Dairy farmers have been reminded that the use of proven AI bulls is the best investment they can make within their businesses. This point was emphasised by Ai Services (Northern Ireland) Ltd’s breeding services manager Ivan Minford at the launch of the company’s Dairy Sire Catalogue for 2018.
“No other input delivers to such a large extent,” he said.
“And, of course, the actual cost of mating cows with semen from proven bulls is so much lower, compared with the outlays incurred on the likes of feed, fertiliser and fuel.”
The main section of the new catalogue features 25 Holstein bulls, representing 20 different sires. The average PLI across the group is £616. Of these, five have a PLI of £700; five will increase total fat and protein by 60kg with 15 increasing total fat and protein by 50kg.
Significantly, 22 of the sires are positive for fat and protein percentage while 11 of the bulls are available sexed. Of the sires listed in the main section of the catalogue, six are specifically suitable for robotic milking operations.
“This is by far the best offering of dairy sires that we have made available up to this point,” said Minford.
“The range of bulls on-offer meets the needs of every dairy farming business in Northern Ireland. Our 2018 catalogue features seven new sires. They should all prove popular with local milk producers.”
Bulls worthy of particular mention in the new catalogue include V.H.Brook. He currently sits at No. 3 in the Top UK PLI Sires’ list. Brook will deliver a massive components boost with a +64.8 kilos projection for fat and protein. He also offers an increase in both fat and protein percentage: 0.24% fat and 0.10% protein.
Brook is Ideal for robotic milking schemes. He has positive fertility index of +8.8 and a positive lifespan at +0.7. This equates to an extra 210 days’ longevity per daughter.
Wilder Born P is another bull to feature prominently in the new offering from Ai Services. In fact, he is rated as one of the most complete sires available with a current PLI of £705. The bull is rated at +61 kilos for combined fat and protein with double digit component percentages.
Born P will improve teat length and is recommended for robotic milking schemes. He is also the No. 1 polled PLI sire.
Prehen Lancaster also features prominently in the new catalogue. He is another elite offering from the Smith family, who farm on the shores of Lough Foyle. Lancaster is the top PLI bull in the UK, coming in at £751 (August 2017). He has tremendous daughter fertility at +17.1. The bull also delivers tremendous production with positive components. This is combined with outstanding health and management traits.
Double W Ranger is one of the best all round sires available at the present time. He is positive for type, production and components. Ranger is rated at +0.11% for fat and +0.08% for protein. He produces strong bodied cows; lowers high pin setting. In addition, Ranger is an outstanding sire for legs and feet with excellent locomotion.
The new Dairy Sires’ Catalogue from Ai Services also features a range of coloured bulls. The Ayrshire listing includes a range of bulls from Cattle Services Ayr plus two new sires from Viking Genetics.
Montbelliarde and Fleckvieh sires also feature, with semen imported from France and the Netherlands respectively.
In recognition of the growth in spring calving production system, locally, the new Dairy Sires’ catalogue also lists a number of EBI-assessed sires from Ai Services’ sister company in the Republic of Ireland – Eurogene. All of these bulls are ‘forage specialists’.
Ivan Minford again:
“Copies of the new catalogue are now available from all Ai Services’ technicians. The full publication is also available on-line.”
For further information, telephone (028) 90833123. To view the new Dairy Sires’ catalogue on-line visit: http://www.ai-services.co.uk/workspace/pdfs/2018-dairy-catalogue-web.pdf