2 gPA TPI Sire in the USA
    From the EASTSIDE LEWISDALE GOLD MISSY EX-95-CAN, Supreme Champion WDE and RAWF 2011, family.  Missy could, by the end of this week, also be the 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year (Read more: Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy: 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee).  1757 has it all.  He is a Supersire from a Man-O-Man followed by Dolman then Goldwyn.  Look for him to bring a balanced package.  With no real holes in his type breakdown, strong components and very desirable health and fertility traits, he is sure to be on many peoples’ must have list. (Click here for Top 100 gPA TPI Sires April 2013) (Please note semen available is subject to stud and age)
  • LADYS-MANOR DORCY AMIRA debuts at #5 gTPI Cow in the USA
    From the same family as the long-standing #1 gTPI Cow, Ladys-Manor PL Shakira, Amira is a VG 86 Dorcy from 85 point Planet.  While from a different line of the Ladys-Manor Delightful Jem family, Amira certainly packs a strong genetic punch.  (Click here to see Top 25 GTPI Cows)


  • BADGER-BLUFF FANNY FREDDIE new #3 gLPI Sire in Canada
    Already having over 2,200 registered daughters born in Canada, Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie (O Man x Die-Hard) hits the mark with his first official domestic evaluation at #3 LPI.  Coming in almost exactly where his MACE proof and genomic test would have indicated, Freddie’s Canadian proof shows the same strong production as in the USA, with great health and fertility, while needing to be protected on conformation, especially dairy strength.  At just 65% GP or better and only 12 VG 2yr olds in Canada (on 253 daughters), Freddie is certainly not a type specialist, but can give you that great shot of herd life, daughter fertility, and calving ease when needed.  His daughters excel at herd life, daughter fertility, body condition score and production traits from shallow smooth fore uddered mammary systems.  It is recommended that he be used on large framed females, with strong median suspensories.  He breeds a consistent pattern of worky functional daughters that should be robot compatible.  For breeders wanting to move their genetics along quickly, they may consider using a high genomically evaluated Freddie son from a large framed dam.  (Click here to read a full breakdown of the Canadian Holstein Evaluation Highlights – April 2013)
  • END-ROAD O-MAN BRONCO new #6 gLPI Sire in Canada
    Bronco (Oman x BW Marshall) has his first Canadian proof coming in at #6 LPI progeny proven sire.  Like his sire, Oman, he leaves functional cattle but Bronco’s daughters excel at production. He is in the top 1% of the breed for both milk and protein yields.  His daughters have good Dairy Strength and Foot Angle is steep and Heel Depth is deep.  Rear teat placement is slightly wide and udders are slightly shallow which will work well for robotic milking systems.  His daughters are likely the ones milk producers hardly notice as they go about producing large volumes. (Click here to see Top LPI Canadian Proven Holstein Sires)
  • REGAN-ALH DIPLOMAT #7 gLPI and Highest New Release Sire in Canada
    Regan-ALH Diplomat*RDC (Mr Burns x O Man)  takes the spotlight as the highest young sire graduate this round at #7 LPI and the new leader among red carrier sires proven in Canada.  His dam A-L-H DESTINY has many superior progeny including top sons, Danillo and Goldday, in Europe (Read more: 12 Holstein Sires to Maximize Genetic Gain) and his second dam is none other than Markwell Durham Daisy (Read more: Markwell Durham Daisy – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist).  DIPLOMAT ( Mr Burns x Oman x Durham) has his first proof based on 62 classified and 123 milk recorded daughters. His production and durability ratings are well above average and he earns the distinguished Class Extra rating.  Care needs to be taken, as he is slightly below average for milking speed and calving ability.  He will likely qualify as a sire of sons mating sire, especially for red.
  • SUNTOR JOYRIDE new #1 gPA LPI Sire in Canada
    JOYRIDE is from the same family as Oconnors Jay, as his 2nd dam OCONNORS GOLDWYN JASMINE EX-92 is the Goldwyn sister to Jay (Read more: The Bloom is On  Oconnors Goldwyn Jasmine).  His dam SUNTOR MAN O MAN JELENA VG-2YR sold for $30,000 in the 2012 Sale of Stars (Read more: Genomic Stars Shine at Sale of Stars), a steal for a cow that has proven she can throw extremely high genomic progeny.  No doubt the commission from semen sales on this one will be larger than the sale price of the dam.  Joyride, sired by Epic, offers extreme production (+106 kgs protein) from outstanding type with strong health and fertility traits.  With a DGV of +19 for conformation, there is no question that Joyride will leave you those nice sharp cut calves that will draw attention and top dollar at all the genomic sales in a year’s time. (Click here to see Top LPI Genomic Holstein Young Sires)
  • MAPEL WOOD M O M LUCY new #2 gLPI Cow in Canada
    The highest newly indexed cow this round is Mapel Wood M O M Lucy, arriving at #2 GLPI right behind her maternal sister, OConnors Planet Lucia, who stays firm at #1 GLPI.  Lucia and Lucy are daughters of Comestar Goldwyn Lilac (Read more: Comestar Goldwyn Lilac: 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee and Genetics By Design – Crosses the $4,000,000 Mark) with Lylehaven Lila Z as grand dam. (Click her toe see Top 400 gLPI Females in Canada)
  • RI-VAL-RE SUPRSRE NIKK new #1 gPA LPI heifer in the World!
    Nikk jumps almost 200 LPI points and takes over the coveted #1 spot.  Powered by her dam’s sire, Observer, who debuts at #1 gTPI, Nikk leads a pack of Supersire daughters that top the LPI list.  Her dam RI-VAL-RE OBSRVR NIKKI is due this month and looks very promising for  Ri-Val-Re (Read more: Breeding Ri-Val-Re: Where looking good in the stall is just as important as looking good on paper). (Click here to see Top 400 gPA LPI Heifers In Canada)

