With the average genomic breeding worth (gBW) of Crossbred cows in the country sitting at 173, and the vast majority of KiwiCross bulls in the LIC Genetic Catalogue 2023 sitting at more than 450gBW, there are plenty of gains to be made using LIC’s best.
It’s not only about the individuals. Utilising bull teams provides great opportunities.
Below is an overview of the potential Premier Sires teams available this year.
Forward Pack: With a breed-split of F9J7, a mixture of the best daughter proven and genomically selected sires is easily accessed. An udder overall gBV average of 0.57 and capacity gBV of 0.62, plenty of gains can be made utilising this team.
Daughter Proven: Also, with a breed make-up of F9J7, this team is full of some of the best daughter proven bulls used in recent years, such as Speakes Slipstream and Gordons Flash-Gordon. Massive average capacity is offered (gBV 0.66), complemented by an udder overall gBV of 0.64.
With the insurance of higher reliability, these bulls will fit into many tried-and-true breeding plans.
Sexed Semen team: An excellent average gBW of 455, this team exclusively features genomic sires which immediately reduces the generation interval, a critical component of fast genetic gain. With a breed split of F8J8, this team provides a nice balance to any farmer seeking the best of both worlds.
There is a plethora of quality of bulls in the nominated space this mating season. Below, I’m profiling just four of them, but I could genuinely pick from at least 10! It’s a certainty, however, that whatever your farm topography, soil type, location, or farm system, there’s something for any style farming in LIC’s Alpha stable.
522050 Julian Tu-Meke: Another cracking bull from the Atiamuri postcode, he’s available in conventional frozen (Alpha) and Sexed Frozen, and he’s also a member of the Premier Sires Forward Pack team.
Tu-Meke is another Honenui son from a Glen-Koru Proclaimer dam.
522051 Lake Downs Resolution-ET: Here’s an F8J8 Speakes Slipstream son from a really nice Greenwell Blackhawk daughter. Resolution is bound to tick a lot of boxes for a range of New Zealand conditions. Boasting the highest udder gBV of the KiwiCross bulls marketed this year at 1.18, he offers 5.9% fertility.
Resolution is the result of some great work by Wendy and Keith Lambeth in Atiamuri. The couple run a straight commercial dairy herd, which means this bull’s back-pedigree and cow family has rightfully earned its place, and it’s a fair bet he’ll provide great offspring to farmers throughout the country.
521072 Baldrick Spectacular: A Flash-Gordon son from the Rai Valley stud of Baldrick and Charlotte O’Donnell, this guy hails from a really nice Beamer dam. In Spectacular’s maternal line there are three generations of cows that boast more than 500 Production Worth (PW).
To illustrate his genomic figures are not without substance, some of the highlights in his gBVs include 4.3% fertility and a fat gBV of 51kgs, together with an udder overall gBV of 0.94. His breed split is F10J6. Spectacular is available in the Premier Sires Sexed Team. He can also be purchased in Sexed Frozen and is of course available in conventional frozen.
522071 Burgess Princeton-ET: Princeton is another exciting young sire bred in Matamata by Michelle and Bill Burgess. He’s bred from Burgess My Pandora who is a beautiful Arkans Bounty daughter that’s been milking really well at Burgess farm (with a massive PW of 939!). Princeton is a Dowsons Honenui son with an udder gBV of 1.09. With a breed split of F5J11, he offers a respectable combined fat and protein (gBV) of 65 kgs (20kg protein and 45kg fat).
A Speakes Slipstream son, Princeton’s half-brother Plato also features in the Forward Pack; with these half-brothers featuring in both the catalogue and Premier Sires teams, this further-endorses the ongoing belief that LIC’s breeding team has in strong cow families, which serves to back up the team’s trust in genomic evaluations.