Dairy News Australia - - ABVS -

The ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity of ge­nomic (DNA) test­ing of fe­male dairy cat­tle means DataGene’s re­lease of Aus­tralian Breed­ing Val­ues (ABVs) puts the spot­light on the top herds and cows, as well as bulls. DataGene’s Ge­netic Eval­u­a­tion Man­ager, Michelle Ax­ford, said the Au­gust ABV re­lease saw more herds com­pet­ing for the top ge­nomic fe­males lists than in the past. When ge­nomic test­ing first be­came avail­able to Aus­tralian dairy farm­ers in 2011, a few lead­ing dairy breed­ers tested a lim­ited num­ber of fe­males. So, the list of top fe­males was dom­i­nated by th­ese herds. With many dairy herds now rou­tinely test­ing each heifer drop, the num­ber of ge­netic tests or­dered in the past year has in­creased by about 40 per cent. There are now 66 355 fe­males with geno­types. “Au­gust’s top ge­nomic fe­male lists reflect this. For ex­am­ple, the Hol­stein top fe­males list has an in­crease of 50 per cent herds con­tribut­ing top fe­males com­pared to the April 2017 ABV re­lease,” she said. Australia’s top ge­nom­i­cally tested Hol­stein cow is Glo­mar Gold­wyn Lucky 4319, bred by the John­ston fam­ily of Sale, Vic­to­ria, with a Bal­anced Per­for­mance In­dex (BPI) of 399. The BPI ac­counts for the traits that af­fect profit, pro­duc­tion and longevity in the herd. A BPI of zero rep­re­sents the aver­age of ma­ture, Aus­tralian cows, so at 399, Glo­mar Lucky has the ge­netic po­ten­tial to con­trib­ute an ex­tra $399 a year in profit. There’s stiff com­pe­ti­tion vy­ing for other places in the Hol­stein Top 10 fe­males. Sev­eral lead­ing breed­ers have strong con­tenders: the Ire­land (Red­maw, Lock­ing­ton, Vic), Lil­lico (Hindlee, Smith­ton, Tas­ma­nia) and Lis­ter (Cal­is­ter, Calivil, Vic) fam­i­lies. At a herd level, Trevor and Leah Par­rish, Kan­ga­roo Val­ley NSW con­tinue to hold the po­si­tion of Top Hol­stein Herd with an aver­age BPI of 144. They are fol­lowed by Daryl Hoey (Beaulah Park, Katunga, Vic), Hogg fam­ily (Adle­jama, Big­gara, Vic) and Kitchen fam­ily (Carenda, Boy­anup, WA). Australia’s top ge­nom­i­cally tested Jersey cow is Kings Ville SCD Belle 78, with a BPI of 337, bred by Rob and Ker­rie An­der­son, Drouin West, Vic­to­ria. First place for Jersey herds is shared by Daryl Hoey (Beaulah Park, Katunga, Vic) and Con Glen­nen (White Star, Noorat, Vic) with an aver­age BPI of 118. In the Red Breeds, the Gra­ham fam­ily (Beaulands, Nowra, NSW) con­tin­ues to hold the top spot with an aver­age BPI of 107. Mrs Ax­ford said the eas­i­est way to im­prove the ge­netic merit of a dairy herd is to al­ways use bulls that carry the Good Bulls icon. Bulls that meet the Good Bulls cri­te­ria in the Au­gust ABV re­lease in­clude more than 900 Hol­steins, 135 Jer­seys, 20 Red Breeds, 12 Guernseys and 40 Brown Swiss.

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