Growing challenges to Oman sons

Published 9 August 11

The challenge to Oman bloodlines - which have dominated the Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) ranking for as long as many Holstein breeders can remember - is just beginning to make itself felt as the August 2011 Holstein bull proofs are published this week (Tuesday, 9 August ) by DairyCo Breeding+.  Although there's no escaping the Oman sons' continued remarkable performance, there are at last half a dozen serious challengers in the top 20 offering alternative bloodlines. Amongst the best of the non-Oman sons are some exceptional British contenders, which feature high on the list of all UK and international sires.

Most commercially relevant

But the reigning number one sire, in the shape ofLynbrook Jancen, retains his leading position this month, with a PLI of £251. This is a reflection of his daughters' plentiful production of outstanding quality milk and their good fitness traits, in particular lifespan. These traits make him the most commercially relevant of all Holstein bulls, despite his lack of appeal amongst those who are looking for fancy type.


Huge weight of milk with low cell counts

The new bulls which have entered the ranking since the previous proof run (April) are led by the outstanding production bull,ALH Dakota, who ranks in second position with a PLI of £248. The combination of 1,058kg milk, 33.6kg fat and 34kg protein PTAs (Predicted Transmitting Ability) together with good daughter cell counts are this Oman son's major attractions, while daughter fertility improves to see him rise up the rankings.


Highest new Goldwyn son

The next new entrant to the top 10 isPirolo Goldwyn Wyman, one of five sons of Goldwyn to feature in the top 20. Out of a Jocko Besne dam, Wyman's key attractions are his daughters' low cell counts (at -27, he's the lowest in the top 10), good fertility and high type (Type Merit 2.1). He jumps 34 PLI points with this proof run to reach £241, level pegging withCrockett-Acres Eight.

Morningview Levienters the top 10 for the first time, although only rises from 11th position, now with a PLI of £230, equal ranking withLong-Langs Oman Oman. One of the first Oman grandsons, Levi is out of Morningview Oman Libby, the full sister toMorningview Legend(ranked 12th). 


Top daughter fertility improvers

BothMcCormick(PLI £222) andGarner(PLI £221) enter the top 10 for the first time having previously been ranked at 13th and 15th place. They now become the number one and two daughter Fertility Index bulls out of the group at +7.4 and +5.4 respectively.


Best of the British

The performance of the UK-testedBallycairn Tierganis impressive by any standards but especially when considered he's the third highest non-Oman bloodline amongst all UK and international bulls. Jumping 29 PLI points since the April proof run, this Goldwyn son now ranks 12th, offering high fat, good fitness traits and solid type.


More newcomers to the top 20

Four further newcomers to the top 20 are Denmark'sD Omar(Oman x Lukas) from the same family as Jancen and offering good fitness traits;Al Par Goldwyn Mentoswho gains 49 PLI points, has strong type and good fertility and hails from the coveted Lou Ella family;Dansire Oman Oblatwhich, out of a Morty, follows the typical Oman breeding pattern; andGenervations Lobo, a Goldwyn from the well known Linda family at Savage-Leigh with his first ever proof which features solid production and good fitness.


Other UK high-fliers

Amongst the leading UK-tested bulls are some of genuine international calibre and behind top 20 bull, Ballycairn Teirgan, comesCogent Twist, who remains the highest Shottle son available. With a PLI of £191 and a proof now based on 79 UK daughters in 46 herds, high fat production looks increasingly impressive and is complemented by low cell counts, solid type and positive daughter lifespans.

Also UK-tested are typical Oman son,Bartels O-Man Jobberwith a PLI of £167; Goldwyn son descending from the renowned Portlea Ned Pamela,Hydaways Goldminewith a PLI of £161 and a solid all-round proof; and another of the world's best Shottle sons in the shape ofGalastar Bluesky. With a PLI of £159, Bluesky now has 129 UK daughters in 76 herds which exhibit low cell counts, long lifespans and very good type.

"These British bulls are worthy of consideration for any dairy breeding programme," says Marco Winters, head of genetics for DairyCo. "They are also in demand internationally and UK breeders should certainly look closely at their proofs as many will have qualities that suit their herds.

"As with all breeding choices, I'd recommend screening on PLI first, and then looking through the short-listed bulls' proofs to pick out those with the best strengths to meet their own breeding goals."

Tables of the top 20 available Holstein bulls (and top five UK-tested bulls) ranked on the latest PLI (August 2011)appear below. Type Merit is supplied by Holstein UK.

View Top 20 holstein bulls ranked on PLI tables 2011




For further information:

N:    Helen Fina                         T:     02476 478695             E:

N:    Marco Winters                 T:     01978 760797             E:


Notes for Editors:

DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:

  • Provision of high quality market information to help farmers and their representatives make the most of dairy markets and opportunities.
  • Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through the provision of world class research programmes and practical on-farm tools and services.
  • Helping promote the positive perception of dairy farming with the general public.
  • The development of DairyCo activities towards a self-sustaining model.

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.