UK Friesian, Jersey and Ayrshire December 2017 Genetic Evaluations have been released by AHDB Dairy. The domination of the British Friesian bull rankings by the Catlane herd continues unabated, as the removal from the market of long-term leader, Catlane Chad, makes way for his herd-mates. Bred in the heart of England close to Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, it is Catlane Caleb who rises to the top of the Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) ranking.
Moving up from second position, Caleb is a low volume, high milk quality bull who transmits excellent fat and protein percentages (+0.33% fat and +0.15% protein). He also offers calving ease (his dCE of 1.7% is the best in the top five) and improves the fertility of his daughters (Fertility Index 5.6).
Higher production is on offer from the number two British Friesian, Kirkby Major, who weighs in with a Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) of 255kg milk, 17.9kg fat and 12.1kg protein. Representing the best milk solids transmission in the top five, Major also offers good udder health and positive Type Merit (TM). His PLI is £370.
Remaining at number three is the high Type Merit Kirkby Jupiter with a PLI of £362 and TM of 2.44.
In fourth position is the only new entrant to the top five, Catlane Cromwell. With a PLI of £344, Cromwell is the best improver of udder health and daughter fertility at the top of the ranking.
Unchanged in fifth position is Skyhigh Patrol with a PLI of £323. His PTA shows a good cross-section of milk solids, fitness and Type Merit (TM 1.69).
The Jersey breed sees little reranking since the August proof run, with VJ Hilario retaining his number one position with a PLI of £572. Offering high production (PTA milk of 318kg and protein of 15.5kg are the best in the top five), he also transmits good udder health (-17 SCC Index) and outstanding daughter fertility (Fertility Index 15).
New in joint second place is Golden GDK Vivaldi with a PLI of £543. Offering remarkably high weights of fat and protein (31.9kg and 15.3kg respectively), he will also improve milk quality with +0.44% fat and +0.18% protein. Adding good feet, leg and udder traits into the mix, he scores a Type Merit of 1.1.
Moving up from third to share second place is the exceptional fitness bull, Danish VJ Tudvad with a PLI of £543. His udder health transmission is the best in the top five (-27 SCC, -4 Mast) while he is also good for daughter fertility and a solid improver of percent fat (+0.38%).
Fourth and fifth placed Jerseys are both bulls from the top five in the previous proof run in the shape of Sunset Canyon Dazzler (PLI £538) and VJ Link (PLI £522). Both bulls offer a combination of production, fitness and fertility while Dazzler has the best leg, feet and udder traits and the highest overall Type Merit (TM 1.9) in the top five.
The Ayrshire top five is dominated by red bulls from the Nordic countries which represents little change since the previous proof run. With all transmitting the good daughter health and fertility for which this region of the world is renowned, their scores for mammary conformation do not always reach the level for which the Ayrshire breed has built its reputation.
VR Gunnarstorp Backen Gobel continues to lead the way with a PLI of £564. Offering solid production and exceptional daughter fertility, he holds his lead over Pell Pers, who remains ranked second (PLI £491).
The high type Gunnarstorp remains in third position (PLI £451, TM 2.1) while fourth-ranking VR Oýòja Storegaýôrd Hasl Hat (PLI £447) transmits the highest weight of milk, fat and protein in the top five.
Rounding off the red-and-white top five is VR Dansjo Haslev Hammer with a PLI of £439.
“There is a great deal of variety on offer from the breeds other than Holstein and many of these bulls have genetic attributes which are of value in both pure- and cross-breeding programmes,” says Fern Pearston, animal genetics manager for AHDB Dairy. “However, users are reminded that indexes for each breed are not expressed on the same base as any other, nor on the base of the Holstein breed.
“In other words, for every trait, a figure of zero represents the average for that breed, but bears no relation to the average of any other breed. This means that each of the rankings provided should only be considered as a comparison within that breed and not used as a comparison with any other,” she says.
Details of £PLI and the full rankings can be found HERE.