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Some might call it a quieter round in North America, with only one new top proven sire in the US and many of the new Canadian sires already proven in the US.  However, this round is certainly an emphatic validation for the different proving programs.  The fact that Observer came out where he did validates the genomic evaluation system.  Additionally, having many sires that receive their official proofs in Canada matching the US MACE conversion also validates the Interbull MACE system.  Many new genomic sires were released this time, providing   terrific opportunities to discover the next Observer.

To see all the latest proofs be sure to check out our Genetic Evaluation Section.


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2013ecttop13of2013Commercial milk producers want to breed cows that have high feed conversion efficiency, that avoid culling and that take the least care or staff time (Read more – Feed Efficiency: The Money Saver).  The well known and widely used total merit indexes, TPI*TM  and LPI, rank sires according to which ones leave the most profitable ideal or true type cow. However the factors in those indexes and the assumptions that are made when calculating them do not address feed, culling or low maintenance.   Milk producers are left to fend for themselves when it comes to selecting sires that will leave their kind of cows.

What’s Being Heard

Milk Producers say: “All I want is a trouble free cow that efficiently converts forages to the kind of milk my milk buyer wants.

Veterinarians say:  “Cows must get in calf, have minimal feet problems and must not be prone to having production limiting diseases (reproduction problems, mastitis, metabolic disorders or  ..etc.).

Farm Workers say:  “Sick animals, calving problems and animals that do not work easily within the farm system waste my time.

Feed Advisers say: “Test your forages, feed the rumen, get the most out of your forages and the use of nutrients for both production and maintenance must be considered simultaneously (i.e. medium sized cows yielding the same as large cows are more feed efficient).

Milk Processors say: ”Except for the milk we sell as a drink, we want the solids not the water.

Financial Advisers say:  “Make decisions based on profit per cow, per litre, per hectare, per pound of feed consumed, per worker, …etc.

