Impressive genomic sires become available internationally
Official Norwegian Red (NR) genetic evaluations for April 2018 are now available from Geno. Reitan 2 tops the daughterproven list, and Alm tops the GS-sire list.
By Gary W. Rogers
Go to the Norwegian Red Sire Catalogue to get detailed updates on sires that are available in most international markets.
Genomic breeding values are working as expected
Many top daughter proven sires and top GS (Genomic selected) sires are available for international markets. Genomic selected sires dominate the top of the list of NR sires ranked on the NR TMI (Total Merit Index) because of the rapid rate of genetic gain in the NR breed.
Genomic selected sires will not have Interbull or local genetic evaluations outside of Norway, but breeders can make fair comparisons across all NR sires (GS and daughter proven) using Geno BVs (breeding values). The state-of-the-art genetic evaluation methods used for calculating genetic evaluations in Norway makes interpretation of BVs easy.
Recent comparisons of genomic based BVs from 2017 (BVs with no daughter info) and BVs based on daughter information from these same bulls in April 2018 indicate that the genomic BVs on NR sires are working extremely well. Expect to hear more about this in the future but the bottom line is that the correlations among genomic-based BVs and their later daughter-based BVs are very high.
The TMI dropped more on most bulls than we have seen with updated genetic evaluations in the past. Sire rankings for individual traits and rankings for TMI remain very similar to rankings from previous evaluations but the rapid genetic change increased the TMI of the base population more than in the past.
Notable Daughter Proven sires
Reitan 2 (11033) now has 2352 daughters in his Norwegian proof and continues to shine with a TMI of 32. Unfortunately, Reitan 2 is now dead so semen supplies are limited or unavailable in many countries. Reitan 2 has several popular GS sons available now so producers should look at Reitan 2 sons if they were interested in Reitan 2 in the past.
Skjelvan (11039) with a TMI = 24, Skretting (11284) with a TMI = 24, Gopollen (11078) with a TMI = 23, and Prestangen (10923) with a TMI = 23 follow Reitan 2 on the list of top daughter proven sires. TMIs for these sires dropped a few points on average since the December 2017 genetic evaluations due to the base population changes mentioned above. All these sires are (or were) very popular and Gopollen continues to have huge demand in several countries.
Skjelvan has milking daughters in many countries (over 4700 in Norway) and they are tremendous for protein and fat production. Skjelvan is still very popular in several markets and we expect this to continue. Skjelvan bull calves grow very fast and rival top beef breeds for carcass growth so he could be a nice substitute for beef semen with a major up-side when heifer calves result.
Gopollen just added almost 100 second crop daughters in Norway. He should have daughters milking in several additional countries within the next year. Gopollen is a tremendous all-around sire and Geno is working hard to meet the demand for his semen.
Several top GS sires are available now or can be exported very soon
Twenty-nine top GS sires have semen currently in markets outside of Norway or will have semen available for export very soon. These 29 GS sires are very exciting as the top 12 have TMI ranging from 39 to 57. Six of these top 12 are polled and 11 out of the 29 are polled (2 homozygous polled).
The top bull on the list for TMI is Alm (11876) with a TMI of 57. Alm is actively producing semen for export so he can be available in several countries very soon. Alm is a Skjelvan son and, like his sire, his daughters are expected to be tremendous for production traits (production index = 155) with excellent udders (udder index = 128). He will be very popular in high producing and intensively managed herds where top production is essential.
Kolbu is a polled Saur (11572) son with a TMI of 46. Kolbu is higher than his sire for production traits (production index = 122) and is extreme for daughter fertility with a fertility index of 159. Kolbu is the highest NR sire for daughter fertility ever to be marketed. Kolbu has a very good overall trait profile with no important concerns, can be used on maiden heifers (calving ease = 116), and is A2A2 for beta casein. Kolbu should be very popular especially in the grazing and organic production sectors.
Pollestad is a Gopollen son with a TMI of 45. Pollestad is A2A2 for beta casein and has a great trait profile. He is especially high for production (production index = 131) and udder conformation (udder index = 130). Pollestad is expected to be popular in confinement or housed herds as well as in grazing and organic herds much like his sire.
Onstad is a polled Reitan 2 son with a TMI of 44. Onstad is very high for production (production index = 136) as well as udder conformation (udder index = 124). He has already made it to some markets where he has been well received.
Several additional top GS sires with TMIs between 30 and 42 are also going to be very popular internationally. Melby (11862), Kvernmo (11837), Meland (11826), Boerset (11813), Viastua (11798) and Fyksen (11824) are sires that have already been sold outside of Norway and continue to grow in popularity.
If specific bulls mentioned in this article are not currently available in your market, producers can check with their local marketing representative or directly with Geno to see if they might be available in the near future.
The next official genetic evaluations will be available August 7, 2018.