By Gary W. Rogers
The genetic evaluation models for production traits and somatic cell counts were improved with this April 2022 proof run, however, changes in breeding values (BV) for most key exported NR sires were insignificant.
New genetic evaluation model for production traits and somatic cell counts
The new models for production traits and somatic cell count now include data from the first five lactations. Previously only production and somatic cell count data from lactations one, two, and three were included so the new models include more information from older cows. This change brings the production traits and somatic cell counts in line with the type or exterior traits which were changed to include cows in the first five lactations in 2021. Over the long run, this should help to produce more robust cows with better production.
Recent NR cows and cows in automatic milking systems tend to have more persistent lactations and the new model now addresses this topic. The impact of automatic milking systems in combination with lactation numbers is now considered in the updated models and these changes to the models will improve the accuracy of incomplete lactation records. The improved prediction of incomplete or short records will improve the accuracy of BVs, especially for bulls with many daughters in early lactation.
For some traits, heritabilities were slightly higher with the new models compared to the past. The slight increase in heritabilities will help to improve accuracy and could lead to more genetic progress over time.
Norwegian Red sires available to global markets
Many outstanding Norwegian Red sires are currently available in the global markets and most should have access to genomic selected (GS) sires as well as daughter-proven sires. In recent years, GS sires have become very popular in most markets resulting in the drop of daughter-proven sires from active sales in some markets. It is worth noting that Geno’s local distributors have all the details on which Norwegian Red sires are available in specific locations.
Sales of REDX (Norwegian Red sexed semen) have also grown dramatically in several markets and this trend is expected to continue. Should REDX be interesting to your herd and not available in your market, please check with your local distributor or the sales support team in Geno to get information on future availability. Many Norwegian Red sires are available in REDX at this point.
The following list includes some outstanding NR sires that are available or will be available soon in many markets, with several having REDX available:
Aland-PP (252NR12139) – very good all-around sire, well-balanced trait profile, excellent fat and protein percentages, excellent for heifer matings, unique, and rare profile: PP, A2A2, and BB for kappa casein
Alme (252NR12073) – excellent all-around sire, outstanding daughter yields, outstanding udder health, excellent udders, very good daughter fertility
Barup-PP (252NR12085) – good solids production, outstanding daughter fertility, and health: PP, A2A2
Falkmo (252NR12034) – good solids production and positive percentages, excellent daughter fertility, high mastitis resistance, great udders and feet & legs conformation, excellent for heifer matings. A2A2
Ganes (252NR12164) – High production new bull, good fertility, high mastitis resistance, very good on udder conformation. K casein BB and beta casein A2A2.
Fossesholm-P (252NR12163) – very good all-around sire, very good solids yield, udder health, udder conformation, feet and legs conformation and claw health, Pp, BB for kappa casein
Hagemoen-P (252NR12114) – outstanding milk, fat, and protein yield, very good udder health, udder conformation, small daughters that are outstanding for Feed$aved, Pp, A2A2, AB for kappa casein. High demand - one of the most popular export sires recently
Hauen-PP (252NR12136) – well-balanced trait profile, excellent udder health and daughter fertility, good fat and protein yield and udder conformation and Feed$aved, excellent for heifer matings. PP, A2A2
Langseth (252NR12135) – very good all-around sire, excellent fat and protein yields, very good udders. Daughters have wide chests and deep bodies, A2A2
Lynum (252NR12106) – very good all-around sire, well-balanced trait profile, very good solids yield with very good fat and protein percentages, very good udder health and udder conformation, good for heifer matings
Maurstad-PP (252NR12009) – very good all-around sire, very high component percentages, excellent overall daughter health, very good udder and feet, and legs conformation, very good for heifer matings, PP, A2A2
Oaland-PP (252NR12093) – good all-around sire, well-balanced trait profile, excellent daughter fertility, good udders, good for heifer matings, good for Feed$aved, PP, A2A2
Sausvatn-PP (252NR12116) – excellent solids yield with very high fat and protein percentages, excellent for heifer matings, excellent for Feed$aved, good udder health, daughter fertility and udders, PP, A2A2. Very popular in some markets now
Slettebo-P (252NR11996) – good fat and protein yields with outstanding fat and protein percentages, good udder and feet and legs conformation, Pp, A2A2
Storflor (252NR12027) – outstanding all-around sire, high component percentages, excellent mastitis resistance, excellent udders, very good for heifer matings, A2A2. High demand - one of the most popular export sires recently
Tjelmeland (252NR12044) – very good all-around sire, very high component percentages, excellent daughter health and fertility, high udders, excellent for heifer matings, excellent for Feed$aved, A2A2
Daughter proven sires that are available in some markets
Some herds continue to request daughter-proven sires. Genomic selected sires are younger and very highly selected, so they meet the needs of most dairy herds but some herds like the highly reliable daughter-proven sires.
At Geno, we have some top daughter-proven sires that are available. Here are three top daughter proven sires that are alive and available: Hustad (252NR11817), Ofstad-P (252NR11919), and Roen (252NR11690). In addition, we have limited semen available on a number of excellent daughters proven bulls that are culled.
Producers and distributors should check for updated semen availability on specific daughter-proven bulls that are interesting for key markets.
The next official genetic evaluation will be available on August 9, 2022.