by Gary W. Rogers
Genetic improvement in NR continues to perform at a very rapid pace, and genetic progress in the Norwegian Red Total Merit Index (TMI) was 1.5 points since the official August 2020 genetic evaluations, making it the most significant change in TMI for a 4-month time period in Geno history.
Geno uses a rolling base that updates with each proof run. The proofs on NR bulls reflect the improvement that the breed is making. As a result, the bull's breeding values for many of the key traits have moved up by 1 to 3 points since August.
Increased popularity of REDX
The popularity of REDX (NR sexed semen product) has increased dramatically in the last year in many markets. This growth in demand is driven by the great conception results obtained with NR sexed semen. The increase in demand has been met by significant growth in the supply of sexed semen from top sires. New customers are encouraged to check with their local representatives to inquire about the availability of REDX on leading NR sires.
Many NR sires are polled, and Geno has several homozygous polled NR sires available currently. Homozygous polled sires will always produce polled offspring even when mated to horned cows. Customers interested in polled sires should check with their local representative for availability. In addition, most of the NR sires are A2A2 for beta-casein.
Norwegian Red sires can be successfully used in all herd management systems and conditions typically seen in modern dairy herds, and as with any breeding program, sire selection is key.
Top Norwegian Red sires available in many markets
The following list highlights a selection of leading NR sires that have recently become available or will be available in most markets soon. However, all the sires listed below may not be available in all markets.
Alme (252NR12073) – excellent all-around sire, outstanding daughter production, outstanding udder health, excellent udders, very good daughter fertility, A1A2
Brumunddal-PP (252NR12062) – very good all-around sire, outstanding daughter fertility, excellent for heifer matings, PP, A2A2
Eiane (252NR12037) – very good all-around sire, well-balanced trait profile, excellent for heifer matings, A2A2
Halbostad-P (252NR12006) – outstanding for solids production and daughter fertility, very small daughter size, Pp, A2A2
Honerud (252NR12039) – extremely high solids production, A2A2. Honerud is already popular in many high output herds
Ihlingen (252NR12046) – high solids production and high component percentages, excellent udder health and daughter fertility, A2A2
Jo-Onstad-P (252NR12064) -very high solids production, excellent udders, Pp, A2A2 – Jo-Onstad-P will quickly become very popular in many markets
Kaldhagen-P (252NR12072) – very good solids production along with excellent udders, Pp, A2A2
Klopstad (252NR12068) – an outstanding combination of high solids production, small daughter size, and good udders, excellent for heifer matings, A2A2. Klopstad is a must-use sire for high output herds
Maurstad-PP (252NR12009) – very good all-around sire, very high component percentages, excellent overall daughter health, very good for heifer matings, PP, A2A2
Refstie-PP (252NR12056) – good solids production, excellent daughter fertility, PP, A2A2
Steindal-P (252NR11998) – very good all-around sire, very good solids production, high udders with small daughter size, Pp, A1A2
Storflor (252NR12027) - is an outstanding all-around sire, high component percentages, excellent mastitis resistance, excellent udders, and A2A2. Storflor became a very popular sire as soon as he was made available.
Tjelmeland (252NR12044) – excellent all-around sire, very high component percentages, excellent daughter health and fertility, high udders, excellent for heifer matings, A2A2
Onstad-P and Roen – top available daughter proven sires
Onstad-P (252NR11819) has continued to grow in popularity since he became daughter proven. Onstad-P transmits tremendous production along with high fat and protein content. His daughters have outstanding udders and excellent fertility, and therefore are a favorite in many herds and markets.
Roen (252NR11690) has also been acknowledged with an outstanding daughter proven sire and is popular in several markets. Roen is an excellent all-around sire with outstanding daughter production, udder conformation, mastitis resistance, and daughter fertility. Roen is an outstanding calving ease sire, and he is therefore perfect for use on maiden heifers. Roen's daughters tend to be small, which would help dramatically to lower maintenance feed requirements when crossed with Holsteins.
Next genetic evaluations
The next official genetic evaluations will be available on April 6, 2021, and to learn more about Norwegian Red top sires, please contact your local representatives.