Breeding company, Cogent, is delighted to have acquired the highest ranking Holstein sire ever bred in the UK, Prehen Lancaster. Now housed at the company’s Cheshire stud, this young bull also becomes available in the latest double-dose-rate sexed semen.
This gives UK producers one of their best chances yet of producing heifer calves from this level of genetics as Lancaster is the number one UK-bred bull on the official genomic Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) list published this week (3 April, 2018).
Selling Lancaster as Sexed Ultra4M means each straw of the bull’s semen is packed with four million female sperm cells. This is achieved with an improved technique which has been proven to increase the chance of a cow conceiving a heifer calf compared with the previous (2M) generation of sexed semen.
This is good news for Holstein breeders as their herds can benefit from the exceptional genetics this bull brings. His Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) is a staggering £754, making him the number 11 bull in the world. With this index he offers an exceptionally balanced breeding pattern including high Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTA) for milk (620kg), fat (29.5kg) and protein (23.1kg) as well as positive milk quality (+0.06% fat and +0.04% protein). He’s also a superb daughter fertility improver (Fertility Index +16.9), reduces mastitis and cell counts and scores very well on the two newly launched genetic indexes for calf survival and lameness. As one of the few leading £PLI sires also to reduce daughter maintenance costs for feed, he is an all-rounder in every respect.
“It’s difficult to know what to highlight about this young Holstein as he’s a genuine case of a bull which has it all,” says Andrew Holliday, genetic product manager for Cogent. “However, having been to Stuart Smith’s herd in County Londonderry where Lancaster was bred, it is no surprise to see he ticks so many boxes.
“This is a herd which has invested in some of the top cow families in the world and knows how to develop them to work in UK conditions,” he says. “Lancaster’s dam, Prehen Shamrock Lady VG, is breeding consistently well and descends from the legendary Laurie Sheik family.
“We are thrilled to add Lancaster to our portfolio where he joins two other international top 20 genomic sires,” he says. “The number one genomic sire in the world is Mr Rubi-Agronaut, also from Cogent, while NH Sunview Fantastic from our stud also features in the top 20.
“Both bulls’ exceptional qualities have earned them their top 20 positions and Fantastic has the rare quality of transmitting super-low cell counts (-39 SCC Index) together with positive milking speed, so will be an asset to any modern dairy herd.”