Shake up amongst young sires brings new names to the top

For many in the Holstein breeding industry, young genomic sires represent the most eagerly awaited bloodlines, and this month’s index run, published today (5 April) by AHDB Dairy, will generate particularly keen interest.

Despite the long-term leader, Sandy-Valley-I Penmanship, retaining his number one position, with a genomic Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) of £720, there are no less than three brand new bulls in the top five on the list and many more throughout the ranking.

Sharing the number one spot with Penmanship – who continues to impress with breed-leading daughter longevity (Lifespan +0.7) and excellent daughter Fertility Index (FI +12.2) – is new entrant, S-S-I 1stClass Flagship. Flagship (Alta1stClass x Supersire) is the higher milk and fat transmitter of the two bulls, with 828kg milk and a massive 40.1kg fat, and has an impressive Type Merit of 3.02.

Another newcomer in third position is another son of Alta1stClass from a Supersire dam. Triplecrown Gatedancer weighs in with a PLI of £697 and transmits a marginally higher weight of fat than Flagship – and the highest in the top 20 – at 40.5kg. He combines this with solid fitness ratings.

Peak AltaPainter (Davinci x Numero Uno) makes his debut in fourth position (PLI £693) thanks to outstanding daughter longevity predictions (Lifespan +0.7). He has a maternal half-brother, in the shape of Peak Tango Paisley, joining him in 14th place.

The very complete breeding pattern of Bacon-Hill Hurricane (Chops x Shotglass) earns him fifth position and a PLI of £687.

Barbarossa (Balisto x Brewmaster) is new in sixth place with a PLI of £682 and has the highest weight of protein in the top 10 at 30.4kg and a good SCC of -20.

A more familiar name can be found in seventh position, in Apina Nadal (PLI £679). Nadal has the best milk constituents high in the rankings with fat at +0.18% and protein at +0.08%.

Further new entrants can be found in eighth and ninth positions where Seagull-Bay-MJ Solaris and HY-JO-DE Troy Glaus have PLIs of £661 and £660 respectively. Glaus is amongst the best fitness transmitters with ratings of +0.7 Lifespan, -23 SCC and a relatively low maintenance cost at +1.

Rounding off the top 10 is Peak AltaFirebird (Camaro x Robust) who also has excellent daughter longevity (LS +0.7 LS) and a PLI of £659.

Other highlights just ouside the top 10 are Comestar Loic (PLI £657) who transmits extreme fat and protein per cent (+0.27% and +0.13% respectively) and the highest UK-born sire, Ballycairn Darius (PLI £656), who has one of the best daughter Fertility Indexes at +14.1.

“With a wide choice of high genomic young sires on offer, it’s not surprising that over 50 per cent of all UK Holstein inseminations are now by this group of bulls,” says Marco Winters, head of genetics for AHDB Dairy. “Without fail, the top £PLI genomic young sires will all transmit high lifespan, good daughter fertility and low SCCs, but producers are advised to pay attention to the bulls’ Maintenance Index (available on the AHDB Dairy website), as the growing trend towards larger cows is particularly apparent in this young group, and can lead to higher feed maintenance costs.”

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