Consumers say: – Well in fact we may not be listening to consumers (Read more – Milk Marketing: How “Got Milk?” became “Got Lost”)

There are even more voices speaking in producers ears and more words appearing on the computer screens that producers read.  With all the information that is currently available, selecting sires that best meet the needs of milk producers can be a daunting task.

Getting Started

Milk producers do not wish to deal all the numbers that appear on proof sheets. That can be a very time consuming exercise with no definitive answers at the end of it.

The Bullvine decided to research what is available today on selecting sires for feed conversion efficiency, for freedom from major known reasons for culling and for minimal extra care. We recognize that down the road there will be genomic indexes that are based on the relationship between yet to be recorded on-farm cow performance data and the DNA make-up of cows for these three areas. But today those genomic indexes do not exist.

Bullvine Efficiency Index (BEI)

Based on the information from a number of countries that we have been able to access, the Bullvine has developed the following formulas:

  1. BEI = Production (45%) + Durability (35%) + Health & Fertility (25%)
  2. Production = 30 Fat Yield + 50 Protein Yield + 10 Fat% + 10 Protein%
  3. Durability = 17 Herd Life + 42 Mammary System + 25 Feet & Legs  – 8 Body Depth – 8 Stature
  4. Health & Fertility = 46 Somatic Cell + 23 Daughter Fertility + 23 Udder Depth + 8 Milking Speed


  1. Milk Yield is not included as it contributes to more udder strain and added milk haulage or on-farm water removal costs.
  2. The negative weightings on Body Depth and Stature reflect that larger cows  require extra feed to grow to that size and to maintain that larger size each and every day compared to cows of more moderate size.

Sire Rankings

Using CDN’s Custom Index Calculator  the following sires came to the top of the list,


Please note: Due to the fact that CDN’s Custom Index tool only allows quires by Domestic Canadian, MACE and Genomic individually it is not possible to do an overall ranking.

Key Findings

  • Except for the Domestic Canadian list only a small difference exist between bulls
  • The rankings do not always follow TPI* TM or LPI due mainly to the negative weighting on body depth and stature and increased emphasis on SCS, daughter fertility and udder depth.
  • Although Braedale Goldwyn, Sandy Valley Bolton and Picton Shottle progeny are prominent on these listings, they are from different cow families so inbreeding using the sires on these lists should not be a problem, providing a breeder does not focus on just one of them


  • Braedale Goldwyn appears on the listings himself. As well he has six sons on the lists and is the maternal grandsire of three of the genomic bulls.
  • Sandy Valley Bolton has seven sons on the listings
  • Picton Shottle is the maternal grandsire of nine bulls on the listings
  • Oman sons Long-Langs Oman Oman and Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie both appear on the listings, as do one son and one maternal grandson of each of them
  • De-Su Observer, yet to be daughter proven, has three sons and one maternal grandson on the genomics listing

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Commercial milk producers often want the decisions on which sires to use to be as simplified as possible. That is why the Bullvine has produced these BEI listings. With due consideration to avoid inbreeding, milk producers can expect BEI to rank bulls for them for production, durability and health & fertility with emphasis on the sires that can convert intake into milk production.

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With the December 2012 genetic evaluation release and all the changes to the different systems, many breeders are finding it hard to figure out   which sires are the ones they should be taking a closer look at for their breeding programs. In typical Bullvine fashion we decided to not only provide you with the top lists (Read more in our Genetic Evaluations Section) but also to look at  what sires will help you maximize your genetics, by identifying which ones  address certain needs.  Here is what we  found from the 99% Rank worldwide for their area of specialty.

Overall Performance Improvement

When looking for the sire the will help improve your herd across the board, we looked for  sires that have a balance of production and longevity. We also wanted  great 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.

