Captain retains lead but Denovo dominates young Holstein sires

Genosource Captain retains his position as the front-runner with a PLI of £880
Genosource Captain retains his position as the front-runner with a PLI of £880

Ten newcomers in the top 20 and 10 bulls with the same prefix will arouse interest amongst Holstein breeders in the genomic young sire list published today by AHDB Dairy.

Although Denovo will be celebrating having an impressive, possibly unprecedented, 10 of the top 20 bulls on this Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI) ranking, it is Genosource Captain who retains his position as the front-runner with a PLI of £880.

Captain combines high Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs) for production (1002kg milk, 48.5kg fat and 34.8kg protein) with superb maintenance feed costs figures (-15) as well as high daughter Fertility Index (11.6).

To top it off he has a high Lameness Advantage (3.2) and a Type Merit (TM) of 1.52, giving him widespread appeal amongst a range of dairy producers.

Holding on to his second position, just as in the August release, is Peak AltaPlinko (PLI £859). This son of Progenesis Marius and maternal grandson of former number one daughter-proven Holstein, Bomaz AltaTopshot, is a high protein transmitter (41.6kg) with good maintenance feed efficiency (-6).

Newcomers since the August release are the third and fourth ranking Siemers Brave (PLI £830) and Denovo 3303 Citizen (PLI £817).

Brave is the highest milk bull in the top 20 (1188kg) as well as the breed leader for protein (42kg). Citizen transmits excellent udder health (-21 SCC, -2 Mastitis), with good daughter lifespans (+162 days) and fertility (FI 11.8).

He is also the highest ranking of the 10 bulls in the top 20 bearing the Denovo prefix, itself a joint venture between ABS Global and De-Su Holsteins.

In fifth, up from ninth position, is Denovo 15826 Knight with a PLI of £808 and TM of 1.9. He is the first of no less than four De-Su 14222 Kenobi sons in the top 10, the others being Kenmore, Targaryen and Kahuna.

New entry in sixth place is Bomaz Episode (PLI £807). A tremendous components bull (+0.33% fat, +0.13% protein), he also transmits good daughter fertility (+11).

In seventh place is Denovo 15848 Kenmore whose strong calf survival prediction (+3.2) and good udder health (-23 SCC, -2 Mastitis) contribute to his PLI of £806.

Ranking eighth is FB Kenobi Targaryen, also with good calf survival (+2.9) and a PLI of £790.

Ninth place goes to Denovo 14566 Crosby (PLI £783), the best udder health bull in the top 10 with -27 SCC and -3 Mastitis. Born in October 2017, he is, remarkably, the sire of Citizen (DOB 4/8/19), ranked in fourth place.

Rounding off the top 10 is Denovo 15855 Kahuna, with the highest predicted daughter lifespan (+174 days) and TM (1.89) in the top 10.

Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy said: “With half of the top 20 young sires being new since the August release, the list once again emphasises the speed with which progress is being made in the Holstein breed.

“The top £PLI bulls transmit a good mixture of high yields or high components to suit various milk contracts and combine these with strong daughter health and fertility.

“The majority of these sires will also favourably reduce maintenance costs, as indicated by the reduced maintenance figures averaging -2 across the top 20 sires."

He added: "With feed savings and environmental credentials high on the agenda, these sires will be able to make a worthwhile contribution to the efficiency of UK herds.”

Six further new entries in the top 20 are 11th placed OCD Renegade Lunser (PLI £781), Denovo 15949 Edison (PLI £778 and the highest fat transmitter of the breed at 57.9kg and +0.33%), Denovo 16197 Gonzaga (PLI £777, -15 Maintenance), S-S-I PR Renegade (PLI £775, FI 12.6), Denovo 16072 Elway (PLI £773, -3 Mastitis) and Denovo 3159 Gander (PLI £772, FI 13.1).