New blood in the rankings for spring and autumn block calvers

VJ NR Hauggaard Nibali Nibiru, the new number one Jersey sire. The photo is of a daughter
VJ NR Hauggaard Nibali Nibiru, the new number one Jersey sire. The photo is of a daughter

With inseminations now in full swing in spring calving herds, and autumn calving some months away, breeding decisions for block-calving herds may be either made, or on the distant horizon.

However, as AHDB publish the new across-breed sire rankings based on Spring and Autumn Calving Index, (£SCI and £ACI), this may be the proof run from which autumn calving producers will make their breeding decisions.

If so, they will find a new number one leading the £ACI ranking, in the shape of Genosource Captain (ACI £713), a familiar name which has led the genomic rankings for many years and is also now the leader on Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI).

Big gains in production and favourable maintenance have contributed to Captain’s improving performance.

Also climbing up the list is Aardema Pistolero (ACI £700), with last time’s number one, and a leading milk quality improver, Progenesis Wimbledon, edged into third position (ACI £689).

Winstar Graziano is a new entrant in fourth position (ACI £684), and udder health specialist Westcoast River ranks fifth (ACI £682).

Other new entrants in the top 10 are Winstar Greycup (ACI £666) in seventh, and Badger SSI Big Al Newman in tenth place, offering an ACI of £641 and an exceptional daughter Lifespan Index.

Those still contemplating matings for spring calvings will find three familiar bulls at the top of the £SCI rankings, despite some reshuffling within the rest of the top 10.

The Jersey, VJ Groenbjerg Lobo Lobster, continues to lead, his high milk components combined with excellent daughter fertility, lifespan and maintenance index, all helping to increase his SCI to £597.

The Holstein sire, Progenesis Wimbledon, remains second (SCI £594), with higher milk yields and equally impressive daughter fertility and good somatic cell counts.

Third-ranking Denovo Invictus (SCI £580) is the best udder health improver in the top 10 and also scores well for maintenance.

And making his debut in the ranking is the high fat transmitting Holstein, Windstar Graziano (SCI £575), in fourth place.

Climbing 15 places to rank fifth is VJ NR Hauggaard Nibali Nibiru (SCI 573), who also tops the Jersey £PLI listings, transmitting good daughter lifespan and small body size.

Aardema Pistolero also features strongly on £SCI and now ranks sixth (SCI £563), ahead of the high reliability Holstein, Denovo 7921 Atrium, with favourable maintenance scores and an SCI of £547.

Eighth place is taken by another Holstein, Peak Mauney (SCI £546), transmitting excellent daughter fertility, while the leading £PLI Holstein sire, Genosource Captain, also makes an appearance on this £SCI ranking in ninth position, at £545.

Closing the top 10 is the Holstein, Denovo 15158 Admiral, with an SCI of £544.

Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB said: “As with all across-breed figures, these £ACIs and £SCIs are expressed against an across-breed average, and must not be compared with any figures on the breed-specific £PLI lists.

“However, both £ACI and £SCI rankings allow those who wish to assess the strengths and weaknesses of bulls from different breeds to make ready comparisons, which is especially useful for those with crossbred herds.

“They are also designed for those calving in tight blocks and are consequently recommended for these different types of production system. Those calving all year round are advised to use £PLI."