    (Bolton x Bret x Rudolph)
    Last proof run,  we had  concerns with Dorcy as his parent averages and DGVs were higher than his actual daughter performance. However, with his daughter numbers nearly doubling in December, his actual daughter performance  is now higher than his PA’s and right on where his DGV had been predicted.  Look for Dorcy to sire balanced dairy cattle that have great udders and very good feet & legs, though he will need to be protected for dairy strength fat percent and specifically his body depth and chest width.
    (O Man x Aaron x Bellwood)
    There is no question that the story around the world is how well Man-O-Man daughters are performing (Read more – Man-O-Man will he turn platinum?)  While we are huge Man-O-Man fans, he has  yet to leave a son who has Genomic results that are  higher than his own on the CDN system (Read more – Is Man-O-Man really going to be a sire of sons?).  When it comes to your breeding goals, he certainly is a sire that should still get  consideration even for the most aggressive genomic programs.  Look for Man-O-Man to sire outstanding production from cattle who have correct  feet and legs and strong mammary systems.  One area to watch him for is his rump angle, as his daughters can be a touch high in the pins.
    (Facebook x Shottle x O Man)

    One sire that is certainly going to be on the top of everyone’s list is Enforcer.  He may be hard to get your hands on as he is just one year old and Semex will probably only be releasing him for contract matings (Read more – Select Sires vs. Semex – A contrast in cooperatives). This Marbri Facebook son has the highest DGVs in the breed.  Look for him to sire extreme component yields from strong dairy cattle with great feet and legs.  One area to be cautious on using him is his body depth.  Both his sire stack and his DGVs would say this area needs protecting.  For those looking for an early release genomic sire, check out GenerVations Liquid Gold born on the same day as Enforcer but yet publically available (Read more – $750 Dollar Semen! Are you crazy?)

Production Improvement

It might be easy to just take the top milk lists or combine the fat plus protein and say those sires are the best for overall production. We here at the Bullvine would not want to totally forgo type as well as health and fertility so  we are looking for the sires that give you the maximum production gain, without  sacrificing everything to get it.  In addition to Enforcer and Man-O-Man, here are some top production sires you should consider.

    (Bolton x O Man x Adam)

    Much like the Nerello grapes that the Mascali area of Italy is famous for, Mascalese is a sire that works best when used to balance out a pedigree by offering a  strong production infusion.  Mascalese is the perfect mating for Planet’s, Man-O-Man’s and Goldwyn’s, as he will add the dairy strength and rump improvement that is needed.
    (Bolton x O Man x BW Marshall)

    Holding strong in the US proving system that saw many sires drop over the last proof round is AltaGoalman.  This proven Bolton son from the Genomic powerhouse De-Su, offers extreme production with acceptable percent components, He delivers significant overall production improvement. While AltaGoalman will not hurt your udders and legs, he certainly needs to be protected on body depth and rump.  AltaGoalman is most definitely best suited for commercial environments but can also be used for a shot of production, if used carefully.
    (Niagra x O Man  x Throne)

    Certainly a sire to consider, for those looking to push the genomic envelope and yet still wanting to find new bloodlines, is Vigor. Vigor is a RI-VAL-RE 2338 NIAGRA son from a TRIONE MAN IDRA VG-89-ITA. She is from one of Italy’s most dominant cow families TRIONE AARON BELLUNA VG-89-ITA.  Idra is an O-Man daughter of TRIONE THRONE ELENA VG-88-ITA.  Look for Vigor to be the genomic equivalent of AltaGoalman and needs to be protected on rump and dairy strength but offers tremendous production improvement.  He is a great option for a progressive breeder looking to develop a more unique bloodline.

