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While there is no doubt that national composite index’s (TPITM, LPI, PLI etc.) are great marketing tools, recently there has been  discussion about their merits as actual genetic advancement tools.  With each index providing “home field” advantage to domestic animals and many out of date with where the industry is headed, we here at the Bullvine have developed the Bullvine Performance Index (BPI).

In the BPI we use direct genomic values instead of parent averages and we also incorporate reliabilities, in order to greater account for animals whose indexes stand the best chance of being stable over time.  As far as what traits we looked at, we have used an equally balanced weighting between production, longevity and health and fertility, as we see that emphasis represents where the market is heading.  We also include a small component (MPS) that factors in dam, 2nd dam and 3rd dam actual performance irrelevant of country of origin, as per our discussion with many breeders who feel that this should have some weight.  Instead of trying to be reactionary to the marketplace like most composite indexes, we are trying to be leading and ahead of the market.  We also are publishing BPI as a percentage so that it is clear just how far apart each animal is from each other.  Since this is a ranking index we felt it was more important to show the range between animals than to give a number that technically means nothing.

Top 50 BPI Sires

Sire NameBPIProductionLongevityHealth and FertilityMPS
MR LOOKOUT P ENFORCER-ET100%97%94%78%96%
LONG-LANGS OMAN OMAN-ET94%99%60%19%96%
COYNE-FARMS DORCY-ET93%58%93%50%95%
TEXEL BEAUTY COSMO-ET86%77%81%54%98%
CO-OP BOSSIDE MASSEY-ET85%79%48%59%92%
UFM-DUBS OLEGANT-ET85%48%66%70%95%
RMW ANCHOR-ET85%82%84%67%96%
LIRR DREW DEMPSEY84%34%85%49%97%
RMW DORCY AMBROSE-ET83%59%100%61%96%
CERVI ALLEMAR ET83%39%74%79%94%
WABASH-WAY EXPLODE-ET83%58%87%28%96%
MR LOOKOUT P EMBARGO-ET83%84%91%43%96%
CRACKHOLM FEVER81%33%85%42%96%
CO-OP O-STYLE OMAN JUST-ET80%66%40%66%96%
CERVI PHONIC80%38%48%100%94%
CO-OP BOOKEM YUXI78%75%95%53%93%
DE-SU JEROD 1223-ET77%82%83%60%93%
GEN-I-BEQ BRAWLER76%56%68%18%97%
SILDAHL JETT AIR-ET75%41%79%42%96%
MORNINGVIEW LEVI75%86%35%35%96%
DE-SU GILLESPY-ET74%72%77%0%96%
DE-SU DISTINCTION 11130-ET74%92%83%40%96%
S-S-I PEOTI MOWGLI-ET73%86%61%66%95%
SULLY MCCORD 269-ET72%93%69%44%94%
S-S-I BOOKEM MORGAN-ET71%86%65%61%95%
S-S-I PEOTI MANSUR-ET70%88%62%53%95%

Key Findings

  • One of the neat things we found in developing this index is that it is able to give a realistic comparison between sires from all countries.
  • Even more importantly it also gives a good comparison of genomic test sires versus proven sires.  Four of the top ten sires are proven sires, as compared to most national indexes that, when combining the genomic sires and the proven sires would find that at least nine if not all ten would be genomic test sires.
  • Outside of MR LOOKOUT P ENFORCER most of the sires are very close and really do warrant that you make sure you use the corrective mating for your specific animal as opposed to just using the top 5 or 10 bulls.
  • Another finding was the ability for second crop sires to also compare favorably with genomic test sires.  Besides Man-O-Man (LONG-LANGS OMAN OMAN-ET) other second crop sires who come up high are UFM-DUBS ALTAESQUIRE-ET (BPI of 68%) and BRAEDALE GOLDWYN (BPI of 66%).  This demonstrates that these high reliability sires very much still have value in many mating programs.


  • There is no question that MR LOOKOUT P ENFORCER offers an extremely balanced package.  His strong production numbers combined with his extreme type and longevity with good health and fertility traits will have him be a sire of sons worldwide.  He may be hard to get your hands on as he is just one year old and he may only be released for contract matings.  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.
  • There is no question that this last proof round Man-O-Man (LONG-LANGS OMAN OMAN) stole the show.  His outstanding second crop daughter numbers have many top index breeders going back and using him again.  His extreme production numbers have him and his daughters in high demand.  With many sons like UNO also coming on the scene and offering a more balanced offering, it’s important to make sure you use Man-O-Man or maybe GENERVATIONS LIQUID GOLD when looking for the splash of production for a high type, high health and fertility mating. However hold off, if you are looking to improve those areas.  Use a more balanced sire like MR LOOKOUT P ENFORCER-ET or maybe SOUTHERN-HILLS BAYARD-ET.
  • Coming up strong, as he keeps adding daughter numbers, is COYNE-FARMS DORCY.  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, for his body depth and chest width.
  • Also catching our eye are a couple of Freddie sons – SOUTHERN-HILLS BAYARD and HAMMER-CREEK FRED KRUNCH.  Both these sires offer a greater type and longevity option over their sire BADGER-BLUFF FANNY FREDDIE who suffers on our BPI index as his second and third dam’s classification and performance scores are low.
  • The top non- North American sire on our list is GOLDDAY.  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.

