2016 has seen the Jersey programme at LIC consolidate into a very desirable, steady state.
In the first October Animal Evaluation run this year LIC bulls held 9 of the top 10 positions on the Ranking of Active Sires list, the first time this statistic has been achieved since January 2003.
Today with the minor shuffling that occurs between runs, that stat stands at 8/10, and a wider view sees LIC holding 13 of the top-15 bulls.
Standing back to take a look over the Jersey job as a whole with the resurgence at LIC, Jersey has regained some much needed credibility on the All Breeds RAS list.
The breed now hovers between 10 and 11 of the top 30, a very solid showing (33-37%) for a breed that represents 10.4% of the national herd.
This presence is a far cry from the tricky position the breed found itself in not too long ago, with just one Jersey bull in the top 30 on the All Breeds RAS list.
Another highlight for 2016 was the creation of a partnership between LIC and Jersey NZ, Jersey Future, which will see a further eight young bulls proven each year, and illustrates the commitment LIC has to this parent breed.
The selection of the first Jersey Future intake will occur in November and the quality on offer is set to ensure this exciting partnership gets off to an exceptionally strong start.
The 2016 Daughter Proven Premier Sires team makes for an outstanding, cost effective mating option.
The eight bulls that make up the flagship brand with so much history are a very fine group. With a team weighted BW of 186, this delivery of genetic merit can best be measured by the fact that the highest BW of a living Jersey bull enrolled by an outfit other than LIC is 4 BW shy at 182.
With a team Liveweight BV average of -45 and Stature BV of -0.86 (both notably on the desired side of breed average), a Capacity BV of 0.42, a Body Condition Score BV of 0.16 and desirable Fat plus Protein values, this is the team that is screaming out “LIC Jersey is back!”
In team situations folk always tend to look towards the top end. A glance in that direction reveals arguably one of the most efficient converters of any breed to have been sire proven for a good number of years. 11 for Protein and 34 for Fat resulting in a horsepower contribution of 45 is ridiculously productive from a Liveweight BV of -69. Again I ask the question: Is this the most efficient bull marketed in recent history?
Look to the other end of the team: Dynamo, Speedway and Brahms. As I have said very recently, if you finished up with a third of your replacements born in 2017 by these three bulls you would not be one bit disappointed. I have seen a truckload of daughters of all three and I am impressed.
Bells Conrad deserves a special mention. Over the last couple of months we have witnessed significant movement from this guy. He had 93 daughters in the sire proving proof that he received last year. For the 2016-17 season just one further daughter has been added. Therefore any early season movement this year is on the back of significant daughter performance as 3 year olds. The magnitude of his gains is immense: Since the AE run of the 18th July he has shifted up by 30 BW points! The positive gains are consistent and one could predict he has not finished yet. I like the look of this guy; every farmer enjoys a quality 2 year old that hits the ground running at 3 years old and continues from strength to strength. This defines the cut of Conrad daughters. I salute his breeders Graham and Glenys Bell of Te Aroha. In Conrad you have bred this ‘big mover’.
For me personally, after nearing five years with the Jersey responsibility, it is a pleasure to take a moment to take stock. Running the rule over the boys that make up the current Daughter Proven team is a real pleasure.
Article written for the Spring 2016 edition of the Bulletin.