Using genomic sires does not need to involve taking high levels of risk if pedigrees are chosen with care and with UK farmers’ needs in mind.
This message from Owain Harries, sire analyst with Cogent, coincides with the launch of the company’s first brochure to feature exclusively young genomic bulls. Every one of the bulls in the ‘Genomic Super Samplers’ brochure has been chosen with UK farms in mind yet they each feature international bloodlines through some of the most modern and desirable cow families in the world.
“These bulls’ pedigrees are built on deep foundations,” says Owain. “Their back pedigrees feature many generations of proven sires and dams, many of which have a long track record of breeding sires for AI.
“Several of the bulls descend from eight or nine generations of cows classified VG or EX, and all of them are sired by the world’s leading bulls,” he says.
Amongst the families in the brochure are the Roxys, Ravens and Larcrest Cs, and Owain highlights four UK-born bulls in particular – each of which is available as sexed semen – to illustrate the emphasis on deep and reliable pedigrees:
- Wiltor Cruise is the number one son of Iota, while his dam, Larcrest Case VG86, is one of the most recognised Planet daughters in the world. With a sky-high Profitable Lifetime Index of £231; two points for Type Merit; high milk and components and outstanding daughter fitness and fertility, Cruise offers one of the most complete packages of any available bull.
- Northern Ireland-bred Relough Dolmio comes from the renowned Relough Danna family which traces through eight generations of VG or EX cattle. Blending this again with Iota has produced a fertility and lifespan specialist with exceptional milk quality; over two points for type and a PLI of £186.
- Also from the Province is Laurelhill Regent, who descends from the remarkable Fays. Described as ‘the king of health traits’, this Britt Prince son features an outcross pedigree; exceptional daughter fitness and fertility; positive milk components and a PLI of £177.
- Nortonhill Designator is the number one UK-born Man-O-Man son and descends from the Raven family through the Destiny line. Combining high daughter health with over two points for type and a PLI of £212, Designator is also the number one son of Man-O-Man in the world for improving daughter fertility.
“This Genomic Super Samplers brochure gives Holstein breeders and commercial milk producers the opportunity to grasp the very best of future genetics,” continues Owain. “The bulls it contains have been used on UK farms through the Cogent Visions progeny testing scheme, and have been picked from the top 10% for continued distribution.
“In previous years, these bulls would probably have been on ‘lay-off’ until they obtained a daughter index, but with the addition of genomic information we have even greater confidence in their potential.
“We’re delighted we are able to offer them around three years before they will obtain a daughter index, and would urge any breeder to grasp the opportunity of using a cross-section of these exceptional bulls while they’re awaiting their daughter proofs.”
All bulls are available through Cogent on 0800 783 7258 or through regional breeding advisors. Breeders who are supporting progeny testing by participating in the Visions young sire scheme are eligible for additional discounts.
Source: Holstein UK