Sexed genetics push profitability in December ABV highlights

  • ABS JERONIMO-P is still Australia’s top Holstein proven sire
  • Local Jersey sires dominate the proven and genomic ABV rankings
  • ONSTAD-P continues to lead the Red breeds
  • New high-fertility Holstein sire HOWLER dominates sexed genetics sales

Sexed genetics push profitability

Demand for sexed genetics from Australia’s top Holstein sires has never been stronger, as dairy farmers develop additional sustainable and profitable business income streams. And breeding with sexed genetics doesn’t mean compromising vital dairy productivity and health traits – as this December’s top Australian Breeding Value (ABV) proven sires are available in ABS’ Sexcel® sexed genetics.

ABS’ 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.

The “most elite” ABS fertility sire, HOWLER is already drawing comparisons with the biggest selling ABS sire in Australia and farmer favourite MVP. “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 Australian Business Operations Manager Bruce Ronalds said. “He’s a popular sire.  We’ve sold more Sexcel semen from him than conventional in the past 12 months – farmers are just blown away by his semen fertility.” 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, 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.

Anthony Eccles believes HOWLER is at least 10 per cent more fertile than other Holstein sires and has the calves on the ground and the pregnancies to prove it

Using HOWLER, Anthony 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,” Anthony 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.”  

Combining Sexcel with dairy-beef Beef InFocus™ has changed the business of breeding for many Australian dairy farmers, with ABS sales proving this ‘Winning Game Plan’ is growing in popularity. “Farmers are breeding heifers from their genetically superior animals, but most importantly, combining this with Beef InFocus is ensuring profit from the rest of the herd,” Bruce said. “Sexcel and Beef InFocus underpin a profitable and sustainable breeding program.”

Consistent Holstein sires

JERONIMO-P remains at the top of the Holstein proven ABV rankings this December, with 539 Balanced Performance Index (BPI$) and more than 250 daughters in his proof. After dominating the genomic proofs, he has settled as a proven sire, adding more milk, fat, and protein to improve his Australian Selection Index (ASI). “At 539 BPI$ his current proof is higher than his traditional genomic data and, with him settling on a BPI that high, with so many daughters in his proof, that’s extremely rare,” Bruce said. 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.

Holsteins SPOCK, SEVILLE and 29HO18093 Brabantdale DRAKE round out the rest of the ABS offering at the top of the ABV proven list, with little change to their rankings, reinforcing the consistency of ABS sires.

Reds for health and profit

ABS’ 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$. “Farmers won’t have to disbud any of SAUSVATN PP’s progeny and he’s also A2, with high daughter fertility and available in REDX™ sexed genetics,” Bruce said. “He’s the sire to add to a farmer’s ‘Winning Game Plan’.”

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 – 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. OFSTAD progeny will arrive in Australia in the coming 18 months and Bruce said ABS will be working hard to achieve a full Australian proof for this next generation sire.

Of the 13 sires on the Red breed ABV Daughter Fertility list, 11 are from the ABS stable. Bruce said this is proof of ABS’ focus on health traits and their link to profitability. He 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.

Jerseys showcase local talent

Northern Victorian-bred Kaarmona BALENTI (CSCBALENTI) 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. “Farmers just love him,” Bruce said. “He’s 107 for likeability and 106 for temperament – his workability is outstanding – and he is positive for daughter fertility.”

Gippsland-bred Gelbeado Park WOODSIDE (CSCWOODSIDE) sits at the top of the Jersey genomic ABV list with semen production in full swing. “He has been one of our most sought after young genomic bulls due to his elite type and ability to add chest and body to the breed,” Bruce said.

Paul & Lisa Mumford, Won Wron, Gippsland, with the dam of CSCWOODSIDE, Gelbeado Park Tahbilk Cowslip 5435 EX-90

CSCWOODSIDE is one of three new young Central Sires Co-op (CSC) 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 (CSCBUSHFIELD) has also geared-up with straws sold throughout the country to breeders using him in embryo flush programs. “We are working through back orders now to make sure many farmers can use this exciting polled sire,” Bruce said. “Many breeders want to use CSCBUSHFIELD because of his high genomic numbers and his connection with a highly successful cow family from the Brookbora herd. Then there’s the bonus of his progeny being 50 per cent polled – we can’t forget about that.”