Young bulls mixing it with the best, as genomics proves it worth

Key facts:

  • This ABV release is sees many bulls moving from genomic to proven status.
  • Young dairy bulls are living up to their genomic potential – proving the science not only works – it’s delivering early genetic benefits to farmers.
  • Farmers can be confident to use genomic bulls in their breeding programs.

This month’s (December2021) DataGene Australian Breeding Values (ABV) release is proof of the reliability of genomics.

Bulls across many breeds have graduated from the genomic ABV rankings across to become proven sires and developed just as their genomics predicted.

DataGene Stakeholder Relations Specialist Peter Thurn said over time there’s been a lot more stability in the breeding values of bulls as they transition from genomic to proven status but warned the ride could be bumpy in the early stages.

“There are a number of factors in play when a bull’s daughters start lactating that can affect the bull’s breeding value,” he said.

“Sometimes the incorporation of overseas performance data via Interbull can move a bulls proof.”

“But what we are seeing over time is an increase in stability as the volume of data increases.”

This is good news for farmers as it is further proof of the reliability of genomics, providing them with the reassurance of knowing young sires selected from the Good Bulls Guide will improve the genetic merit of their herd.

DairyBio research has demonstrated that genetics contributes to about a third of on-farm productivity gains, with these gains permanent and cumulative.

Last financial year nearly 1 million doses of genomic semen was sold to Australian dairy farmers, representing 57 per cent of the dairy semen market. Four years ago, genomic semen made up 41 per cent of this market.

This month’s ABV release had many examples of stability in bull rankings.

“In the Holstein breed we see bulls like JERONIMO, PERSEUS and FEDORA settling down with the high daughter proven ratings reflecting their earlier genomic ratings,” Mr Thurn said.

“Other examples are the young Jersey sires from Con and Michelle Glennen’s White Star herd, DOUGGAN, DOBSON and PUBLICAN. Some are still on the genomic list while others are recently proven, and they are all adding daughters and continuing to mix it with the best Jersey sires available. Especially DOUGGAN who leads the Jersey BPI list.” 

“We need to remind ourselves that in this high paced genomic era, bulls get overtaken by new bulls quickly and we need to look at the ABVs not the ranking to truly appreciate the stability of the system.”

For more information contact: DataGene 1800 841 848 or or


DataGene is an initiative of Dairy Australia and the herd improvement industry.