Sexed genetics push profits
Breeding with sexed genetics doesn’t mean compromising vital dairy productivity and health traits.
ABS’s biggest selling Sexcel sires 29HO18698 ABS Jeronimo-P, 29HO18182 Rosylane-LLC Spock and 29HO18490 De-Su 13530 Seville are all sitting at the top of the nation’s ABV proven Holstein list, while the next generation – 29HO18878 Pine-Tree Howler – is taking fertility to the next level.
“Howler is sitting on the Interbull list – his proof includes overseas data – but he’s in our top four selling bulls in Australia and his daughters will start calving here next year,” ABS’s Bruce Ronalds said.
Howler’s semen fertility is 3.54 per cent across 2000 matings, ranking him the highest in the country by far – and driving his Sexcel popularity.
Holstein breeder, Anthony Eccles from Purnim in western Victoria, believes Howler is at least 10 per cent more fertile than other Holstein sires and he has the calves on the ground and pregnancies to prove it.
Initially Howler was used to join heifers, but his fertility was so good, they used his Sexcel semen in a reproduction program on the milking herd – using second-hand CIDRS – and he got 49 out of 100 cows pregnant.
Using Howler, Mr Eccles has bred more calves and got cows in calf earlier – all important contributors to dairy farm profitability.
“Some cows that we know we are going to have a reproduction problem with, we wouldn’t normally join them until they get to 100 days in milk, but with Howler we can join them at 65 days,” he said.
“At the end of the day, thanks to Howler, we don’t have as many empty or late calving cows, and we have extra heifer calves on the ground.”
Mr Ronalds said farmers were breeding heifers from their “genetically superior animals, but most importantly, combining this with Beef InFocus is ensuring profit from the rest of the herd”.
Consistent Holstein sire Jeronimo-P remains at the top of the Holstein proven ABV rankings this December, with 539 Balanced Performance Index (BPI) and more than 250 daughters in his proof.
After dominating the genomic proofs, he has settled as a proven sire, adding more milk, fat and protein to improve his Australian Selection Index (ASI).
A farmer favourite, his temperament is 104 and likeability 105. Jeronimo-P sired half of the top 10 December ABV cows, including number one and two.
ABS’s Onstad-P remains at the top of the Australian Red breed ABV proven rankings and ABS has the most homozygous polled sires on the Red breeds genomic ABV list.
For those wanting to avoid disbudding, ABS has plenty of high-quality Red breed sires – including the top polled sire Sausvatn PP – who was released in August and is now 252 BPI$.
The other top homozygous or ‘double P’ sires are Aland PP and Horverid PP.
Ofstad – not to be confused with the number one proven Red breed bull, Onstad-P – is on the genomic Interbull list at 392 BPI$. The single P and A2 sire is ranked number one for mastitis resistance at 106 and number one for ASI at 302.
Of the 13 sires on the Red breed ABV Daughter Fertility list, 11 are from the ABS stable.
Mr Ronalds said Red breeders were combining the ABS sexed genetics product Redx with dairy-beef Beef InFocus to deliver the most profitable return from their herds.
Northern Victorian-bred Kaarmona Balenti sits at number two on the Jersey ABV proven rankings this December, with a BPI$ of 283. This sire, bred by the Sprunt family, rose 32 BPI$ points from August with the addition of 25 Australian milking daughters to a total of 90.
“He’s 107 for likeability and 106 for temperament – his workability is outstanding – and he is positive for daughter fertility,” Mr Ronalds said.
Gippsland-bred Gelbeado Park Woodside sits at the top of the Jersey genomic ABV list with semen production in full swing. He is one of three new young Central Sires Co-op sires now producing semen and farmers have been jumping at the chance to inject some new genetics into their herds.
Semen production from top polled sire Brookbora Bushfield has also geared-up, with straws sold throughout the country to breeders using him in embryo flush programs.