Stability overall coupled with launch of British Friesian genomics

Published 9 August 16

Dairy breeds other than Holstein, see little change in the top five, with British Friesians and Jerseys seeing the emergence of just two new entrants each.

British Friesian

Unchanged in the top spot for British Friesians is Catlane Chad with a £PLI of £454. Chad has increased his £PLI score by £44 since April’s rankings were published, and combines good production with strong components, showing +20.2 Fat kg, +15.0 Protein kg, +0.15 Fat% and +0.10 Protein%. His fitness scores are favourable with a Lifespan of +0.3 and a Fertility Index of +3.0. He also has good direct Calving Ease at +2.2. 

Lying unchanged in second is Catlane Caleb with a £PLI of £397, Fat% +0.30 and Protein% +0.14. Caleb has excellent Fertility Index (+5.2) and direct Calving Ease (+2.3) scores, and also lies third in the Spring Calving Index (£SCI) rankings.

New in at third is Adema 186 son Skyhigh Leonard, with early figures from 11 daughters showing very high production with a good SCC score. Good all-rounder Rocket son Skyhigh Patrol is fouth and Kirkby Premier remains in fifth.

From August 2016, AHDB Dairy will be releasing official genomic evaluations for young British Friesian bulls with the first top genomic young sire announced as Goonhilly Joseph. Joseph, born in September 2015 and a son of the top proven bull Catlane Chad out of an EX92 Hylke dam, has a £PLI of £349. This announcement marks a new era in genomics for other breeds, with British Friesians the first to benefit and Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey genomic evaluations likely to follow in the December release.

Jersey

The top rankings remain unchanged with VJ Link, £PLI of £536 and also the second-ranked £SCI bull, retaining number one. He combines good fitness traits with a Fertility Index score of +11.3, SCC of -17 and Lifespan of +0.5. Remaining in second is VJ Hilario with a £PLI of £469 and the top SCC score of -18. Hilario is noted as a fertility improver (+11.1).

A new entry in the third position is VJ Zummit with a £PLI of £399. A DJ Zuma son, Zummit has great production in solids but more especially in Fat% and Protein%.  Moving up a spot to fourth is VJ Herodot with a £PLI of £395 and the highest Fertility Index (+13.9) and Lifespan (+0.7) in the top five Jerseys. Finally, another new entry into the top five Jerseys is Sunset Canyon Daybreak with a £PLI of £378 and very good production solids at Milk (kg) +585, Fat (kg) +19.1 and Protein (kg) +18.6.

Ayrshire

Climbing from third to the top position is VR Gunnarstorp Back Gobel with a £PLI of £556. He has the best Fertility Index (+15.1) and Lifespan (+0.7) in the top five Ayrshires alongside solid production figures.

He overtakes his sire and previous top Ayrshire Gunnarstorp, which with a £PLI of £489 and scoring -10 on SCC, +0.5 on Lifespan and +10.0 on Fertility Index, remains a good all-rounder. Gunnarstorp remains particularly strong on type, showing +1.2 for Legs, +1.0 for udder and +2.1 for Type Merit.

Down one to third is Pell Pers with £PLI of £455. He combines good production solids with strong Lifespan and Fertility Index scores, and a very good SCC rating of -16. Unchanged in fourth is VR Tuomi with a £PLI of £391 combining the best solids and percentage improvements in the top five Ayrshire at +21.2 Fat (kg), +17.9 Protein (kg), +0.03 Fat% and +0.04 Protein% alongside the best SCC score at -20. British-bred West Mossgiel Modern Reality follows in fifth with a £PLI of £380 and good allround fitness and type traits (+2.1 Type Merit).

Other breeds

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

Fern Pearston, genetics manager for AHDB Dairy, says: “It’s very important to use the UK equivalent indexes when choosing a bull, regardless of breed, as only then can UK breeders obtain a genuine comparison of their transmitting ability against all other bulls of that breed. 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.”