New number one bull replaces long-term Holstein leader

A new number one bull in the shape of the Morgan son, Mocon, has taken his place in the proven Holstein sire rankings, published today (3 April, 2018) by AHDB Dairy. Mocon is a German-bred maternal grandson of Snowman and his Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) features high milk production (826kg), low somatic cell counts (-23) and a very favourable Maintenance Index (-22), indicating his daughters have relatively low maintenance costs for feed. He earns a Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of £689.

In taking the number one position, Mocon edges long-term leader, Lavaman, (PLI £684), into second position. Of particular note for Lavaman is his high score for Lameness Advantage – a new index introduced by AHDB this month, which is based, in part, on actual lameness events recorded on farm and digital dermatitis recorded by Holstein UK classifiers. This positive score of +6.7 indicates 6.7% fewer Lavaman daughters are predicted to have lamesess incidents than a bull with a score of zero.

Places three to seven are taken by bulls which have all featured previously in the top 10 and whose daughter performance continues to support their impressive indexes. In third position is S-S-I Shamrock Mystic (£654 PLI) with a very high daughter Fertility Index (+19.8). He is followed by the high (30.6kg) protein sire, De-Su 11236 Balisto, who now has 473 UK daughters contributing to his production figures. Balisto progeny also display greater TB resistance than their cohorts, indicated by his TB Advantage of +3.3. View-Home Littlerock ranks fifth (PLI £646), followed in joint sixth position by Teemar Shamrock Alphabet and VH Cole Clark (PLI £636). Both Alphabet and Clark have favourable Maintenance Indexes (-22), long daughter lifespans (LS +0.8) and good daughter fertility (FI +18.5 and +21.2 respectively).

New in eighth place is Larcrest Commend, whose PLI is £633. This Balisto son has very good milk composite scores of +0.26% fat and +0.17% protein, and, despite milk volume being lower than his cohorts, he still transmits an impressive weight of fat, at 28.2kg.

Ninth ranking Co-op Robust Cabriolet (£628 PLI) transmits the highest weight of fat in the top 10 £PLI sires at 38.9kg, together with good protein at 25.9kg. Cabriolet also features an impressive 4.8% improvement for the newly released Calf Survival Index. CS has been developed by AHDB using close to three million animal records from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) and this score means 4.8% more of his daughters are expected to survive between tagging and 300 days, than daughters of a bull with an index of zero.

Rounding off the daughter-proven top 10 is another new entry, Apina Norman. This former number one genomic young sire also has the highest Type Merit of the top 10 £PLI sires at +2.15.

Outliers outside the top 10

Outliers with something extra to offer which fall outside the top 10 include the impressive fat improver, EDG Rubicon at 44.8kg fat, who also brings a Type Merit of +3.08; the exceptional mastitis improver, De-Su Pocono (-5); and the high protein bull, S-S-I Montross Jedi (37.2kg). Amongst the bulls with the lowest daughter maintenance costs are Mr Miguel and the former number one sire, Kings-Ransom Erdman, both with Maintenance Indexes of -28.

UK breeding

Those who favour UK-bred bulls, will find impressive performance from the newly proven Willsbro Atwork (PLI £580) and long-term favourite, Prehen Omen (PLI £553), both well within the top 50 sires.

“As in previous index runs, a selection of high health and fertility improvers with good production of milk solids dominate these rankings,” says geneticist, Marco Winters from AHDB Dairy. “For breeders who prefer the reassurance of daughter-proven bulls, there is much to find in these rankings, with many bulls now offering reliability approaching or hitting 99%, including Lavaman and Balisto in the top 10.”

Ends

Full details of £PLI are on the AHDB Dairy website at dairy.ahdb.org.uk

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.