Changes to the Australian dairy breeding indices haven’t affected the ABS bull offering, with top sires retaining their spots at the pointy end of the December Australian Breeding Value release.
This comes as the company prepares to graduate a big crop of its next exciting young genomic Holstein sires.
ABS Australian Business Operations Manager Bruce Ronalds said consistency underpinned the Holstein, Jersey and Red breeds Australian bull offering – a result the company is especially proud of considering the refinements to the way dairy animals are ranked.
“The stability of ABS sires in this release proves the product mix and the traits we are breeding for are those that Australian dairy farmers want in their herds,” he said.
“The combination of health and production traits are proven to drive on-farm profit and work well in Australian dairy systems.”
Holstein Sexcel® sire 29HO17706 De-Su 12128 TAILOR retained the highest breed score for udders and lifted his BPI$ to +329.
“He’s fast becoming a farmer favourite, which is no surprise with his mastitis resistance,” Bruce said. “He is also one of a few bulls that improves rumps and dairy strength.”
Other sires continue to show their strength and reliability in the Australian system.
“If you go through the proven list, bulls with good reliability are still there,” Bruce said. “There’s 29HO16909 Larcrest COMMANDER and 29HO16687 De-Su 11260 NIRVANA – they both graduated up to four years ago – and are still in the top 20. Dairy farmers can purchase that semen with confidence they will go on and perform under Australian conditions.”
While proven sires have continued to perform, the next generation is waiting in the wings, ready to burst onto the Australian scene.
“It’s exciting, there’s potentially another eight to ten bulls that will be proven in Australia by next April and the early signs show they could be the strongest offering yet,” Bruce said.
Leading the next generation is Holstein sire 29HO19485 Bomaz EPISODE with a BPI$ of +494 and a HWI of +507.
“He’s 112 for Daughter Fertility, 110 for Mastitis Resistance and 111 Survival – the fact he is bred from the famous Bomaz herd is really just an added bonus,” Bruce said.
“Available in Sexcel next year, his first shipment of semen this year sold out quickly and the second shipment – due to arrive soon – is almost sold out and it’s the end of the breeding season. Everyone is after EPISODE for early joining next year.”
29HO18182 Rosy-Lane LLC SPOCK, a Holstein ranked 110 for Dairy Strength and bred at the same stud as the famous Goldbullion is another young genomic sire due to graduate to proven status next year.
SPOCK and KIMBALL are available in Sexcel with EPISODE the next bull to be added to the sexed genetic product line. The availability of Sexcel EPISODE will give Australian farmers access to the most profitable genetics on the top end of their herd.
Sales of Sexcel have surged more than 100 per cent this calendar year as farmers choose to breed replacements from their highest genetic merit animals and join the bottom of their herd to specialised ABS Beef InFocus™ dairy-beef.
“This strategy is not only the fastest way improve your dairy genetics, its giving dairy farmers the option to diversify their business and take advantage of Australia’s record beef prices,” Bruce said.
Jerseys ‘dazzle’ in new health ranking
Refinements to the BPI and HWI has shined the spotlight on US-bred Jersey 29JE3830 Sunset Canyon DAZZLER.
“It makes sense that he’s the number one Health Weighted bull. He has a breed-leading cell count, high mastitis resistance and is at the top for Daughter Fertility at 108,” Bruce said.
Australian sires have hit their straps too with Kaarmona Balenti BALENTI (CSCBALENTI), bred by Rohan Sprunt in northern Victoria, impressing dairy farmers. He now has 38 milking daughters in Australia. “With his score of 109 for Overall Type and 110 on Mammary he is sure to be a popular bull among Jersey breeders,” Bruce said.
Leading the genomic list, and accessed through ABS’s relationship with Central Sires Co-op., is Murray Brook JAMIEO (CSCJAMIEO) at +344 BPI$ and bred by western Victorian Paul Lenehan.
“Many farmers have chosen to use this exciting genomic bull due to his elite Mammary score of 112,” Bruce said.
“It also helps that the Lenehan family have a good reputation for breeding quality bulls.”
ABS expects 29JE4213 Forest Glen Craze TRIPP to remain popular next year and making him available in Sexcel will help deliver more genetic gain for Jersey breeders.
“It’s important to find high quality Jersey sires in Sexcel to reduce the number of bobby calves, and increase the value of replacement heifers,” Bruce said. “TRIPP is an excellent choice for both as he is now more than 300 BPI$.”
Fertile Reds a recipe for success
Demand for ABS Reds is also expected to rise with quality sire 252NR11819 ONSTAD P now at number two in the recent December ABV release at +333 BPI$. As a heterozygous polled bull, 50 per cent of his progeny won’t need to be disbudded, according to Bruce.
“Breeding for polled leads to improved calf welfare and you don’t lose anything with other important traits,” Bruce said.
“ONSTAD P is exciting for ABS because of his high daughter fertility and the fact he is 108 on Type.”
ABS will introduce ONSTAD P into the Australian market as a sexed genetics REDX™ sire – the same technology as Sexcel – so farmers can use him to breed replacements from the top of their herds.
Powerhouse 252NR11690 ROEN continues to shine at number three on the ABV release with a BPI$ at +331. His highlights include a “staggering” 111 for Daughter Fertility.
“This has made him the most exciting Red bull available this year and reinforces the quality of the Norwegian product for health traits,” Bruce said.
ABS hold four of the top six daughter fertility bulls with ROEN and ONSTAD P leading the way.