Long-term leader retains top position on £SCI

Published 11 August 15

The Spring Calving Index (£SCI) has been a feature of the bull rankings for exactly a year, and during that time, the Danish Jersey bull, VJ Tester has stood resolutely in the lead.

As AHDB Dairy publishes the indexes for August 2015, Tester further strengthens his grip with his transmission of high milk solids, high fertility and low maintenance which together earn him an SCI of £436. These traits feature strongly in the £SCI which has been formulated specifically to assist herds which have a spring block-calving system and are targeting production of around 4,500kg/year. Second place features another Jersey bull with a similar range of qualities, in the shape of VJ Link, whose SCI is £405.

Moving up into third place is the British Friesian sire, Catlane Caleb (SCI £394) who also has the highest daughter Fertility Index in the top 10 £SCI sires.

Another big climber is VJ Hilario (SCI £385) who now stands in fourth position, while rounding off the top five are the Holstein sire, Gen-I-Beq Lavaman with the Jersey, Danish DJ Holmer, each with an SCI of £380. Lavaman offers the highest production potential among the top £SCI bulls while Holmer scores for positive components and daughter fertility.

Marco _Winters 05“The £SCI ranking is increasingly proving its worth for producers selecting genetics for grazing-based systems,” says Marco Winters, head of genetics for AHDB Dairy. “It’s also proving to be useful for those considering cross-breeding, as it is the only ranking in which one breed is compared directly against another.

“However, even within each breed there is significant genetic variation which means that farmers should be mindful of which bull they choose, both within and across breeds,” he says.