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Stackyard News Jun 2010

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The UK’s Top Home-Produced Bull is Now Available Sexed

Cogent Elvina - the UK’s highest ranking home-produced dairy bull - is now being offered as sexed semen, only months after he was launched with his first progeny proof.

Elvina daughter, Westcott Elvina Kelly

Elvina daughter, Westcott Elvina Kelly

This move by cattle breeding company, Cogent, reflects the growing demand by UK dairy farmers for sexed semen, as more of them than ever turn to this option as a guarantee of breeding high numbers of heifer replacements for their milking herds.

The bull’s enormous popularity stems from his unusual outcross pedigree; the world-class cow family from which he is bred; and the top quality progeny proof he gained in the last proof run. The combined fat and protein in his proof is 40kg; he has positive components for both fat (+0.15%) and protein (+0.12%); and his overall Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) is £158.

Elvina is the first proven son of Cogent Maestro, a bull which was never marketed in the UK but which has been used as a sire of sons world-wide. Maestro’s outcross pedigree (Lukas x Labelle) brings something very different to Elvina, who is one of only a handful of high-PLI bulls which are not sired by Oman.

With bloodlines also free from Goldwyn and Shottle – bulls which have also sired many of the new generation of sires – his pedigree is a welcome outcross for the many dairy farmers who are concerned about the narrowing of the Holstein breed’s genetic base.

Elvina’s maternal line is a further attraction as the bull descends from the highly prized Lou Etta family, which has a long track record of producing world-class bulls. His dam is Cogent Marshall Eugenie VG87, who achieved exceptional performance in British conditions in the Cogent nucleus herd, producing 50 tonnes of milk in five lactations before being moved on to a flushing programme.

Also scoring well for health and fitness – particularly lifespan and daughter fertility – as well as overall type, Elvina sires the sort of daughters which are in keen demand by the modern milk producer, with stature close to average, good udders, legs, feet and locomotion, and no extremes in any department.

“Farmers with daughters are really pleased with them, and have commented on their great will to produce high yields with excellent components and the ease with which they get back in calf,” said Andy Smith, progeny evaluator for Cogent. “Those I have seen are clean-boned, well-balanced and youthful heifers which have well-attached, quality udders, having outstanding veination and support, with excellent teat placement.

“In terms of PLI, Elvina is head and shoulders above any other bull whose first progeny proof was gained in the UK,” added Mr Smith, “and many of those farmers who have used him have been asking about sexed semen ever since they started milking his daughters.”

Elvina semen is available for £18 RRP or £13.50 to Visions customers; £35 RRP sexed or £26 to Visions customers.

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