WA & SA breeders to the fore in February Proof Run
Rockwella Farm Holsteins' Wes & Rita Hurrell
Western Australia’s Carenda Holsteins and South Australia’s Rockwella Farm Holsteins dominated February’s best young females with their first genomic breeding value list, with 17 of the top 20 cows between them.
Topping the list was Rockwella Farm Jeronimo Pam (362 BPI), followed by Carenda Ardldis Verdello (357 BPI) and Carenda Jeronimo Funky (352 BPI).
“The Verdello family is a consistent performer in the Carenda herd,” says Ray Kitchen. “This particular mating (Ardldis Verdello) has really achieved what I wanted it to in creating a high index outcross pedigree.
“I also think we’ve achieved a lot with fourth placed cow, Carenda Jeronimo Vista, who comes from a different branch of the same family. She has an interesting pedigree, and it’s exciting to see what can be achieved using Australian genetics with imported sires – I think the sire stack of Jeronimo x Montana x Farmdealer x Dalek really shows.”
Commenting on Carenda Jeronimo Funky, Ray is also pleased at the contribution the Carenda “F” family have made to Kitchen herd, with countless females, and the wider Australian population with proven sires like Fabulon.
“If I look at Pemberton, out of our “F” family, he’s performing really well at Genetics Australia and has come up really well on genomics. The family traces back to some embryos we imported in the early 1990s from the Plushanski Chief Faith cow family.”
One of the key drivers for Rockwella Farm Holsteins’ Wes Hurrell is bringing the bottom 20% of his herd up, with a focus now on improving the spread in his herd.
“We’re finding the new Herd Genetic Stocktake from HA a big help as not only does it identify which traits are having in impact in our herd, but also which traits have a larger spread. The larger the spread, the greater the opportunity for improvement,” says Wes.
“I’m pleased with where we are at based on this run, and it is a result we’ve been working towards. Clearly Jeronimo has worked well for us, but what’s also interesting to us is that of our eight cows in the top twenty, four of them are females I wouldn’t have normally expected to see in the top group. Great to get and we’re obviously doing something right!”
Jeronimo also worked well for Carenda Holsteins, with Ray commenting: “He and bulls like Powerball before him have allowed breeders to insert polled genetics into their best cow families without sacrificing genetic gain. We now have animals like Jeronimo Vanity that are both high BPI and potentially homozygous polled.”
The first three on the top 20 genomic females of all time list remained unchanged, although all – Ivyhurst Wrangler Mystery (428 BPI), Purnim Moneyman Shasnah (409 BPI) and Vala Bandares Boliana (406 BPI) saw a small Balance Performance Index increase.