Dec. 7 2012 11:28 AM

Top 100 progeny proven Holsteins were all over 506 NM$, only $1 higher than August.

Hoard's Dairyman Dec 2012 Bull ListCompared with the most recent August genetic evaluations, and even last December for that matter, the dizzying pace of escalating breeding values has seemed to slow to a more traditional pace as the top 100 NM$ progeny proven Holsteins ranged from 786 to 506 this December compared to 787 to 505 in August. When contrasted to December 2011, the range is very similar: 769 to 491 NMS.

As far as DNA-proven young bulls, commonly known as genomic tested, the top bull, 7HO11351 Supersire, held down the first-place position once again. However, he fell from 980 NM$ in August to $942 this run. That same trend held true as the top 50 genomic bulls that ranged from 980 NM$ to $810 in August fell to $942 to $793 NM$. When compared to the same time last year, the top 50 genomic bulls had a higher top end of 986 and a slighter lower bottom end of 788.

This downward trend could be multifold. As we learn more about genomics, scientists are constantly tweaking formulas to better reflect relationships between all animals, including progeny proven and genomic-only bulls. While no official word has come from USDA-AIPL confirming this notion, many in the industry were of the opinion that genomic bulls were slightly overevaluated.

In addition, some A.I.s are waiting a bit longer to release top genomic bulls so they can get a head start on creating matings for the next generation. This action can slow the number of young bulls appearing on the officially available genomic lists.

Lastly, getting young bulls to produce enough high-quality semen can be challenging. That said, it takes time to bank enough semen to meet market demand. This especially holds true as dairy producers are close to passing the 50 percent threshold on making A.I. services to genomic young bulls formerly known as young sires. To learn more about this evolution, read the editorial on page 542 of our August 25, 2012, issue.

The Hoard's Dairyman bull list features all seven breeds. In the Holsteins, the top 100 bulls for Net Merit are listed. All bulls must be in the top 40 percentile for Net Merit (cutoff is 372 NM$) to be listed in the top lists for Fluid Merit, Cheese Merit, udders, feet and legs, productive life, somatic cell score, pregnancy rate, conception rate and sire calving ease.

As mentioned earlier, we also have a top 50 ranking for actively marketed Holstein young sires with genomic tests. We compiled a similar list for the top 25 Jerseys. We published the progeny tested and genomic lists side by side so breeders can make direct comparisons. Bulls with genomic-only evaluations are not eligible for other trait lists.

In the Jersey breed, we also ranked the top 25 JPI (Jersey Performance Index) bulls. In the Brown Swiss, we ranked bulls on PPR (the Progressive Performance Ranking) since the breed is no longer ranking bulls on Net Merit. In the Red and Whites, we listed the top 10 Red bulls and the top 10 Red Carrier bulls by Net Merit. We made similar top 10 lists for the Guernseys and Ayrshires. The top 5 Milking Shorthorns are ranked by Net Merit, also.

Click here to download the December Bull List