by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard's Dairyman Online Media Manager
Sire summaries are calculated by the United States Department of Agriculture three times each year in April, August and December. Hoard's Dairyman compiled the August data on the seven dairy breeds and will include the listings in our September 10, 2012 issue. Ranking are by Net Merit for all breeds, except the Brown Swiss breed, which uses Progressive Performance Ranking (PPR). Lifetime Net Merit combines nine Holstein traits and eight for the other breeds – Holsteins include calving ease. The Net Merit index gives the following weighting for Holsteins: Productive Life, 22; Fat, 19; Protein, 16; Daughter Pregnancy Rate, 11; Somatic Cell Score, -10; Udder, 7; Body Size, -6; Calving Ability, 5 and Feet and Legs, 4. We have the four-page summary available for download now.
Freddie has become synonymous with Net Merit. His stronghold on the top of the NM$ ranking has endured for years. His +787 NM$ gives him a solid lead over two more CRI sires, Massey and Awesome.
With the discovery of genetic recessive Brachyspina last year, it is interesting to note that four of the Top 50 Net Merit Sires carry the recessive. Over time, we anticipate this number narrowing to none through careful genetic selection.
The Holstein Net Merit list has quite a bit of international flavor, with nearly one-third of the bulls with less than 100% Registered Holstein Ancestry-North America or unavailable.
The genomic-only Holstein bull list is headed by Supersire with 980 NM$. Supersire overtook Semex's Numero Uno who held the top spot for the past two sire summaries. Including Supersire, Select has four of the top six genomic sires.
Semex's Renegade tops the Net Merit List with $712, which is a healthy lead over No. 2 Zuma at +654. Zuma previously held the top spot for the previous three sire summaries. Prior to having milking daughters, Renegade ranked No. 3 on December 2011's genomic young sire list.
When evaluating Jersey bulls for Jersey Performance Index (JPI), Vernon at ABS Global leads the way with +260 NM$. If considering genomic sires only, Hilario with +770 NM$, has a 62 point advantage over Visionary, both at ABS. Alta's Perform ranks third with $698 NM$.
Accelerated's Driver sped from the number five spot in April to take the leads in the PPR rankings at +234. New Generation Genetics holds seven of the top ten PPR bulls, with Etlar, Torch and Brookings as headliners.
Red & White
Two Red and White sires tie at $417 Net Merit, Jerudo-Red and Arnold-Red. Both are foreign sampled, Jerudo-Red by GGI and Arnold-Red by CRV. Jerudo-Red also ranked No. 1 in April '12 and December '11.
Looking at red carrier bulls, Select holds the top two spots at $485 and $460 with Clue*RC and Durable*RC, respectively.
Two Guernsey sires top the +500 NM$ threshold. Select's Alstar at +530 NM$ and Semex's Bingo at +522 NM$. Alstar has held the top spot for the past year.
New to the Ayrshire list is Select's Power. He headlines the Ayrshires with +670 NM$ and +1802 Milk. Ranking No. 2 and No. 3 are two Semex bulls, Kansas and Perry at $635 and $506, respectively. Kansas held the top spot for the previous three sire summaries.
Royal Tremble at Accelerated dominates the Milking Shorthorn list with $658 NM$, a position he has held for the four most recent sire summaries. He is followed by Select's Ace at $486, who was also ranked second in April. Debuting on the list is Spurgeon at Accelerated, who appears in the number three position. The Milking Shorthorn breed continues to make genetic strides, now claiming more positive net merit sires as compared to last year's list of three bulls.