End of an era for ground-breaking Holstein sire MVP

One of Australia’s most enduring Holstein sires has died.

ABS bull 29HO16888 Seagull-Bay MVP entered the Australian market six years ago and was the only sire in the past decade to sell more than 50,000 units of semen in a year.

The US-bred MVP came into the Australian market based on his genomic breeding values.

He climbed to the top of the Australian Breeding Value (ABV) proven rankings in 2018 – the pinnacle for Australian sires.

As one of the first popular Holstein bulls from the start of the genomic breeding era in Australia, MVP quickly amassed offspring throughout the country.

At six years and three months of age, he became the youngest bull in Australian history to have 1000 milking daughters in his proof.

ABS Australia Business Operations Manager Bruce Ronalds said this phenomenal statistic showed that dairy farmers had confidence in the emerging DNA-driven breeding technology.

“MVP broke through ceilings with genomics in Australia and, still today, he pulls his weight on-farm where it counts,” Mr Ronalds said.

“There are so many of his daughters making money for Australian dairy farmers. There haven’t been many bulls like MVP, he was one of the first to deliver high type with moderate stature and without compromising any health or production traits.”

MVP’s lifetime semen production included 708,945 does of conventional semen and 27,252 of sexed semen.

This puts him in the top 25 per cent of global Holstein semen sales.

Australian farmers loved MVP, with almost 20 per cent of total straw production purchased locally.

There are still some straws of MVP available.

Mr Ronalds said his popularity came from high semen fertility, the fact he was an A2 sire, his genomic results and type consistency.

In the December ABV release he had a Balanced Performance Index (BPI) ranking of 294, the highest ranked proven bull with more than 1000 milking daughters.

His closest competition was 247 BPI.

MVP was also the highest ranked bull with 200 daughters classified for type and udder conformation.

Yarram Herd Services manager Alan Blum said MVP was an ideal sire for a range of breeding programs.

“He sires daughters with good strength, deep open frames and great udders,” he said.

“That’s what the industry is now requiring, moderate stature, functional type and longevity.

“One thing which stands out with the MVP daughters, it’s their consistency, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”