Australia’s Highest-Ranking Dairy Bull and Heifer have been Revealed in the Latest Australian Breeding Values (ABV) Release

Australia’s Highest-Ranking Dairy Bull and Heifer have been Revealed in the Latest Australian Breeding Values (ABV) Release

ABS JERONIMO-P is the first sire to record a Balanced Performance Index (BPI) of more than 590, coming in at a record breaking 596. ©ABS Australia

ABS Jeronimo-P was the first sire to record a Balanced Performance Index (BPI) of more than 590, coming in at a record-breaking 596, deeming him the most profitable dairy sire in the nation.

The Holstein also notched a breed-leading 602 on Australia’s Health Weighted Index (HWI) — a breeding index that values vital traits such as fertility, mastitis resistance and feed saved.

A heifer sired by Jeronimo-P and owned by south-west Victorian dairy farmers Andrew and Jacqui Delaney was also crowned Australia’s number one heifer, with a BPI of 544 — up 51 BPI points from the December ABV release.

Australia’s top heifer is about 15 months old and is one of about 40 owned by the Delaney family that will be joined in the coming weeks to Bomaz Episode.

Jeronimo-P has flooded the pointy-end of the heifer rankings, having sired 37 of the top 100.

The Delaneys own five heifers sired by Jeronimo-P in the top 100.

The rise of Jeronimo-P is a win for Australian dairy farmers, a vote of confidence in genotyping and proof that selecting sires for local conditions is delivering profit, according to ABS Australian business operations manager Bruce Ronalds.

“With 27 daughters milking in Australian herds, Jeronimo’s performance has eclipsed his genomic prediction,” he said.

“If ABS hadn’t run every bull through the Australian genomic system, Jeronimo may never have been found. He’s the ideal sire for Australian conditions and his success demonstrates to farmers that there are bulls which deliver profit and health benefits for our unique milking systems.”

Jeronimo-P burst onto the Australian breeding scene three years ago as the first sire to hit the market with a BPI of more than 400. He has remained at the top of the ABV genomic list since.

In this recent ABV release, Jeronimo-P lifted two points to 104 for temperament, 64 points for ASI (production) and three points for mastitis resistance.

Terang dairy farmers Bryan and Jo Dickson have nine Jeronimo-P daughters milking in a herd of up to 1000 and these heifers contributed to the bull’s ABV ranking.

In late March, the Dicksons’ heifers had an average PI of 100, with the highest hitting 109.

“They are going reasonably good considering he is a health sire — health doesn’t go into the production index,” Mr Dickson said.

“They also aren’t out of super-good cows, just normal, standard cows. None of the heifers kick and they aren’t slow milkers either.”

Across in South Australia, Jeronimo-P heifers have met the expectations of Mt Gambier dairy farmer Shane Gardiner.

Two of the five milking in his 250-cow herd have undergone their first herd test, with the results proving to Mr Gardiner the value of genomic technology.

“I am definitely more confident that they are going to be profitable animals,” he said.

“So far, from what I can see, they are performing the way I expected them to perform. It gives me confidence that they are going to the job we bought them for in the first place.”

In March, the heifers were calved six-to-seven weeks and while they were showing promising signs in the vat, Mr Gardiner was also pleased with them in the dairy.

“They are very quiet,” he said.

“It’s good because it’s a safety factor, for starters, and it’s enjoyable to milk quiet cows.”

 

Source: Dairy News Australia

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