They say the breeding game is a long game. I have been at LIC for five years now and finally, some of the boys that I weighed, checked their jaw, checked their crown jewels, and put the ‘money’ tag in their ear are, at last, to make a mark on the Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list!
Use as a yearling bull to date has seen two 13-code bulls (our new graduates) already introduce themselves to the RAS list. What is just as exciting is the disproportionate number of graduates (that are adding reliability to their proof each AE run) that will surpass a large number of the current daughter proven graduates.
It is my absolute pleasure to announce that we have five KiwiCross bulls to enter as spring bulls into our 2016 Forward Pack team. A stellar lineup!
This is the biggest spring bull graduation rate we have seen in some time. It reflects the high quality of our genetics – and we can all own it and be so proud of it. This is an absolute team effort by our breeders, SPS farmers, our farmer shareholders, and LIC.
This is Mint-Edition’s third and final year of graduating sons, and again this bull is delivering with sons now ranked one, two, and three on Breeding Worth (BW) in Forward Pack.
Slotting in at second place at 218 BW, with 64 herd tested daughters, is 513054-Burgess Trickshot ET. Although only nine TOP daughters are recorded to date, Trickshot is displaying typical Mint-Edition conformation, which looks set to balance out the raw production of this family. Trickshot tops the charts of all live KiwiCross bulls in terms of productive efficiency. Bred by Bill and Michelle Burgess of Te Poi, Trickshot is climbing consistently in BW each Animal Evaluation (AE) run, totalling 58 BW over three runs. This bull has the very real potential to be fighting Sierra for the top spot in a few runs time!
Diversity is certainly no issue in the Kiwicross team, and it is excellent to note the following bulls were all sired by genomic bulls (Britestar, Beaut, Integrity, and Warlord) at the time of their dams’ mating.
A good solid Taranaki pedigree, it is no real surprise 513066-Mouries Luigi has come through at 213 BW with 61 daughters to date. Out of a Solaris dam at 221 BW/299 PW and a Northsea grand-dam at 199BW/389PW, this is a cow family we are continuing to work with. Luigi is one of two Britestar sons in Sire Proving and currently both of them are, impressively, sitting at more than 200BW. Stephen and Kaye Mourie of Opunake have bred a bull to be proud of.
513067-Colfols Crikey has a pedigree that many a breeder would be envious to have. Bred by the ever-humble Colin Foley of Hawera, Crikey is out of a powerhouse Northsea dam at 225 BW and 453 PW, back to an Amadeus cow, born four years before the base cow – and has an incredible 180BW/348PW. In my opinion this is one of the most promising cow families in the country. With his use as a yearling bull, at 198BW and 730 milking daughters, this bull has hit the RAS list in style. With fantastic udder conformation and excellent farmer traits, farmers are clearly really enjoying milking Crikey daughters. Crikey will be offered in the Alpha Catalogue alongside his half-brother, Convincer, who is in the catalogue currently.
Stewart and Kathryn Anderson of Otorohanga have done it again, further cementing the fact that the Beauty family is quite simply the real deal. We have two more bulls from this family entering the Forward Pack stable, with some more with real potential to be marketed in a few AE runs time, given how their BW is tracking. Simply an outstanding graduation rate.
513098 Arkans Bounty. No introduction really necessary for this bull. Not a new edition as such, given he is currently in the team, Bounty has simply graduated to the big leagues and has now stepped up from genomic status into a Spring Pak bull. At 186BW with 70 daughters, currently this is a bull you could have backed on his ancestry alone. A half-brother to Beaut (our second ranked Forward Pack bull), and Bazooka (Jaydie son in the Alpha Catalogue), Bounty is looking to be a solid-uddered bull with fantastic capacity.
Another classic from the Beauty family, albeit a slightly different branch, at 187 BW with 76 herd tested daughters, 513007-Arkans Best Bet is following in the family footsteps. Plenty of production in this family, with a Skelton grand dam at 458PW, and Quick Fame great-grand dam born in 1997 at 333PW. This is a family that is going to have a significant impact on our industry.
The Spring bull selections are continuously evolving and we look forward to seeing how things are looking again at over the next few AE runs (22 October and 5 November) as they add more TOP daughters.
We will be proactive to ensure we are delivering the genetic gain that our Forward Pack adopters deserve and have embraced. The table below exhibits the bulls we are keeping our eye on that may be delivered over the next month or so.
But for now, what a pleasure to write this article!
There is huge momentum in our KiwiCross bulls, long may this continue.
Table: The bulls we are keeping our eye on that may be delivered over the next month or so.