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Archive: Danish-bred bulls dominate Jersey rankings on new £PLI

Published 12 August 14

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The new formula for Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) rewards the fittest and most efficient milk producers of the breed and amongst the Jerseys, it is the Danish bulls which have risen to the top of the rankings, published today (12 August) by DairyCo.

It’s easy to see why VJ Link has taken top honours, with an index featuring low cell counts (-19) and good daughter fertility (+11.6), which help to earn him a PLI of £492.

Beneath the number one sire, a remarkable five further Danish Jerseys take positions two to six while there are eight Danish bulls - generally excelling for health and fitness - among the Jersey top 10.

The number two sire, DJ Holmer jumps nine places, transmitting exceptional cell counts (-30) and solid daughter fertility, and earning a PLI of £457. Newcomers VJ Tester and VJ Hilario take third and fourth positions with PLIs of £454 and £396, while the top five are completed by DJ Invest, who moves up two places (PLI £395).

Ayrshire

It’s close at the top of the Ayrshire ranking with Gunnarstorp moving up one place to take the top spot (PLI £487), just £1 ahead of Pell Pers at PLI £486. Both of these bulls transmit excellent daughter fertility and low somatic cell counts. In third spot, R Yrite drops from the number one position although continues to transmit outstanding SCC at -23 and earns a PLI of £444. VR Game moves up one place to fourth position (PLI £338) and rounding off the top five is Jelyca Oblique (PLI £329).

British Friesian

Langley Evolution moves up three places to take the top spot for the British Friesian breed (PLI £373), transmitting low cell counts (-16) and the best daughter fertility of the top bulls at +6.7. Raheenarran BCG Sochar (PLI £357) moves into second position with an excellent SCC Index at -16. Catlane Caleb is a newcomer in third position, transmitting high quality milk (+0.29% fat and +0.13% protein) while Winnoch Umpire moves up to fourth position (PLI £281). Blackisle Benloyal (PLI £271) is the biggest mover, up from 17th to fifth position, and also offering the highest type of the top Friesian bulls (Type Merit +3.12).

Other breeds

Solid production and excellent fertility cements Huray’s position at the top of the Brown Swiss breed rankings, with a PLI of £507 while the Guernsey breed still features Sniders Option Aaron as its number one sire. For the Montbeliardes, Ballyknock Paul jumps two positions to take the top spot while Drisgoll Madonnas Prince is the number one Dairy Shorthornsire.

Base change

As with the Holstein breed, there’s been a base change for other dairy breeds which pulls both fitness and production figures downwards.

“This is something that happens every five years and reflects the genetic progress that’s been made,” says Marco Winters, head of genetics for DairyCo. “The figures vary for each trait and breed, but on this occasion, the British Friesian has made the greatest genetic progress and their Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) for milk is consequently readjusted downwards by 132kg.”

Comparison across breeds

“It must also be remembered that the £PLI and its components should not be compared directly between breeds,” continues Mr Winters. “The figures for each breed are calculated to relate to that breed average, so comparing figures across breeds would be both meaningless and potentially misleading.

“DairyCo supplies specific conversion formulae for those who want to compare one breed with another for cross-breeding purposes,” he says.

For more information on conversion formulae please email Andrew.Dodd@ahdb.org.uk