Longevity Improvement

Recent changes to the US system for productive life rankings may have breeders scratching their heads.  Here are some sires that bring some light to the situation. In addition to Dorcy and Enforcer, other sires to consider for longevity improvement are:

    (Goldwyn x O Man x Durham)

    Goldday is a Goldwyn son from A-L-H DESTINY VG-87-3YR-USA DOM GMD. Destiny is of course the popular bull mother from Markwell Durham Daisy (Read more – Markwell Durham Daisy – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist), proven in Germany. Goldday is also the full brother to former #1 German sire Danillo. Look for Goldday to sire unbelievable udders and legs as well as long herd life.  One area where you will want to protect Goldday is rump angle. Be cautious in using him on cattle that need production improvement.
    (O Man x Die Hard x Metro)

    Freddie’s jump back to the top of the TPI list is not surprising as his daughters continue to perform.  Much like his father O Man, Freddie  was not given much use,  as his low type numbers scared many breeders away.  But, also like his father, his daughters tend to last much longer than their type numbers would indicate.   That’s because Freddie has outstanding fitness traits that helps him leave low maintenance daughters.  They are not angular and they are not deep but they do they milk hard and last long.
    (Goldwyn x Blitz x Mattie G)

    Battling with GUTHRIE and the Goldwyn sons of MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE (Read more – MD-Delight Durham Atlee – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist) Fever may be the best proven Goldwyn son in the world. Fever is just one of the sires that does a lot of things right.  He has strong fitness traits combined with great type numbers that contribute to daughters lasting a long time.  Considering that production is one of the lower reasons breeders cull cattle (Read more – Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection), it’s no wonder that Fever daughters will have a long career in many herds.

Health and Fertility Improvement

As I tried to point out in our recent article, Who killed the market for good dairy cattle?, breeders need to focus more on what their actual management goals are and less on their perceptions, or misconceptions.  That means putting a greater focus on health and fertility, when choosing mating sires in your herd.  In addition to Enforcer, Fever and Freddie here are some sires to consider:

    (Rolex x Tugolo x AltaFormation)

    While not a name that most breeders know, Phonic is certainly going to get some attention from breeders looking to breed to where the industry is headed.  With extremely low SCS and high daughter fertility combined with functional type and above average production, Phonic is leaving daughters that are extremely low maintenance. Tracing back to the great Italian brood cow Cervi FIRESTONE, this family has produced such sires as BUXON, WOODSTOCK and PADERNUS. Given his high rump angle, it is interesting that he is such a good  calving ease sire.
    (Britt x Tugolo x Metro)

    In Vars you get one of the top proven sires for daughter pregnancy rate, calving ease and productive life. Surprisingly this Britt son has an outstanding fat percentage coming from his MGS Tugolo.  However, his sire stack also dictates that he very much needs to be protected on type, especially udders.  It is ironic that a sire with such high herd life also sires deep udders that need improvement in udder cleft.
    (Russell x O Man x BW Marshall)

    Cobra is an early Russell son from a deep cow family.  His genomic test results are extremely high, especially for the health and fertility traits. Breeders looking to enhance the profitability of their herd and push the genomic envelope will certainly be looking to Cobra.   Cobra should be protected on bone quality as well as body depth.

Type Improvement

Hey everyone loves a winner and extra value, so that is why we added 3 extra type improvement sires. Great show cows are as much bred as they are “made”, as is evident by some of the great show cows from Quality Holsteins (Read more – Quality Holsteins – Well-deserved congratulations)   In addition to the 7 Sires to use in order to breed the next world dairy expo champion, we offer these three sires to consider.

    (Stormatic x BW Marshall x Winchester)

    Breeders who were are the 2012 Royal Winter Fair (Read more – The 2012 Royal Winter Fair – One of the greatest stories every told!) will certainly find it hard to argue with this selection.  Valleyvillle Rae Lyn VG-89-2YR, sired by Sanchez certainly impressed many and will give even the best Goldwyns a run for their money in 2014 (Read more – Quality Cattle Look Good Every Day). Look for Sanchez to sire extreme frames and superb feet and legs, though he may need to be protected on rear teat position and teat length
    (Duplex x Allen x Progress)

