Profitable Lifetime Index £PLI

The Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) indicates the additional profit that a daughter of a high £PLI bull is expected to earn over her lifetime, compared with a daughter sired by an average bull with a £PLI of zero.

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£PLI is made up of numerous traits, each of which is weighted by its relative economic importance. £PLI is suitable for use in year-round-calving herds, and is a within-breed genetic index, meaning you can only compare animals of the same breed using this index.

The £PLI will:

  • Promote yield, while protecting milk quality
  • Increase emphasis on fertility
  • Improve functional type – Feet and Legs and Udders
  • Increase emphasis on longevity
  • Improve udder health and lameness
  • Reduce costs associated with maintenance
  • Improve calving performance

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Although milk production accounts for over a third of the £PLI, the remaining two-thirds comprise health, fertility, survival and efficiency traits. This reflects demand from both the farming industry and consumers to strive for higher animal welfare standards and production efficiencies through better conversion of feed into milk.

The pie chart below shows the breakdown of the individual weightings of traits in the £PLI.

Four simple steps when selecting the right bulls for your breeding programme:

  1. Select £PLI bulls with a higher value than your best cow
  2. Select fitness traits to maintain your strengths and address herd weaknesses (Fertility, Lifespan etc)
  3. Match type to suit your herd
  4. Selected calving ease for maiden heifers

Related content

Spring calving index £SCI

Autumn calving index £ACI

Dairy breeding and genetics homepage

Bull and cow genetic reports explained and a glossary of terms