Three number one bulls sit firm at the top in non-Holstein breeds

Breeds other than Holstein set a scene of continued stability with the UK’s three most significant – Jersey, British Friesian and Ayrshire – each showing no change in the number one position in the August 2017 AHDB Dairy Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) rankings.


This leaves Danish VJ Hilario holding his lead amongst the Jerseys with a PLI of £570, thanks in particular to exceptional daughter fertility (Fertility Index +14.7). He stands ahead of Sunset Canyon Dazzler, which moves up from fourth place with a PLI of £544. Dazzler is proving to be a transmitter of long daughter lifespans with the highest index for this trait in the breed at +0.6.

Danish VJ Tudvad now ranks third with a PLI of £526, moving up from seventh position and bringing high milk components with his Predicted Transmitting Ability at +0.38% fat and +0.16% protein. Also offering one of the breed’s best Mastitis Indexes at -4, he reflects the strong focus on this trait within the Danish breeding industry.

British Friesians

British Friesians see no change at the top with Catlane Chad, Catlane Caleb and Kirkby Jupiter each retaining their previous first to third positions. Their PLIs are £496, £395 and £358 respectively. Chad continues to excel as a mastitis and cell count improver while Caleb transmits low volume but high quality milk. Jupiter’s Type Merit edges upwards to an impressive +2.52.


The Ayrshire number one, VR Gunnarstorp Backen Gobel continues to excel as the breed-leading fertility and lifespan specialist and weighs in with a PLI of £626.

Pell Pers moves up from fifth to second position, now with over 200 UK milking daughters. Gains in production and lifespan help raise his PLI to £604.

Now with over 800 milking daughters contributing to his index, Gunnerstorp cements his position firmly within the Ayrshire breed and earns a PLI of £500.

Other breeds

Other dairy breed indexes are also published on line (, where the Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Shorthorn and Fleckvieh are all represented.

As with previous index runs, Fern Pearston, genetics manager for AHDB Dairy reminds breeders not to compare one breed’s index against another as each breed’s figures relate to the average for that breed.

“It’s also important to use the UK equivalent figures for any bull, whatever his origin, as this allows a genuine comparison of transmitting ability to be made against all other bulls of that breed,” adds Ms Pearston. “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.”


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About The Author

John Swire - 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.