The Bottom Line

It is difficult to keep track of all the top animals and compare them accurately. Trying to compare genomic sires with proven sires with each country having their own index with apparent bias makes it doubly hard.  Having said that, comparisons are instructive for informed decision-making.  That is why we developed the BPI formula.  Contrary to popular belief that you need to be using 100% genomic sires to accelerate your genetic advancement, our analysis shows absolutely that there are  proven sires that should be used in order to minimize your risk and still achieve the greatest results.


$750 Dollar Semen! Are You Crazy?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

When you first read the recent Limited Offering  from GenerVations for Liquid Gold, Fuzion and Gizmo priced at $750 and $500 and $500 respectively, I am sure some breeders will think: “Are the bulls dead? Are these guys crazy?  Are they expecting to get rich?  Who the heck will buy that semen?”

Limited Offering  from GenerVations for  Liquid Gold, Fuzion and Gizmo

Limited Offering from GenerVations for Liquid Gold, Fuzion and Gizmo

What Makes Them So Special?

In reality, it may not be as crazy as some would think.  According to David Eastman, what GenerVations is trying to do here is to give every breeder access to their top Genomic Index sires at the same time albeit at a premium price.  Now you might say that premium is hefty and it is.  When you consider that sires like Numero Uno, Supersire, McCutchen and Cashcoin can be purchased for under $100, the $750 price tag for Liquid Gold seems pretty steep.  Are these sires that far ahead on his genetics? Let’s take a look.

200HO7450AMIGHETTI NUMERO UNO-ET1196960.2530.062.553.172587
7HO11351SEAGULL-BAY SUPERSIRE-ET25241120.08780.012.772.732564
7HO11477DE-SU BKM MCCUTCHEN 1174-ET1488740.08570.052.754.012525
534HO10FARNEAR-TBR-BH CASHCOIN1375740.1490.033.272.922495
250HO1049GENERVATIONS LIQUID GOLD15971020.17800.122.83.482543
250HO1047GENERVATIONS FUZION1355850.14720.122.792.372460
250HO1048GENERVATIONS GIZMO1902800.03690.052.813.372475

As you can see by the numbers above, these GenerVation bulls are not any higher than the current top GTPI sires.  The biggest difference is that breeders who take this offer will get instant use of the semen.   This is unlike some of the other sires on the list that have contract matings that will produce daughters that are 6 months older than the daughters from the first publicly available semen. If you look at the first registered daughters of each of these other sires you will see that they are all for contract matings or with preferred herds.  Instead of making breeders sign an agreement for the sampling rights from the resulting progeny from the selective early released semen, GenerVations is giving each breeder the opportunity to be ahead in the marketing of the genetics they have purchased.

Big deal you say.  Well actually it is a big deal.  In the past, contracts were signed when heifers were 30 months of age, after they had calved, been classified and were 60 days into production. Now high indexing heifers are being flushed at 12-14 months of age. So a six month head start is a big deal!

Marketing Potential

Think about it. According to GenerVations,”Progressive breeders will have the opportunity to access the latest genetics and would likely use them immediately on a variety of mates..”  In other words breeders  get  a unique product and can charge more for the resulting embryos, bulls and heifers. How long would it take to make up the $1,500 (2 doses of semen per flush, though often with IVF it only requires one dose) on a flush?  That’s an extra $200-$300 per embryo.  On the elite females that these bulls will be used on, that is easily done.

Another interesting aspect of this offering is that GenerVations is limiting the semen to North American breeders.  This is more a result of health protocols and semen access than anything else.  Ordinarily, by the time these sires clear all tests and protocols, breeders outside of North America would already be behind on getting the semen.  So it is much better for those breeders to purchase embryos from top North American breeders from these sires.

How will this affect their bull proofs?

With the current  practice of selective sampling of  top genomic sires (selective early release and semen price) the issue of sampling bias will come to light long before any of these three sires get their proofs.  Also, if you look at these three bulls, they are only 83 TPI points apart. Given the current range of genomic sires and where they end up with official proofs, it is hard to say which one will actually be the higher one, once they all have daughter information.

Are they doing it to get rich?

Well yes and no.  Anyone who tells you they are doing it for the good of the industry is blowing smoke up your butt.  What they are actually doing is trying to help the breeders of top sires like these get the market reward they deserve.  In the typical scenario with most studs, this highly valuable early release semen is given away for contracts and the breeder of the sire sees none of this in their royalty contracts. Something GenerVations could easily do since they are a private company and own their own females. (Read – Should A.I. Companies Own Females)

GenerVations is taking it to the other extreme.  They argue that the first released semen  is  the most valuable semen that the sire will ever produce and they are  pricing it accordingly.  Does that mean that after the 6 months the semen price will drop?  Most definitely. But for those breeders who want to stay at the cutting edge of the genomics race, they can afford and pencil out paying these prices. (Read – The Genomics Advancement Race)

What this move also does for GenerVations is that once the market for bulls opens up in March 2013 GenerVations is showing breeders of top sires that they “have other options to maximize their revenues”.  No longer do you have to sell your bulls to a stud where they might sell 30,000 doses at $40 a dose. The GenerVations model is 1,500 doses at $750 or $500 a dose.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

From a marketing viewpoint  there are many aspects to this story that catch my interest.  First that someone has the gumption to stand up and take a risk. Dave Eastman, throughout the years that I have known him, has always been thinking of ways to advance his sire selection programs as well as how to grow GenerVations.  This is just another indication of David thinking outside the box and looking for new ways to improve the system. Simply crazy? Or simply smart? Breeders will decide.


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