Ai Services takes top 3 in bull run

The Ai Services sales team at Viking Genetics in Denmark
The Ai Services sales team at Viking Genetics in Denmark

Ai Services (Northern Ireland) has confirmed that the company’s current selection of elite Holstein sires contains the first, second and third ranked bulls in the UK’s August bull run.

“This is great news for dairy farmers across Northern Ireland,” explained the company’s breeding services’ manager Ivan Minford.

“As a company we are totally committed to providing milk producers with the best dairy genetics that is available around the world.

“The August bull proofs are further confirmation of our ability to deliver on this objective.”

The new bull ranking sees the Danish sire – VH Balisto Brook - rise to the top. He graduates from the young sire genomic ranking with 147 early milking daughters.

Published by AHDB Dairy, Brook’s Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of £794 is the highest of the available proven bulls and reflects the high fat and protein percentages in his Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA), at +0.23% and +0.12% respectively. He combines this with breed-leading udder health figures (-40 SCC, -5 Mastitis), reflecting the significant emphasis placed on these traits over many years in Scandinavian countries.

Ivan continued: “Brook is suitable for producers who want to reduce size in the herd but want to increase chest width.

“His daughters have tremendous longevity with a lifespan score of 0.7, giving an extra 210 days in the herd.”

Also graduating from the genomic young sire ranking with 164 milking daughters in the United States is the new entry in second place: Bomaz Alta Topshot (PLI £766). This Supershot son transmits high production figures with +1,187kg milk and +71.2kg of combined fat and protein.

Ivan commented: “Topshot’s daughter fertility standing at 7.1 and lifespan at 0.5 makes him a very attractive sire in high production systems.”

The familiar name of Co-op Robust Cabriolet features in third place, now with 684 UK daughters contributing to his production figures. He excels in calf survival (+4.2), Lameness Advantage (+4.2) and maintenance index (-21), earning him a PLI of £755 at a reliability of 95%, the highest in the top 10.

Significantly, members of the AI Services and Sales Team have just returned from a three-day trip to Viking Genetics in Denmark.

While there, they visited three herds: one Holstein, one Scandinavian Red and one crossbred.

Ivan Minford said: “All the farm visits were very informative, with interesting stories on the benefits and merits of each breed.

“Viking Genetics is a leading force within the international animal breeding industry.  The company has always placed health traits at the top of its priority list, giving it a lead, in this regard, relative to other breeding businesses. This emphasis was very evident at each of the herds that the team visited.

“The team also had the opportunity to visit the main stud to see the modern facilities and included the inspection of V H Balisto Brook. We recognised the breeding potential of the bull at an early stage and have invested accordingly in stocks of his semen,” said Ivan

Ai Services has also confirmed the growing demand for sexed semen in Northern Ireland.

With this in mind, the company recently published its bespoke Sexed Semen Catalogue for 2019.

Ivan further explained: “AI Services has scoured the market place to source sexed sires of the highest calibre in order to complement the breeding objectives of milk producers throughout Northern Ireland.

“The new sexed catalogue features both Holstein and bulls from Coloured Breeds, thereby reflecting the growing demand for cross breeding.”

Looking to the future, AI Services has also highlighted the significant cross section of its bulls, which feature prominently in the new Genomic Sire Listing.

Ivan Minford again: “Ai Services continues to have access to a number of young, high-profile genomic sires. These include Alta Cabot with a PLI of £871. His production figures stand at +823kg of milk in tandem with +76.2kg of fat and protein.

“Also featuring prominently in the new ranking is Alta Leap. He has a PLI of £839. His high production, combined with excellent type traits, will certainly make Leap much sought after.”

For further information, contact Ai Services (Northern Ireland) Ltd on (028) 9083 3123 orvisit the website: www.ai-services.co.uk