In less than a decade reliable genomics has increased the pace of genetic gain in Australian dairy herds and simultaneously reduced the cost of elite genetics.
“Genetic improvement is the single most important factor in dairy profitability at the moment,” ABS national sales manager, Paul Quinlan said. “Despite dry conditions and feed shortages, which are increasing costs, those who are investing wisely in elite genetics are seeing permanent and cumulative improvements in their business.”
Genomic reliability has made breeding decisions measurable before use. Genetic advancement plans are readily available through ABS. Under the Australian Breeding Values system Australian dairy farmers can choose the best genetics from around the world. Using ABS’ Genetic Management System (GMS) and genetic audits dairy farmers can choose both elite genomic sires and reliable Australian proven sires.
“Making the correct decision is so important,” Paul said. “GMS removes the guesswork and makes it easy to customise breeding plans that demonstrate the desired outcomes in an easily understood and transparent form.
“At ABS we want to make better cows, faster. It’s not as complicated as some might think. Australian dairy farmers have more choices than ever before when selecting an elite team of sires to advance genetic gains.”
While acknowledging that to many dairy farmers conformation was important, Paul said it should not take precedence over breeding profitable cows.
“It’s important to aim for a balance of health, production and conformation. We want to help Australian dairy farmers breed happy, healthy cows and we are doing just that by making available some of the best genetics Australia has ever seen.”
MVP today’s sire of choice
ABS has selected sires that will make healthy cows for the Australian farming system. This has never been more evident than the choices customers made in 2018 when adding 29HO16888 Seagull-Bay MVP into their breeding program as he now excels in Farmer Likability at 107.
“With the equivalent of more than 160 cows bred to MVP in Australia every day last year, he is proving to be today’s ‘sire of choice’ matching other farmer favourites such as Goldbullion, Shottle and Medallion,” Paul said.
MVP’s farmer satisfaction and proven proof reliability is unmatched in the top 15 proven sires. With over 1000 milking daughters and carrying the A2A2 characteristic, his outstanding udders and conformation will have a long-term influence on the Australian national herd.
29HO17747 Cookiecutter HARPER, a Balisto son, currently leads the elite group of multi-country proven sires in Australia at 397 Balanced Performance Index (BPI). He comes from the outstanding "H" cow family led by Halo, the dam of Epic Hazel, which is the dam of Harper.
In this proof run ABS has added several elite genomic sires to the BPI list. Two that have joined heterozygous polled sire 29HO18698 ABS JERONIMO P at 389 BPI are 29HO17458 Boghill Glamour PERSUADE at 392 BPI with elite Daughter Fertility at 115 and is a carrier of the A2A2 gene and 29HO17429 Relough CLINCHER at 383 BPI, A2A2, 117 Daughter Fertility and Cell Count 167.
“It’s so exciting to add additional elite sires each proof run,” Paul said.
These elite sires, which are all measured under the Australian BPI index system, are available because of ABS’ genomic strategy and the meticulous selection of genetics from around the world.
“These sires will work under the Australian farming system,” Paul said.
Persuade is a United Kingdom based sire and his pedigree is a who’s who of cow families with 5th dam Larcrest Cosmopolitan alongside other notable sires from the same family: Commander, Collude, Calumet, Cayle and Charley, the former #1 TPI sire in the world.
A2A2 and polled genes popular
Bulls with the A2A2 and polled genes are popular choices with breeders. Over 50 per cent of ABS product is A2A2 making it easy to build a strong team of bulls for breeders wanting this characteristic. Elite homozygous polled (PP) sire 29HO18639 ABS JOPPOLO PP 309 BPI is the highest ranked PP sire in Australia with excellent Daughter Fertility 112, positive milk and components and a positive feed saved sire.
29JE3820 Sunset Canyon DAZZLER 233 BPI continues to impress with elite Daughter Fertility 107 and Mastitis Resistance 176.
ABS is currently working with Central Sires Co-operative to secure two new Jersey sires to be introduced in spring.