    For those of you looking for something with an international flair but a solid base, there is Glauco.  Glauco is the Duplex son of the great Italian show cow TOC-FARM ALLEN AMYLY EX-96-ITA, who is from a EX-93-ITA Progress and then the great brood cow SUNNYLODGE SKYCHIEF AMY EX-95-2E-GBR 5* who of course is from an EX-2E 8* Tab then the legendary SUNNYLODGE PRELUDE SPOTTIE VG-87-3YR-CAN 18*.  Glauco daughters are extremely tall and open and have  amazing rear udders. He should be protected on the  set to his rear legs (curved ), similar to Skychief but with much better bone quality.
    (Bookem x Shottle x Goldwyn)

    For those of you who breed for type but are willing to use genomic sires, Doorman is for you.  This Bookem from a Shottle has no great show cattle in his pedigree, but, at +22, he does  have a very high genomic test for conformation. Genomically test speaking, he is the perfect sire for the show ring. Doorman will be a great test to see if Genomics works in the show ring (Read more – Does Genomics Belong in the Show Ring?)

The Bullvine Bottom Line

We  have stated it many times. In 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 breed great cow families.  That is why, instead of just giving you a list of the top 12 we tried to provide you with insight into which sires will provide you with the maximum gain in each specific area.

Check out our  Genetic Evaluations Section for more information.



While the introduction of genomics has certainly changed the dairy industry, this proof round also proves that it’s an evolving science.  With adjustments in both the US and Canadian systems, the December 2012 Genetic Evaluations are as much about the changes in the system as it is about the new sires.

In the US, USDA made significant changes to the system including a correction and adjustment of health and functional trait evaluations and reliabilities.  These changes have led to a much closer grouping of the top TPI sires (15%).  We all know that just as breeders are learning how to use genomics, geneticists are also learning how to evolve this technology and ensure it’s accuracy.  In Canada there have also been refinements to the DGV system, including regression analysis as well as a tightening of the range of the top end animals.  The number of DGV LPI’s over 4000 has gone down drastically, with many sires seeing about a 400-500 DGV LPI drop.

More than ever these changes highlight that instead of selecting sires by their rank on the list, with such close numbers, it is now more important to make sure that you select the sire that is the corrective mate for your animals.


  • All is quiet on the American front.  Even the story of the top two sires BADGER-BLUFF FANNY FREDDIE and COYNE-FARMS DORCY is about how they held their numbers to move up the ranks rather than increased their numbers.
  • Even WABASH-WAY EXPLODE, who we were hesitant to endorse last round as his Parent Averages and DGV’s are higher than his current daughter performance, held relatively the same numbers with the addition of 10 more daughters (Note: His DGV’s and PA’s are still higher than current daughter performance).
  • One interesting newcomer that caught our eye was RONELEE TOYSTORY DOMAIN.  Domain is the 1st proven sire from Trans America Genetics (TAG) and his initial proof was spot on to his expected genomic and parent averages (slightly lower for production but indications are that it will adjust)  Bodes well for great things to come from the TAG program.


  • The biggest story in Canada is the official domestic proof of LONG-LANGS OMAN OMAN.  Man-O-Man didn’t disappoint the many rumors that where swirling (Read more – Man-O-Man will he turn platinum?) but does cause us some concerns about his use as a sire of sons (Read more – Is Man-O-Man going to be a sire of sons?).
  • A bull that will certainly catch a lot of attention in Canada FREUREHAVEN NIAGARA.  This Bolton son from the high index bull mother COMESTAR LAUTELLA GOLDWYN VG-87 2* is leaving daughters that love to milk and that do so from strong udders and great feet and legs.
  • This proof round for Canada was packed with many high-ranking bulls receiving their first official LPI proof including 25 in the Top 100, 14 in the Top 50 and 9 in the Top 20 for LPI.  Most of these were US proven sires receiving their first Canadian proof such as UFM-DUBS AltaEsquire (O Man x Rich-Ro Mark Sam-ET) at #4 LPI and the new #1 for Fat this round; Crockett-Acres Otto-ET (O Man x Crockett-Acres Mtot Elly- ET) arriving at #13 LPI and immediately followed, with a difference of only 15 LPI points, by his full Canadian proven brother Crockett-Acres Eight-ET at #12 LPI.


