28 July 2020

Friesian teams moving forward

Due to changes in the relative value of milk components, and other index-calculation tweaks, it might be true that Holstein Friesians have ridden a few Breeding Worth bumps over recent years.

But true-to-form the black & whites continue to stand their ground and hold their place firmly within the national herd. February’s update to the index saw the inclusion of the Single Step Animal Model (SSAM), which resulted in a positive shift for the Friesian breed, with an average increase of 16 gBW.

The new model shows that genetic progress over the last 10 years has been even faster than evaluated in the past, with a continuing focus on production components and fertility, as well as strengthening breeding values in conformation. We remain as confident as ever in LIC’s breeding strategy for Holstein Friesians.

The power of the breed is without question because the benefits of Friesian cows are so wide ranging: They are economical and consistently produce high-quality milk. They’re also able to sustain themselves over many lactations, and remain the highest production-breed for both fat and protein. It’s also evident that consumer desire is for the industry to reduce bobby calves, and the Friesian’s ability to breed outstanding heifer replacements, stock bulls, and produce a quality dairy beef calf is an excellent means of achieving bobby-calf reduction.

The black and whites continue to prove themselves as a versatile, highly functional and profitable breed. Genomic evaluations are providing us with more data than ever, and it should be no surprise that LIC’s Premier Sires Forward Pack team consists of 60% genomic sires, with a team genomic Breeding Worth (gBW) of 247.

The Forward Pack team includes the best Daughter Proven bulls, the new graduating spring bulls (introduced to the team in mid-October), and the best genomically-selected sires. We wait in anticipation of the 17-codes adding their first daughter information. Who knows which will graduate through to ‘spring bull’ status but with a number of sons by the likes of Lancelot, Beamer, and Technician from impressive cow families, the team will be delivering you ‘the best of the best’.

For now, however, the 18- and 19-codes are looking as formidable as ever, and below are a select few in the pipeline.

Dam of 118031 Dicksons HD Myth

118031 – DICKSONS HD MYTH-ET S1F (pictured above is the Dam of 118031 Dicksons HD Myth-ET S1F)

Bred by Murray and Julie Dickson, Myth is a son from the well-known Dicksons M family. He is from a seriously good cow family, and his dam is none other than Dicksons CP Margy, who sits comfortably at 291gBW with an exceptional 607PW. There is production behind this young sire, and with a Fertility BV of 3.3, he will breed daughters that will survive in the herd. Myth has several half-brothers working their way through proofs, including 118042 Dicksons MH Mason, and a most recent graduate, 116065 Dicksons BG Mandate.

118070 Tafts GR Supervisor at one-year-old

118070 – TAFTS GR SUPERVISOR S1F (pictured above)

Supervisor is a superb addition to our Friesian line-up. Used as a sire of sons, his 291gBW, combined Fat and Protein gBV of +80 kg, and udder overall gBV 0.46, position him nicely in the team. The dedication put in by his breeders Geoff and Lynette Taft is evident, he comes from three generations of impressive cows that are sure to impact the industry. Supervisor is a natural addition when looking for long-lasting and profitable cows.

119013 Tanglewood Reef at one-year-old

119013 – TANGLEWOOD MD REEF-ET S1F (pictured above)

A refreshingly different sire stack adds to this bull’s attraction, being a Mandate x Lancelot x Typhoon. This young sire, bred by Murray and Nicola Hawkings, is backed by generations of proven cows having PWs over 300. Reef provides the perfect balance of production and confirmation, and his daughters are expected to be moderate-sized, efficient producers.

Dam of 119014 Buelin BM Equator

119014 – BUELIN BM EQUATOR S2F (pictured above is the Dam of 119014 Buelin BM Equator S2F)

Equator is the complete package. With his gBW of 261, Fat gBV 50 kg, protein gBV 30 kg, fertility BV 4.3 and an udder overall gBV of 0.60, Equator has you covered. His seriously milky dam whose Lactation Worth (LW) has continuously exceeded 400, and has for the last two season sent +1000kgmMS out the gate, 623kg of that as fat. This Maxima son, bred by Stefan Buhler, is yet another outstanding bull who is set to contribute significantly to the industry. Given the current climate where the bottom line is more important than ever, the most versatile breed must be seriously considered, particularly for those who are looking to maximise their total on-farm returns.