Ayrshires see greatest change amongst non-Holstein dairy breeds

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Only the Ayrshire breed sees a change at the top amongst the non-Holstein dairy breeds, as VR Vilano takes the lead in the August Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) rankings.

Vilano earns this position with a PLI of £492, reflecting his high Predicted Transmitting Abilities for weights of milk (484kg), fat (24.2kg) and protein (23.4kg), combined with excellent daughter fertility (Fertility Index 12.5).

VR Gobel (PLI £471) edges up from third to second position and is noted for the long lifespans he transmits to his daughters (+107 days). He stands ahead of third placed VR Alatalon Flame Feton, formerly ranked second. Feton scores £465 for PLI and at £244, has the highest HealthyCow score of the Ayrshire breed.

Holding on to his fourth position is VR Vimpula (PLI £448), who transmits the highest EnviroCow ranking on the proven Ayrshire list, at 3.1.

VR Fabu rounds off the top five with a PLI of £386, and has the best daughter Fertility Index (FI) of the top bulls, at 13.7.


Within the Jersey breed, River Valley Cece Chrome (PLI £548) retains a firm grip on the lead, his PTA for milk of 825kg holding his position as the highest production bull of the breed.

In second place is new entrant, VJ Kjoelby Gislev Gutz (PLI £467), who excels for daughter fertility (FI 3.8), while JX Sunset Canyon Got Maid remains third (PLI £433). This bull also earns the highest EnviroCow rating of the proven Jersey bulls, at 3.

CDF Irwin Steve moves up into fourth position, transmitting exceptional fat production (42.4 kg), and earning a PLI of £416.

Finally, Danish VJ Aarre Lappe Lari moves up one place since AHDB’s April release, to rank fifth, with a PLI of £399.


The top-ranking Friesian bull remains unchanged, with Carrickshock GTW holding his lead with a PLI of £410. The outstanding production bull of the breed, his PTA weighs in with 593kg milk, 25.1kg fat and 24.2kg protein.

Graduating from the genomic young bulls list with early information on milking daughters is Goonhilly Samson, ranked second. With a PLI of £354, he is also an udder health improver, with a Mastitis Index of -3.

Holding his third ranking is the outstanding daughter fertility bull Catlane Caleb. With 1,480 lactations contributing to his figures, Caleb earns a PLI of £344 and FI of 10.4.

Inch Persistent now ranks fourth (PLI £432) and rounding off the top five is Catlane Cromwell (PLI £317). Cromwell transmits the best overall health of the top bulls, reflected in his HealthyCow score of £212.

Other breeds

Other dairy breed indexes are published online, where the Montbéliarde, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Shorthorn and Fleckvieh are all represented.

See the bull lists for Jersey, Friesian, Ayrshire and other breeds

“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,” says Fern Pearston, Genetics Manager for AHDB Dairy.

“Without this comparison, it’s impossible to compare a bull from one country against another, and impossible to know which bulls would be most suited to any herd,” she says. 

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Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI)