Spring and autumn calvers new bull rankings

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Producers turning their attention to spring calving and their choice of sires for next year, have a new across-breed Spring Calving Index (£SCI) ranking, published today, to help steer them through the process. And with three breeds featuring in the top three places – a Holstein, Friesian and a Jersey – their choice of breed may not be cut-and-dried.

Although Holsteins dominate the ranking with five of the top 10 placings, the Jersey breed, which is significantly smaller in numbers, puts in a creditable performance, taking a further four top 10 places.

The new number one £SCI bull is the Holstein, Stantons Most Wanted, who has moved up from ninth position by transmitting plenty of high fat milk together with low cell counts and superb daughter fertility – in fact, the best in the top 10. His £SCI is £480.

Second-ranking Catlane Caleb has been a long-standing feature of the £SCI rankings, bringing the high daughter fertility for which the British Friesian breed is renowned. His SCI is £475.

The Jersey, Danish VJ Tester has also been a regular fixture and now has an SCI of £472 while the Holstein, S-S-I Mogul Multiply ranks fourth (SCI £464). 

The Holstein, Teemar Shamrock Alphabet, who is the best daughter lifespan improver in the top 10, holds on to fifth position with an SCI of £458.

A run of three Danish Jerseys – Danish VJ Tudvad, Danish VJ Zolt and VJ Juris have SCIs of £454, £435 and £433 respectively, taking sixth to eighth position. Tudvad features exceptionally high milk quality and low cell counts, Zolt is notable for very low maintenance costs and high daughter fertility, while Juris is an allrounder.

Two Holstein/Friesians, Mortensens We Awe from New Zealand and Bellemont Perks from the UK, complete the top 10, with SCIs of £420 and £418 respectively.

Review the latest £SCI bull lists

Autumn calving Index - £ACI

Autumn block-calving herds may now be completing their breeding season, but those who have stuck with the Holstein will be reassured to see that no other breed comes close to their performance on the traits of most importance to autumn calving herds.

The emphasis on higher weights of fat plus protein and indoor winter feeding as part of the Autumn Calving Index (£ACI), while maintaining strong fertility and fitness, sees Teemar Shamrock Alphabet move up to take the lead (ACI £641) ahead of Stantons Most Wanted (ACI £633).

Third-ranking View-Home Littlerock cements the gains he made in the Holstein breed £PLI ranking (ACI £627), while in fourth position, Siemers Bloomfield (ACI £623) transmits the highest fat production and daughter type in the top 10. S-S-I Mogul Multiply rounds off the top five with an ACI of £621.

Marco Winters, head of animals genetics for AHDB Dairy says: “Both of these lists are across-breed rankings representing the bulls which rise to the top when all breeds are thrown into the mix and compared on a level playing field.

“It is little surprise to see the Holsteins dominate the autumn block-calving ranking, but three dairy breeds feature high on the ranking for £SCI, each meeting spring block calvers’ demands in different ways.

“I would urge producers with block calving systems, especially those considering cross-breeding, to use this UK ranking, which is the only one with which they can compare different breeds on the same genetic base and therefore in the same list.”

More breeds feature on the extended £ACI and £SCI lists which appear on the AHDB Dairy website’s genetics and breeding section.

See the latest £ACI rankings