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Stackyard News Feb 08

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New Entries Symbolise Positive Evolution of Holstein Rankings

Greater emphasis on functional traits in the new Holstein UK bull proof rankings is improving choice and value for commercial dairy farmers, according to managing director Nick Kirby.

Highest new entry into the new Holstein UK proof listings is Gibor (daughter pictured Winni 07 Gibor Seitenbild), who is by Gibbon out of a Sunny Boy dam.

Winni 07 Gibor Seitenbild

This, he says, is exemplified by the two highest new entries to the latest list – the German-bred Gibbon son Gibor, and the US-bred Durham son Mr Monarch – both of which offer a balance of positive traits with no weaknesses and great reliability in their proof figures.

“The changes to the Type Merit component of the ranking system will in time bring to prominence greater numbers of bulls that will breed longer-lived and more problem-free cows,” he says. “This is already being seen with the entry of bulls such as Gibor and Mr Monarch, who now sit comfortably inside the top 20 bull ranked by £PLI under the new system.”

Gibor’s figures have reassuringly climbed consistently and, with second crop daughters now influencing his position, a leap from £130 to £189 PLI is significant, and places him at 14 in the rankings.

With Lifespan at +0.6, and SCC of -21, he reflects well how the new ranking system brings functionality to the fore. Daughter fertility of +3.5 is also a great strength, and most significantly given the reliability of his proof. With production figures of +526kg to underpin his functional traits, Gibor is certainly a bull to improve the majority of commercial herds.

Mr Monarch is the highest £PLI Durham son available in the UK. He has been progeny tested in both the United States and Germany and the reliability of his proof is underpinned by 176 daughters in 144 herds (for production) and 77 daughters in 66 herds (for type)

Mr Monarch’s dam is an Ex. 91 Comestar Lee daughter called Miss Lee Majestic, who calved at 2 years 4 months and in her first lactation (in 330 days) produced an outstanding 15,378kg of milk at 4.9% fat and 3.5% protein. Majestic is a maternal sister to the successful Starbuck son Mr Manhattan, who has a very good UK proof. Mr Monarch’s grand dam is the world renowned Chief Mark daughter Miss Mark Maui, who classified Ex.95-2E GMD DOM and in her third lactation produced 24,359kg of milk (365 days) at 4.1% fat and 2.9% protein.

All told, Mr Monarch boasts four generations of high producing Ex. Dams, so not surprisingly he excels in components (fat & protein percentage +0.13% & +0.10% respectively), and has impressive Lifespan (+0.3) and SCC (-15) traits, so is a very complete bull producing profitable, long living daughters.

“I expect to see more bulls of this calibre coming to the fore as the new £PLI formula becomes established, and that has to be good for the dairy farming industry,” adds Nick Kirby. “There is already sufficient choice for dairy farmers to apply a minimum standards philosophy to their bull selection, which means accepting no negative traits and setting a threshold for the key parameters of Type Merit and PLI.”

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