Top three unchanged in DairyCo’s Spring Calving Index

Published 7 April 15

The DairyCo genetic ranking specifically designed for UK herds operating a spring block calving system, remains unchanged at the top with the Jersey sires Tester, Link and Holmer holding on to the leading positions. Their Spring Calving Indexes (£SCIs) are £424, £421 and £391, respectively.

Joining the three Jerseys is the number one Holstein sire, Lavaman, providing a higher production alternative for those interested in boosting yields. His SCI is £388.

Two British Friesian sires also enter the top 10 in this April 2015 index run in the shape of Langley Evolution (best for daughter Fertility Index in the top 20) and Catlane Caleb. Their SCIs are £352 and £351, respectively.

“The £SCI was launched last August specifically for herds which block calve in spring, place a heavy reliance on grazed grass and are targeting annual average production of around 4,500 litres,” explains Marco Winters, DairyCo head of genetics. “Costs of production are entirely different for this system compared with those in traditional, supplement-fed herds which is why this index is only suited to spring block-calving herds.

“The list is also particularly useful to breeders who are considering cross-breeding their herds as it’s the only ranking where one breed is compared directly against another,” he continues.

“However, even within each breed there is significant genetic variation which means that farmers should be mindful of which bull they choose, both within and across breeds,” he says.