Australian first – celebrating ABS JERONIMO P’s female dominance

  • ABS JERONIMO P makes Australian dairy history with 16 of the top 17 cows.
  • Holsteins CHARLEY and his son DURABLE are proof that health, production, and sustainability go together.
  • Young genomic Jerseys rank well on the new Sustainability Index.
  • ABS’ Norwegian Reds dominate polled and health indexes.

Australia’s favourite Holstein bull is breeding the nation’s most profitable cows. And dairy farmers are reaping the rewards.

The latest Australian Breeding Values (ABV) release revealed ABS JERONIMO P as the sire of 16 of 17 of the nation’s top ranked Holstein cows, on the Balanced Performance Index (BPI). Even the one cow – number 14 – that isn’t directly sired by JERONIMO P was out of a JERONIMO P cow, bred by another ABS sire Bomaz EPISODE. This is the first time one Australian Holstein sire has featured so heavily as a sire of the nation’s best cows.

ABS JERONIMO P, with more than 500 milking daughters in his proof, is making an historical mark on the profitability of Australian dairy herds.

ABS Australian Business Operations Manager Bruce Ronalds said this ABV release was “history in the making”. “This has never happened before, one sire with more than 500 milking daughters making such a mark on the profitability of Australian dairy herds,” he said. “We thought he’d achieved amazing things when, as a young genomic sire, he’d bred 40 per cent of the top 100 Australian females – but that was nothing compared to this. I can safely say now, from a profit perspective, JERONIMO P is ABS Australia’s most successful sire in the past two decades. He’s eclipsed one of the all-time farmer favourites, MVP. That is massive.”

This JERONIMO P domination at the top of the female ABV release comes after the sire – known for his health traits, polled gene, and productivity – broke genomic records as a young bull and has just ticked over 12 months on top of Australia’s proven bull ABV rankings.

Western Australian Holstein breeders Ray and Donna Kitchen, with sons Doug and Sam, bred Australia’s number one and two cows, both sired by JERONIMO P. They have 30 first and second lactation JERONIMO P daughters milking in their herd of 400 at Boyanup. Many of these animals received a VG classification as heifers with a number scored 85 points or higher by the Holstein Australia classifier.

“Most dairy farmers are trying to achieve what these animals have, and that’s good profitability and good health traits, coupled with good conformation,” Ray said. “The two highest cows also have the polled gene which is good news for future progeny.” Number one cow Carenda Jeronimo Vida has a BPI$ of 611, while number two Carenda Jeronimo Vista is 586 BPI$. Both are about to calve for the second time. Vida is classified 83 points and Vista 84 points.

But while Ray and Donna appreciate good conformation, they know profitability is measured by what’s in the vat and the in-calf rate. Vida produced 5.35 per cent butterfat and 3.75 per cent protein, while Vista hit 5.32 per cent butterfat and 3.75 per cent protein.

The Kitchen family’s Carenda Holstein herd was ranked fourth in the latest ABV BPI top herd list. Their JERONIMO Ps have bred several sires for the Australian dairy industry, including the ABS bull Carenda CHEVY PP.

Next generation Holsteins

With a BPI$ of 459 DG CHARLEY is Australia’s number two Holstein proven sire. This world-renowned sire of sons came in at number eight on the new Australian Sustainability Index (SI), while his genomic son Pine-Tree DURABLE – with an SI ranking of 1017 – was second. DURABLE has a 511 BPI$ and is ranked number six on the global Interbull index. CHARLEY has “extreme” breed leading Fertility of 113, 106 Mastitis Resistance, 110 Survival, and is backed by moderate type.

DG CHARLEY is Australia’s number two Holstein proven sire with a BPI$ of $459

New genomic Holstein sire Denovo 18125 WOODROW enters the Australian market at number six on the ABV genomic (ABVg) list at 525 BPI$. A Z-Happy WINTERFELL son, he’s 114 for Daughter Fertility, has a high ASI (production) and is 893 SI.

Quality all-rounder Denovo 17118 Provo (PRO) is number eleven on the ABVg rankings at 514 BPI$. This A2, high production sire also performs well for health traits.

Australia’s second highest ranked homozygous polled Holstein TTM ELLIS PP continues to be one of the most popular polled bulls in Australia. ELLIS PP is an EDGE P son out of ABS CRIMSON, with DG CHARLEY as his third sire. CRIMSON has 77 daughters milking in Australia now with ABS’ Bruce Ronalds confident he’ll become a “top five” proven sire later this year. “He’s just another exciting bull to be watching out for,” he said.

Golden future for ABS Jerseys

Australia’s first Murray Brook JAMIEO (CSCJAMIEO) calves are hitting this ground this spring, with breeders looking forward to the development of offspring from the number three Australian Breeding Value genomic (ABVg) Jersey. Scored 108 for Type, 112 for Udders and backed by high semen fertility, this sire, bred by the Lenehan family in Western Victoria is exciting, according to ABS’s Bruce Ronalds.

Calves are hitting the ground this spring from the number three ABVg Jersey CSCJAMIEO

ABS also has the highest ranked polled Jersey with Balnageith JANGO P. A new release and bred in Gippsland by Alister Grant, JANGO P is one of the top Jersey bulls on the Sustainability Index (SI) at 834. JANGO P also has high Survivability at 114, high protein, carries the polled gene and is A2.

Another exciting young Jersey bull Warrain TRASK (CSCTRASK) is number nine on the ABVg rankings at 354 BPI, 108 Type, 113 Udders and 104 for Mastitis Resistance. TRASK is also one of the highest Jerseys on the SI at 828.

Healthy Reds tick polled box

Australian Red breeders wanting quality polled Red bulls have plenty to choose from in the latest ABS offering. As the only herd improvement company with homozygous – or double P – bulls on the genomic Red sire list, breeders can choose to move towards a “horn-free” future with confidence. Five ‘double-P’ bulls are on offer in Australia’s Good Bulls Guide including SAUSVATN PP, SKJEFSTAD PP, OKSTAD PP, TORNES PP and ALAND PP. Seven of the top Reds, ranked according to fertility, are also marketed by ABS, while popular global bull and outcross sire OFSTAD-P is the only Red to hit 1000 on the new Sustainability Index.

OFSTAD P has 1631 milking daughters throughout the world, including seven in Australia. Recording 47kg of protein, he’s also one of the highest ranked sires for the Feed Saved trait. “It’s no wonder he ranks so highly for his potential to reduce emissions intensity, with such high protein production and his economical use of feed,” ABS’ Bruce Ronalds said. “He’s been a popular bull and we don’t expect this to change because he works well in crossbreeding as well as Red on Red breeding programs.”

OFSTAD P is one of the highest ranking sires for the Feed Saved trait