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Archive: New blood and new indexes for other dairy breeds

Published 2 December 14

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General stability across the non-Holstein breed rankings published by DairyCo on 2 December reflects both consistent and reliable performance, yet some new bulls enter the running in the Jersey, Ayrshire and British Friesian breeds.   

Jersey

The Jersey breed sees little change amongst the top three, as VJ Link remains firm at the top with a Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of £509. His strong production and good health transmission includes low cell counts (SCC Index -21) and excellent daughter fertility (Fertility Index +11.2). With lower milk volume but higher quality milk is second ranking VJ Tester, whose PLI is £452. DJ Holmer ranks third, transmitting outstanding health including exceptionally low cell counts (SCC Index -31). A newcomer enters the running in fourth place in the shape of VJ Jern, which brings the highest production of the top five Jerseys. He leads the way for weight of milk, fat and protein yet also transmits positive components. His PLI is £382. Rounding off the top five is VJ Hilario, with a PLI of £375.

Ayrshire

A slight gap has opened up at the top of the Ayrshire ranking with Pell Pers (PLI £515) jumping ahead of Gunnarstorp (PLI £498). Both bulls transmit excellent daughter fertility and low cell counts, but Pell Pers takes the lead with higher production of milk and constituents. R Yrite strengthens his place in third position, offering both high production and low cell counts, and increasing his PLI to £492. VR Gunnarstorp Backen Gobel is a new entry in fourth position, whose PLI of £448 reflects good health and excellent daughter fertility. VR Gunnerstorp Sibbarp Game completes the top five with a PLI of £374.

British Friesian

Stability is the order of the day at the top of the British Friesian ranking, with the three leading bulls maintaining their positions of the last index run. Langley Evolution strengthens his grip at the top, increasing his PLI to £388; Raheenarran BCG Sochar (PLI £346) holds onto second with excellent cell counts and Catlane Caleb (PLI £337) remains in third with his strong components. Catlane Chard (PLI £324) is new in fourth with solid milk and components and Skyhigh Lord climbs up to fifth position, with a jump in PLI to £314.

Other breeds

Among the other breeds, Huray (PLI £494) holds on to the top spot with excellent production figures and solid lifespan and fertility for the Brown Swiss breed while Diderot is the highest ranking Montbeliarde, with a PLI of £294. The Montbeliarde breed has seen animprovement to its indexes with the addition of international proofs for SCC and lifespan, allowing breeders to select with more confidence for these traits.

New this time are genetic indexes for the Fleckvieh whose breed list is topped by Ricki with aPLI of £291 while the Shorthorns are led by Drisgol Madonnas Prince (PLI £328). Leader of the Guernsey Merit Index is De Garis Bettys Bertie.

Comparison across breeds

“It’s important to remember that the £PLI and its components should not be compared directly between breeds,” says Marco Winters, DairyCo head of genetics. “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. “Alternatively, those on a grazing-based, spring-calving system may prefer to use the Spring Calving Index (£SCI) which ranks bulls of all dairy breeds on the same list.” 

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