New Holstein indexes highlight most economic bulls

New genetic indexes for daughter-proven Holstein bulls, published today (5 April) by AHDB Dairy, reflect the continuing trend towards percentage fat required for many milk contracts, which also forms an important element of the UK’s main national breeding goal, Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI).

At the top of the ranking is Gen-I-Beq Lavaman, whose PLI of £626 moves him back into the leading position he has held before. Producers aiming to increase milk components will appreciate Lavaman’s positive fat (+0.10%) and protein (+0.15%) which he combines with outstanding daughter fertility (Fertility Index +13.5). His modern type profile includes the transmission of modest stature which reduces the maintenance cost of his daughters (Maintenance -8).

Ranking in second position with a PLI of £622 is former number one sire, Kings-Ransom Erdman. This bull’s daughters are amongst the least cost to maintain with feed in the top 20, reflected in his Maintenance Index of -19. Erdman is also one of the breed-leading longevity transmitters (Lifespan +0.7), which he combines with an outstanding Somatic Cell Count Index (SCC
-20).

New in third position with a PLI of £591 is Teemar Shamrock Alphabet (Shamrock x Ramos). Alphabet has a very balanced breeding profile including excellent ease of calving in his daughters (maternal Calving Ease +3.0); good daughter longevity (+0.6) and high daughter fertility (+13.3). He also transmits the best resistance to bovine TB in the top 10 (TB Advantage +2.1).

No-Fla Emulate 30309 (Bookem x Oman) gains 40 £PLI points to make it into the top 10 (PLI £568), transmitting a high weight of fat and protein and solid fitness all round.

In fifth position is S-S-I Bookem Morgan (PLI £565), who has a similar breeding profile to his paternal brother, Emulate, and the highest Type Merit in the top 10 at +2.11.

United-Pride Erdman Evan ranks sixth (PLI £560), and just edges ahead of his sire, Erdman, for low costs of daughter maintenance, with a Maintenance Index of -20.

Two new entrants in seventh and eighth position are No-Fla Debut (PLI £559) (Shamrock x Oman) and Tollenaars AltaMicro (PLI £556) (Plan x Oman). Like all of the top 10 £PLI sires, these bulls transmit very good SCC, Lifespan and daughter Fertility Indexes.

The high percentage fat and protein transmitter De-Su Ransom (PLI £552) ranks ninth, with a notable daughter Lifespan Index of +0.7, while rounding off the top 10 is new entrant, Delta G-Force (PLI £548 £PLI) (Man-O-Man x Jordan). G-Force also transmits high milk solids and a sound fitness proof.

Commenting on the genetic trends amongst the Holstein bulls, Marco Winters, head of genetics for AHDB Dairy says: “It’s very encouraging to see bulls moving into these rankings which will help UK farmers achieve higher quality milk and potentially a better milk price.

“If producers look carefully within the rankings they will also find bulls whose daughters are smaller and more robust, some of them offering lower maintenance costs, all of which will help them produce milk more economically.”

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