  • Cogent Twist becomes number one UK proven sire in December proof run.  COGENT TWIST has continued his climb through the rankings to become the new number one UK-proven sire.  Twist combines his PLI of £229 with hardwearing daughter type traits including dairy strength, width and body depth.
  • In Italy Encino EVONYMON ET TV is the highest new bull for PFT this run (standing 10th in the Italian rankings).  Evonymon is one of the highest sires for milk in the Italian PFT ranking at over 1600Kgs.  He also has a positive fat and protein %, a functional type with 2.47 feet & legs and positive Fitness traits.  The other high new release sire is Encino EGYPTIAN ET TV the full brother of Evonymon and stands 15th on the official Italian rankings.  He has excellent fat (0.16) and protein (0.11) with over 1,300 kg of milk.  Fertility is high, and is a somatic cell score improver.
  • Other international stars such as ZANI BOLTON MASCALESE, FLEVO GENETICS SNOWMAN and HEIDENSKIPSTER GOLDDAY all held their numbers as well as international rankings.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

While there were certainly some exciting new sires this proof round, the bigger story is about the way current stars are holding their domestic numbers as they receive international proofs.  This stability highlights the strengths of the MACE system and shows how different countries are enhancing their use of Genomics to more accurately predict the future genetic stars.


In our recent article, Fact vs. Fantasy – A realistic approach to sire selection, we highlighted the need to choose sires not just on ideal conformation goals, but to also match your sire selection to the key management challenges your herd faces. In typical Bullvine style we wanted to take this one step further and to go from fantasy to reality and identify just what sires will help address these top culling issues.

The Bullvine’s Realistic Approach:  Breed to Minimize Your Profit Thieves

In the previous article, we recommended minimum sire proof levels for total index, female fertility, somatic cell score and feet & legs in both the US and Canadian genetic evaluation systems.  Since we only have access to DGVs from CDN, all values quoted in this article will be in Canadian terms.

Some considerations set for sires to qualify for consideration are worth repeating:

  1. A minimum LPI/TPI value (+2000) was set to address the problem of cows being culled for low   production;
  2. Sires had to be on an active marketing list of a North American AI organization; and
  3. Sires with only genomic evaluations had to have been born in 2011 or, in other words, they are in the initial stages of their sampling time.

Just a reminder of the minimum values The Bullvine set for bulls to be considered.

  • Lifetime Profit Index    > +2000
  • Daughter Fertility       > 100
  • Somatic Cell Score       < 2.90
  • Feet & Legs                 > +5

INFERTILITY: You can’t make milk if you can’t make calves

Breeders know that there is a difference in bulls’ daughters’ ability to become pregnant.  It’s probably one of the most important profit metrics on most herds. This is measured as Daughter Fertility in Canada and Daughter Pregnancy Rate in the USA.  This information has been available for some time, yet it still seems to be given little heed when sires are selected for use in A.I. and herds.

The Bullvine offers the following sires for use by herds wishing to genetically address infertility.

GENOMICALLY EVALUATED SIRES: ranked by DGV Daughter Fertility Index

  • 111      Ever-Green-View FONSY (Super x Shottle)
  • 110      Brant-View ALTAOTIS (Observer x Active)
  • 110      Latuch Trigger TREK (Trigger x Ramos)
  • 109      Rosylane-LLC JOSIAH (Jives x Ramos)
  • 109      Blue-Horizon ALATASUPLEX (Super x Planet)

DAUGHTER PROVEN SIRES: ranked by Daughter Fertility Index

  • 110      Badger-Bluff Fanny FREDDIE (Oman x Die-Hard)
  • 107      Synergy ALTAJENKINS (Mac x Shottle)
  • 107      Mainstream MANIFOLD (Oman x Marshall)
  • 107      Co-op Oman CAVANA (Oman x Hunter)
  • 106      Crackholm FEVER (Goldwyn x Blitz)

