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Genetic improvement – affordable, predictable and fun

Genetic improvement planning is no less important than financial planning to remain viable in dairying, according to ABS Australia National Sales Manager, Paul Quinlan.

“You don’t have to pay the earth to breed a profitable cow or herd. And developing your own genetic improvement plan can be a lot more fun than doing your finances,” he said.

“After all, with genetic improvement you’re working on the lifeblood of your business – the productive animals you observe in the dairy every day. Seeing them improve according to your genetic plan is one of the most rewarding experiences a dairy farmer can enjoy.”

Speaking at the announcement of the December ABV results, in which ABS once again delivered a dominant spread of high ranking bulls, Mr Quinlan said ABS offered a wide range of sires that make it economical to breed highly profitable herds.

Most trusted supplier

ABS Australia is now ranked as the most preferred and trusted supplier of dairy and beef genetics in Australia, according to the recently released National Herd Improvement Association (NHIA) survey.

“No other company in more than two decades has been able to achieve this overwhelming endorsement from breeders in Australia,” Mr Quinlan said.

“We have been working hard to develop genetics that deliver the type of cow that Australian dairy farmers need in what is (mostly) an open paddock, grazing system. To have our customers endorse the efforts of ABS and our breeding strategy is very humbling.”

Mr Quinlan said the rapid changes in genetic improvement meant that dairy farmers don’t have to wait for the progeny to enter the herd to see if they have made progress.

“Genetic progress can be quickly and easily assessed well before you make that valuable purchase. Work with a genetic advisor who understands your goals and can build a long term improvement plan with you; then you can measure and monitor your herd’s progress against the genetics being recommended.”

Stick to the plan for best results

ABS has developed the most comprehensive genetic mating system available in the industry. “Genetic Mating System (GMS) Herd Audit” has been measuring, building strategies and delivering outcomes to ABS customers for many years.

“The most pleasing thing for us is seeing these herds improve year on year,” said Matt Aikenhead, Technical and Genetic Services Manager, Asia region. “By developing a breeding plan, sticking to that plan and using GMS herd audits to measure progress, it is truly exciting to see the rate of gain our customers can make towards business sustainability ¬ their progress toward profitability.”

Five of top 10 Holstein sires

ABS Holstein sires are ranked in five of the top ten Australian daughter proven sires.

29HO16888 Seagull-Bay MVP still leads the industry and added even more daughters to hold firm on the latest December ABVs as the number one (337 BPI$) Australian daughter proven sire. This is testament to the careful selection of bulls from ABS and feedback from customers’ experience.

“MVP is fast becoming Australia’s favourite bull and the first sire of choice when selecting a profitable bull team,” Mr Quinlan said. “He underpins many Holstein breeding programs and is used as a yardstick before others are added.”

MVP delivers medium sized cows with strength and excellent udders.  A real advantage is that he has a ‘shovel muzzle’ made for foraging in grazing conditions. With increased interest in A2 milk MVP also carries that very appealing characteristic.

MVP took over from 29HO16714 De-Su BALISTO (number 4 at 299 BPI$) as the highest-ranking ABS sire. It is expected thousands of his daughters will be milking in Australia over the next few years. Sadly, Balisto passed away this year, however semen is still available.

“I’d encourage farmers to get in early to avoid the disappointment of missing out on the last of this global legend.”

‘Polled’ popularity growing

Dam of Jeronimo-P, the highest ranked Australian ABV sire at 408 gBPI$, ABS 7226 Jazlyn-P

Dam of Jeronimo-P, the highest ranked Australian ABV sire at 408 gBPI$, ABS 7226 Jazlyn-P

29HO18698 ABS JERONIMO–P, the highest ranked Australian ABV sire ever at 408 gBPI$ still remains the only sire over 400 in the country.

Not only is he the only sire over 400 BPI$, he also boasts being the highest ranked heterozygous polled (single P) sire as well. He comes from an exceptional cow family and dam, ABS 7726 Jazlyn-P, who was bred by ABS too. Jazlyn is also the dam of 29HO18639 ABS JOPPOLO–PP the highest ranked homozygous polled sire in Australia at 322 gBPI$.

ABS’ St Jacobs sires are now moving from their genomic ranking into proven sires.

94HO17998 Maverick CRUSH has milking daughters all around the world and has received his U.S. daughter proven proof. He comes in at number 3 for Type at +3.71. He is a standout in the health traits too. His DPR +2.6 (Australian Daughter Fertility +112) is a unique feature when looking for high type.

Not many sires can offer what Crush can. His Australian mastitis resistance ranks him exceptionally high, also making him the best in the country and the only sire over 200 at +219. His high (+3.4) wide (+3.1) rear udders are also a feature in the Australian milking daughters. Crush is expected to gain his Australian daughter proven proof in 2019.

Jersey offers high fertility

DAZZLER daughter: Green Pine Dazzler Dolly 3875 owned by GJ Bryce, Nirranda Victoria

DAZZLER daughter: Green Pine Dazzler Dolly 3875 owned by GJ Bryce, Nirranda Victoria

29JE3830 Sunset Canyon DAZZLER (306 BPI$) is a standout in the Jersey ABVs and features the highly sought-after characteristic of improved Daughter Fertility at +107. His daughter proven Interbull ranking sees him as one of two that are ranked over 300 BPI$ with conventional semen available and the highest daughter fertility and mastitis resistance (177) Jersey sire in Australia.

29JE3987 NFW Sparky IMPISH is a genomic new comer that ranks at 276 gBPI$ and provides plus milk with positive components. Additionally, he has daughter fertility and the only Jersey sire in the top twenty that is positive for feed saved.