New Norwegian Red proofs reveal a large group of top GS sires
Official Norwegian Red (NR) genetic evaluations for December 2018 are now available from Geno.
by Gary W. Rogers
No important changes have been made to the methods for calculating and displaying breeding values since the August 2018 genetic evaluation run.
Geno has over 60 top GS sires with semen available internationally. Many of these GS sires are already being sold in some markets and other markets are starting to make some of these GS sires available.
Genomic sires at the top of the Norwegian Red Total Merit Index
Thirty-five available GS sires have total merit indexes (TMI) of 20 or greater with 16 GS sires having a TMI of 25 or greater. The top GS sires currently alive and available include Alm (11876) and Skarphol (11855) with TMI=30 as well as Onstad (11819) with TMI=29. Alm, Skarphol and Onstad are under active semen collection.
Alm was also the top available GS sire in April 2018 and August 2018 and he has already been sold in several countries. Alm is a Skjelvan (11039) son with high production and excellent udders (protein yield = 129 and fat yield = 134, udder index = 116). He has a teat length BV of 88 that is more moderate than teat length for his popular sire Skjelvan. Alm can be used on maiden heifers as his direct calving ease BV is 102 based on over 1100 calves already recorded.
Skarphol (11855) is a Reitan 2 son with an excellent proof profile. Skarphol will sire excellent udders (udder index = 123) and he is especially high for protein and fat percentages (protein percentage = 128 and fat percentage = 127). Skarphol now has over 1100 calving records and has a direct calving ease BV of 99 so he is likely ok to use on heifers as well.
Onstad (11819) is sired by Reitan 2 from a Velsvik (10432) daughter with the next dam being sired by Braut (10177). Onstad is polled and has a great trait profile. He is excellent for fat yield (129), protein yield (124) and udder conformation (udder index = 114). Onstad has more than 3300 calving records with a direct calving ease BV of 98 so he likely can be safely used on heifers. Onstad is already very popular in a few markets and we expect his popularity to grow in other countries.
Four GS sires are tied with a TMI of 28. Ranheim (11851), Kvernmo (11837) and Krovoll (11921) are sired by Reitan 2 and Maele (11789) is sired by Prestangen. These 4 bulls are all very good for production traits will all of them having BV for protein yield above 115 with only Maele below 121 for fat yield. All 4 are 115 or higher for udder index so they will sire very good udders. In addition, all 4 are 107 or higher for udder health index and 100 or higher in fertility index.
Genomic sires with a TMI of 20 or greater
The next 25 available GS sires have TMI of 20 or greater. This list includes some outstanding GS sires that meet specific market needs. Most of these sires are A2A2 and some are polled.
These 25 sires range in BV for protein yield from 109 to 140 and BV for fat yield from 103 to 136. They range in udder index from 97 to 122 and in fertility index from 90 to 140.
Notable sires with TMI from 20 to 27 include Meland (11826) who is a polled son of Skjelvan from an Eggtroen (10579) daughter with extremely high production (protein yield = 140, fat yield 136) and high udders (udder depth = 116). Meland daughters will be very high in production but moderate in size with stature BV of 104 and body depth BV of 93. Meland is being used heavily in high production herds in the US already and we expect his popularity to grow.
Kolbu (11872) is another interesting polled sire. He has tremendous daughter fertility (fertility index = 140), good production (production index = 112), small size (stature = 86, body depth = 92) but excellent beef (beef carcass index = 107), easy calving (direct calving ease = 107 based on over 1100 calvings) and he is A2A2. We expect Kolbu to be very popular in grazing herds.
Norwegian Red genetic evaluation system
Genetic evaluations for NR are based on the single step approach to genomic evaluations. This single step methodology uses state-of-the art programs and includes performance data, pedigree data and genetic sequence information simultaneously to produce the most reliable genetic evaluations possible.
Norwegian Red breeding values (BV) on young, genomic selected (GS) bulls have excellent reliabilities but it is still recommended that herds use multiple sires in any given time period to mitigate risk.
The next official genetic evaluations will be available April 2, 2019.