MASTITIS – a bane to producing high quality milk

No producer wants mastitis, the cost of loosing a valuable cows, or the possibility of having a tanker load of milk lost due to antibiotics in the load. Additionally milk producers don’t want their vet visit time consumed with mastitis problems. Can mastitis be lowered by using genetic evaluations?  “Yes!” claim many producers who know from experience that the daughters of bulls with an SCS over 3.10 are problems.  Sure, they may be fine in their first lactation but in later lactations they are usually more prone to mastitis.  The Bullvine offers the following sires for use in herds that wish to avoid mastitis, as much as possible:


  • 2.22     Coyne-Farms JACY (AltaIota x Massey)
  • 2.32     Welcome ADOLF (Shameless x Ramos)
  • 2.40     Oconnors BAROMETER (Garrett x Shottle)
  • 2.47     De-Su ALTAHALEY (Alta Meteor x Goldwyn)
  • 2.48     Stantons EVEREST (Observer x Shottle)


  • 2.45     Co-op Bosside MASSEY (Mascol x Bret)
  • 2.54     Lirr Drew DEMPSEY (Goldwyn x Derry)
  • 2.62     Coyne-Farms DORCY (Bolton x Bret)
  • 2.62     Coppertop DOBERMAN (Shottle x Granger)
  • 2.63     Crackholm FEVER (Goldwyn x Blitz)

Feet and Legs – Vital for High Performing Cows

The heritability of feet & legs is low (.20 to .25) but there are significant differences between sires in their ability to sire animals with functional feet and legs, especially feet. The costs mount up when you consider that cows with sore feet do not come in heat. And their feet must be trimmed more often. On top of that they require medication. In the end, there is milk withdrawal and definitely there is a loss of milk production. The Bullvine offers the following sires for use in herds that care about reducing their costs and losses due to feet and leg problems.

GENOMICALLY EVALUATED SIRES: ranked by their DGV Feet & Legs Index

  • +16 Blue-Horizon ALTASUPLEX (Super x Planet) Side View +7, Rear View +10, Foot Angle +7
  • +15 Ronelee Shottbolt DENZEL (Shottbolt x Outside) Rear View +12, Foot Angle +7.
  • +14 Seagull-Bay HEADLINER (Robust x Planet) Rear View +12, Foot Angle +10.
  • +14 De-Su RANSOM (Robust x Ramos) Foot Angle +10, Heel Depth +7. Bone Quality -1.
  • +13 Farnear –TBR- BH CASHMONEY (Observer x Goldwyn) Rear View +10.

DAUGHTER PROVEN SIRES: ranked by Feet & Leg Index

  • +16 Gen-I-Beq BRAWLER (Baxter x Shottle) – Foot Angle +12, Heel Depth +13.
  • +15 Crackholm FEVER (Goldwyn x Blitz) – Bone Quality +10, Rear View +11, Rear Set +13.
  • +14 Lirr Drew DEMPSEY (Goldwyn x Derry) – Foot Angle +11, Heel Depth +8, Rear View +9.
  • +14 DANILLO (Goldwyn x Oman) – Foot Angle +12, Rear View +13.
  • +12 Va-Early-Dawn SUDAN (Jammer x Sailor) – Foot Angle +8, Rear View +13. Rear legs straight.


The sires recommended here are genetically superior for reducing the nagging problems of fertility, mastitis and feet. At the same time, they are superior for their Lifetime Profit Index.  Bulls’ daughters that do not reach their potential due to any or all of these limiting factors are not needed on your farm or in the national herd. Choose the best sires that correct the actual problems that you face and thereby give you the opportunity to increase your profit per cow per year.  This method of selecting sires is not showy like winning in the show ring is but your bottom line on your year-end financial statement will be a larger number. Taking your goal of greater profits from fact to reality.

Looking for more mating recommendations and insights…click here.


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