Archive: UK breeding leads the line-up of proven Holstein bulls

Published 2 December 14

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UK breeding triumphed in the December index run published on 2 December by DairyCo when Prehen Omen, bred in Northern Ireland, rose to the top of the proven Holstein sire Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) rankings.

Formerly in number two position, this Oman son’s remarkable transmission of milk solids together with a good volume of milk, gives him the edge over every other daughter-proven bull from both the UK and overseas and earns him a PLI of £605.  With outstanding health and fertility, this bull sums up the revised £PLI, which was reformulated last summer to better recognise the wide range of traits which contribute to profitable lifetime milk production.

Omen was bred in County Londonderry by father and son, Robbie and Stuart Smith, whose high health and production herd boasts many of the UK’s top genetic merit cows including several of the acclaimed Froukje family from which this bull was bred. Omen’s dam, Prehen Goldwyn Froukje EX93, recently completed her fourth 305-day lactation, with high solids and well over 14,000 litres.

The Planet/Ramos cross, Kings-Ransom Erdman moves up to second position and is also the equal highest lifespan improver of all top 100 bulls. Transmitting excellent daughter fertility, Erdman also has a very good maintenance index at -14, indicating reduced feed costs for maintenance as his daughters are smaller than average. This is summed up in his PLI of £587.

The Danish-bred former number one sire, VH Tirsvad Goldwyn Grafit, ranks equal second with a PLI of £587. He weighs in as the highest kg fat transmitter with a Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) fat of 29.6kg.

Maintaining his fourth position with a PLI of £563 is Hammer-Creek O Man Kody, the third Oman/Goldwyn cross (together with Omen and Grafit). Kody transmits solid fitness with high milk yields.

Another non-mover and ranking in fifth position with a PLI of £558 is Ladys-Manor RD Grafeeti. This high Type Merit sire (TM 3.42) is an early son of international high-flier, Freddie – a bull which is making his mark on the proven bull list as a sire of sons, having previously been a familiar name in the genomic young sire listings. Freddie is an Oman son which has never been available in the UK.

Ranking equal sixth is Gen-I-Beq Lavaman, an early son of Man Oman, bred in Canada. Despite only recently graduating to the proven bull line-up, he already has daughters milking in the UK as he was used as a young sire based on his high genomic predictions. His index features a high protein per cent and extreme calving ease. His PLI is £543.

A new Freddie son, De-Su Freddie Denim, enters the top 10 for the first time, having jumped from 47th to equal sixth position. His gains are largely due to significant improvements in daughter Fertility Index, now at 16.5. Denim is from a Wizzard dam going back to brood cow, Pen-Col Mtoto Dima. His PLI is £543.

UK-bred Oman son, Laurelhill Classic climbs into the top 10 thanks to improvements in his daughter Lifespan and Fertility Index which help to earn him a PLI of £542. He now has over 200 UK lactations contributing to his figures, earning his index a reliability of 95%.

The second Man Oman son in the top 10 is Ned-El Man-O-Man Boyoboy, who climbs 30 PLI places, thanks largely to improvements in daughter fertility. This modest milk volume bull now has a massive Fertility Index of 17.2 together with high fitness traits and medium-sized daughters. His PLI is £539.

High milk transmitter De-Su 521 Bookem ranks tenth, with a milk PTA of 735kg and a PLI of £537. Bookem is another bull to have made his debut as a high index North American genomic bull, but he already has UK daughters contributing to his figures, thanks to his early use in this country.

More UK breeding in the top 20

Just outside the top 10 are two further UK-proven sires whose daughters are performing well, in the shape of ABS Simon (bred in The Netherlands) and Ballycairn Oman Pello. Both are sons of Oman, with their sire’s characteristic good health and daughter fertility, and Pello also features exceptional milk and solids production with PTAs of 844kg milk, 31.5kg fat and 26.7kg protein. Both bulls now have indexes with 95% reliability and their PLIs are £524 for Simon and £505 for Pello.

“This index run as seen nearly double the number of proven bulls with a PLI of over £500, which highlights the rapid progress being made in the Holstein breed,” says Marco Winters, DairyCo’s head of genetics. “This progress has been largely due to the introduction of genomic young sires which made their mark at an early age, many of which now feature on the daughter-proven list.”

Full details of the new £PLI are on the DairyCo Breeding+ website at