The April 2024 genetic evaluations were released this week, and the newest Hoard’s Dairyman Bull List is now available.

The most significant change for these evaluations is an update to how the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) formulates the six health evaluations it conducts: resistance to milk fever, displaced abomasum, ketosis, mastitis, metritis, and retained placenta. This revision is necessary because of the number of disease records that have been added to the national cooperator database since the traits were first introduced in 2018 (for Holsteins), 2020 (for Jerseys), and 2022 (for Brown Swiss). Learn more about that update in this article from CDCB.

While this round of proofs did not bring many changes to the tops of the proven lists, the genomic Holstein and Jersey lists have strong new leaders. On the Holstein Net Merit (NM$), Cheese Merit (CM$), and Total Performance Index (TPI) lists, OCD Thorson Darth Vader-ET claimed the top spot. A son of StGen Cowen Thorson-ET, who led all three lists during each of 2022’s three proof runs, Darth Vader debuted at the top with a CM$ of 1489 and NM$ of 1482. Those numbers are both more than 100 points better than December’s leader on those traits. A GTPI of 3342 (62 points higher than December’s top bull) also moved Darth Vader to the top of that list.

In the Jersey breed, JX Peak AltaFarva {6}-ET rocketed to the top of both the CM$ and Jersey Performance Index (JPI) lists. Farva’s 981 CM$ and 240 JPI gave the young sire a significant margin to lead both traits.

By the numbers

A.I. organizations reported 6,697 bulls active to the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) for this proof round, which is 213 less than what was reported in December. Of these, 4,566 were genomic bulls, giving young sires a 68% market share. This is up slightly from the 67% share they held in both December and August 2023, but the total number is down 57 bulls from December.

Holstein sires reported totaled 5,502 in all, and 889 Jersey bulls were included. Those two breeds make up 95% of all bulls reported and more than 96% of all genomic bulls reported, both consistent from the December evaluations.

You can access the full sire rankings for all breeds now.

April 2024 Hoard's Dairyman Bull List

Top 50 Genomic Holstein Net Merit $, Cheese Merit $, and TPI

Top 50 Daughter Proven Holstein Net Merit $, Cheese Merit $, and TPI

Top 25 Holstein SCE and Jersey CM$ and JPI

Top Colored Breeds