The ABV release for April became official on Monday April 11 providing the basis for dairy farmers throughout Australia to enhance their breeding programs and select the bulls with the breeding values that best meet their genetic goals.
Overall within the top 10 of the Australian Proven, Balanced and Genomic lists the quality of bulls available in Australia has improved with many holding their high rankings from December while new additions continue to refresh the lists.
Across the top 10 of the listed categories the Holstein breed continues to shine for Daughter Fertility, Mastitis Resistance and ultimately Survival, very important traits adding profitability to the breed.
Within each category we have highlighted the domestic bred bulls and recognised the contribution of Holstein Australia members. This is complimented by the global AI companies who continue to test bulls in the Australian reference population to provide the highest ranked bulls based on their BPI.
The combination of domestic and international bulls provides Australian Holstein breeders with an outstanding selection of bulls to ensure the best genetic outcome for their breeding programs.
Australian Proven top 10 bulls
This category of bulls meet the DataGene designated publishable criteria based on Australian milking daughters.
JERONIMO-P has maintained his top ranking from the December proofs while a number of bulls continue to feature in the top 10 list as they did in December.
There are four new bulls included in the April list replacing bulls that have had little change but have just been surpassed. This sometimes reflects changes of proofs or indicates bulls from one run to the next have added new Australian daughters allowing them to meet publishable criteria.
Two of the new releases are Australian bred bulls, congratulations to the Dickson and Henry families on breeding SUPERPOWER and TERRAINE respectively.
EMU BANKS SUPERPOWER is a Powerball son from a home bred cow family developed through the appendix system featuring a very strong sire line.
WILARA ALL TERRAINE is an Alltime son from the prominent “T” family at Wilara. His GP84 dam is backed by 6 generations of EX and VG dams.
“Superpower is from a very strong cow family and every generation has been good and hardworking,”says Emu Banks’ Brian Dickson. “He goes all the way back to a Planet cow, has a well-balanced production proof, health and management traits and strong level of type and udder traits.”
Balanced top 10 bulls
This category of bulls consists of bulls that meet publishable criteria (as per Australian proven) and bulls with milking daughters overseas but do not have milking daughters in Australia or there is insufficient data to meet publishable criteria.
On first look there have been a number of changes to this top list with five new additions when compared to the December list. Importantly the five bulls carried over from December have either seen little change to their proofs or in certain cases marked increases with Freeborn +43 points and Atalawson +52.
The new bulls with increased reliability have seen substantial increases resulting in them now featuring in the top 10. Overall there has been a significant improvement for BPI for the top 10 in April when compared to December, with an average 26 point lift in BPI for these animals.
The new entrant Warramont Superhero Dave represents a wonderful achievement for the Fiebig family being the only domestic bull featured in the top 10, increasing 45 points from December with a limited number of additional Australian daughters.
Warramont’s David Fiebig says: “Obviously we are thrilled that the Superdaves calving at the moment are coming along nicely. With over 70 animals sold in the last 12 months from this family we are looking forward to seeing what other breeders are able to achieve in the future.''
SUPERDAVE is sired by Superhero from a Doorman from an extremely deep cow family developed at Warramont. Backed by multiple generations of VG cows and ultimately back to a full sister to the hugely popular production sensation of the 90’s, DONOR.
Genomic top 10 bulls
The genomic list represents an exciting mix of bulls that have maintained their very high BPI along with new bulls with exceptional proofs that increase the diversity of sires available. Basically this list allows us a glimpse into the future today.
The list is bookended by Australian bred bulls TOMMYDEE and BOLTI.
TOMMYDEE, bred by the Lillico family is an ENDGAME from the homebred Royal family representing 10 generations of breeding including many world recognised sires. A family resulting from the Appendix system who now has been able to contribute many wonderful off-spring culminating with TOMMYDEE leading the genomic sires in April.
“In a dairy world increasingly dominated by large commercial farms where the bottom line is always about profit, Vicki and I are pleased to be able to make a contribution with our bull Tommydee,” says John Lillico. “Our focus has always been about breeding easy care profitable dairy cows and will continue to be so.
“I think the advent of genomics is incredibly exciting and I believe it is going from strength to strength. The main challenge is to deliver awareness of the amazing possibilities that genomics represents for dairy farmers,” says Mr Lillico.
BOLTI, a TLGANDREAS son from a Bandares daughter goes back via a number of generations to an outstanding Canadian HOLADINO daughter. Adding further to BOLTI is that he is sired by a bull also bred by the breeder of the bull himself, VALA Holsteins, certainly a wonderful achievement.
Vala Andreas Bolti-P has an exceptionally deep pedigree that on the maternal side stretches way back to Rainyridge Tony Beauty and a sire stack that reads like a who's who of Holstein breeding according to Vala’s Alex Arena.
“Our aim at Vala Holsteins was to take this solid foundation and use it to develop polled progeny that would compete on merit with the best horned Holsteins. Vala is passionate about the need to breed polled Holsteins for animal-welfare purposes as well as for the good of the dairy sector as a whole,” says Mr Arena.
“Bolti-P is a great success story for us and probably came one generation earlier than we had expected. Particularly pleasing is his solid set of functional and health traits that suit Australian conditions exceptionally well. We have been using Bolti-P in our own breeding program, so we expect to see further development of this genetic line and we trust that he proves popular and successful for dairy-farmers that use him.
“We are also happy to see more and more Vala bulls entering AI and having their semen sold in Australia and into export markets - it is every breeder's dream to see the investment and hard work associated with breeding delivering results that take the dairy sector another step forward,” says Mr Arena.
The April Run summary
The top 10 lists presented are only the “sharp end” of the bulls available to Australian breeders. There are many more and they also deserve your attention. Take the time to look further into the top lists represented in the Good Bulls Guide and then delve into the various merits of bulls to determine the bulls that best match your breeding goals.