Two breeding companies have achieved an industry landmark by launching Holstein bulls into their daughter-proven line-up that were previously sold by the companies as young genomic sires.
Melarry Al McKenna
The move reinforces confidence in genomic indexes which are gaining ground around the world as a reliable early indicator of young sire PTAs (Predicted Transmitting Abilities).
The companies launching the bulls are World Wide Sires UK and Dairy Daughters – both part of the Cogent Group - and the bulls which have entered the proven stud are Mr Regelcreek Shot Al, Maple-Downs-I G W Atlantic (from WWS) and Graceland (from Dairy Daughters).
Each of the three bulls now has a solid daughter index, most notably transmitting outstanding type and cell count improvement, while every one of them will increase daughter lifespans.
Al is also known for high components, improving udder conformation and locomotion; Atlantic similarly transmits outstanding legs, feet and locomotion; and Graceland is also a top leg and feet improver and transmits exceptional daughter fertility.
“It’s very pleasing to see former young genomic sires now gaining good indexes based on actual daughter performance,” says Andy Smith, product support manager with the group. “Genomic indexes are a work in progress; they were only launched in the UK earlier this month and cattle breeding industries around the world continue to learn more with every index run.
Graceland Gina“We already know that the genomic index is a far more reliable predictor of daughter performance than was available in the early days when all we had was parent-average information. In fact, our US colleagues have recently looked at the correlation between genomic indexes calculated in 2010 and daughter indexes calculated in December 2011 for a random group of 100 bulls. They found the correlation to be high at 0.84 and to compare favourably with a correlation of 0.45 between a parent-average index and the subsequent daughter PTA.
“A correlation of exactly one would be a perfect correlation, so 0.84 shows genomic indexes to be a reliable predictor of daughter performance, and considerably better than parent average information alone.
“This means that genomic sires can be used with more confidence than young sires sold in the past on the strength of their parent-average indexes, and if selected from the genetic elite, offer extra scope for herd improvement.”
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