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Stackyard News Nov 2010

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Genomically Proven Super Brings New Science to the Mainstream

Charlesdale Superstition (Super), the highest TPI Holstein currently available in the UK – and one of the first genomically proven bulls from the United States to be marketed in this country – is now available from at a price of £25/straw.

Balsamview Super 1331, second lactation

Balsamview Super 1331

A Boliver son and O-Bee Manfred Justice grandson, Super is second only to the unavailable Freddie in the US TPI listings and is already used internationally as a sire of sons. Both Super and Freddie are bred and owned by’s US partner Co-operative Resources International (CRI), which is one of the main drivers of genomic analysis globally.

An all rounder with outstanding production and type proofs, Super is one of the first top sires with sufficient daughter numbers to allow comparisons to be made between their genomic and progeny-based figures. With his figures rising and comparisons between his genomic and progeny proofs looking increasingly robust, the bull is not only in demand but could be the first to bring genomic proofs into the mainstream, according to managing director Nick Kirby.

“We’ve seen his PLI rise from £105 to £130, his production increase by almost 100kg to 661kg and his Type Merit go up from 1.6 to 1.69 from the April to August 2010 proof runs,” he says. “He also has a very strong Fertility Index (+1.6) and an outstanding +0.3 for Lifespan.

“More significant, though, is the close correlation between his long-known genomic proof and his emerging progeny data. He is one of over 250 sires from CRI in the United States with published genomic data and large numbers of milking daughters. This comparative data shows very close correlation between Lifetime Net Merit (equivalent to UK £PLI), production and type figures. In simple terms, the data shows that genomic proofs are reliable and this offers the potential of gaining three years in genetic improvement terms.

“I think it is conceivable that bulls like Super can help to convince the industry of the value and reliability of genomic proofs, and that will be a major stride forward for cattle breeding. In my opinion it is only a matter of time before use of the term ‘young sires’ disappears, as all bulls will be ‘proven sires’ as soon as their DNA can be analysed. Once accepted, genomic proofs will mean that a bull like Super would come into widespread use several years earlier.”


The emerging science of genomic analysis allows an animal’s performance potential to be predicted from the study of its DNA, long before the availability of its progeny data. Breeding companies are now using genomics in the selection of bulls for progeny testing. In the United States, where the science is most advanced, significant numbers of bulls with genomic proofs now have large enough daughter populations to allow meaningful comparisons between genomic and progeny-based proofs, and the data is showing strong correlations. The first bulls are therefore now being marketed on their genomic proofs.

Charlesdale Superstition (Super) is a good example as his early genomic proof showed his ranking to be amongst the highest in the USA. However, this was largely ignored in the UK due to the lack of any conventional progeny test information. However, as more proof daughters have been added, Super has now been ranked on this basis as the second highest TPI bull in the USA, confirming his original genomically derived status. More and more UK dairy farmers are now taking notice of genomics as early evidence of proven ability.

link Holstein Bulls to 3,350gns at Moira
link Toystory Daughter Leads Moira Holstein Entry at 2,550gns
link Three Groundbreaking Records Set by Danish Jersey Bull Q Impuls

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