Dairy breeds other than Holstein, which have their new genetic indexes published by AHDB Dairy today (5 April 2016), see little change in the top five, with only the British Friesian seeing the emergence of two new entrants.
Beneath Catlane Chad, the existing number one British Friesian sire ranked on Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI), is his stable mate, Catlane Caleb, still ranked in second position. Their PLIs are £410 and £391 respectively.
The newcomer ranked third is Rearsby Black Gem, a son of Centurion whose PLI of £297 reflects his good Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs) for production, particularly for weight of fat at 21.4kg, and good fitness traits.
Beneath Deangate Quaich (PLI £286), who retains his top five position, the second Friesian newcomer to become part of the leading quintet is Kirkby Premier. This son of Benloyal has a PLI of £283 and is notable for the transmission of good production and very good fertility (FI +5.3).
The Jersey breed sees almost no change since the previous index run last December, with a few leading bulls subtley changing position, and only one new entrant in the top five. This number five bull is VJ Herodot, a son of Q Hirse, whose PLI of £392 reflects good PTAs for production across the board, long daughter lifespans and, at FI +13, exceptional daughter fertility.
Rankings for the Ayrshire breed remain similarly static, with the only newcomer amongst the top five being the equal fifth ranking West Mossgiel Modern Reality. This UK-bred Reality son has a PLI of £346 and the highest Type Merit amongst the leading Ayrshire bulls at TM 2.4. With particularly good legs and feet, Modern Reality also transmits low cell counts and very good daughter fertility at +9.3.
Other dairy breed indexes are also published on line (www.ahdb.org.uk), where the Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Shorthorn and Fleckvieh are all represented.
“It’s very important to use the UK equivalent indexes when choosing a bull, regardless of breed, as only then can UK breeders obtain a genuine comparison of their transmitting ability against all other bulls of that breed,” says Fern Pearston, genetics manager for AHDB Dairy.
“Without this comparison, it’s impossible to compare a bull from one country against another, and impossible to know which bulls would most suit any herd,” she says.