Breeding Blocks

Taking control of your breeding decisions is vitally important if you want to take full advantage of your farming system and milk contract.

The first and vital step is to understand the current status of your herd. Here you'll find the tools, resources and case studies from other farmers to start your breeding journey.

We'll help you select the right sires to meet your breeding goals and shape your future.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #BreedingBlocks


Breeding Blocks webinar

Andy Rutter from Clayden Farm Partnership explores how to get the most from your breeding decisions.

Previously the breeding manager at Genus, Andy re-joined the family dairy farm milking 450 pedigree Holsteins in Cheshire 18 months ago and shares his experience to help you select the right sires to meet your breeding goals.

Watch the webinar again

Farmer case studies

Matt Ford

An autumn block calverfrom East Sussex Matt explains how he uses a Herd Genetic Report to help him achieve his breeding goals.

Keith Gue

Based at Huddlestone Farmers, an all-year-round calving farm based in West Sussex, Keith gives a short overview of his approach to breeding.

He covers identifying his herd’s strengths and weaknesses, setting goals, priorities, the traits he’s looking to develop and when to breed for dairy or beef.

Breeding podcasts

We spoke with Andy Rutter to understand how he makes his breeding decisions, the tools he uses and the impact it has had on his herd.

Keith Gue from tell us how they approach breeding at Huddlestone Farmers, who's involved in making decisions, the areas of focuses and future goals.


Herd Genetic Report

Our report enables you to see the genetic potential of your herd by providing the following information for the cows registered on your farm:

  • Milk (kg)
  • Fat and Protein (kg and %)
  • £PLI, £SCI or £ACI
  • Inbreeding level
  • Management traits - lifespan, SCC, fertility, mastitis and maintenance. Calf survival and lameness advantage are available in the Individual Reports.

Read more about the Herd Genetic Report

Our breeding indexes

Three economic breeding indexes are published by AHDB as part of its genetic evaluation service: Profitable Lifetime Index, Spring Calving Index and Autumn Calving Index. Find out which index you should use when making breeding decisions for your dairy herd.

A within-breed genetic ranking index designed for UK all year round calving herds. FInd out what £PLI is, how it is calculated, when to use it and the weighting between a range of production and health traits.

The Spring Calving Index (£SCI) is an across-breed genetic ranking index designed for UK spring block calving herds. Find out what £SCI is, how it is calculated, when to use it and the weighting between a range of production and health traits.

The Autumn Calving Index (£ACI) is an across-breed genetic ranking index for autumn block calving herds. Find out about the reasons for creating a specific index for autumn block calving herds, the components of the index and when to use it.


What traits can I select for?


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