PREHEN Lancaster, the highest ranking Holstein sire ever bred in the UK, has been acquired by Cogent, and is also now available in the latest double-dose-rate sexed semen.

This greatly increases UK producers’ chances of producing heifer calves from the number one UK-brd bull based on profitable lifetime index (£PLI) as published by AHDB Dairy this month and featured in the April 7 issue of The SF.

Selling Lancaster semen as Sexed Ultra4M means each straw of the bull’s semen is packed with 4m female sperm cells. This is achieved with an improved technique which has been proven to increase the chance of a cow conceiving a heifer calf compared with the previous (2M) generation of sexed semen.

Ranked number 11 in the world with a PLI of £754, he offers a balanced breeding pattern including high predicted transmitting abilities (PTA) for milk (620kg), fat (29.5kg) and protein (23.1kg), as well as positive milk quality (+0.06% fat and +0.04% protein).

He will also improve daughter fertility improver (FI+16.9), reduces mastitis and cell counts and scores very well on the two newly launched genetic indexes for calf survival and lameness.

As one of the few leading £PLI sires also to reduce daughter maintenance costs for feed, he is an all-rounder in every respect.

“It’s difficult to know what to highlight about this young Holstein as he’s a genuine case of a bull which has it all,” says Andrew Holliday, genetic product manager for Cogent.

“However, having been to Stuart Smith’s herd in County Londonderry where Lancaster was bred, it is no surprise to see he ticks so many boxes.

“This is a herd which has invested in some of the top cow families in the world and knows how to develop them to work in UK conditions,” continued Mr Holliday.

“Lancaster’s dam, Prehen Shamrock Lady VG, is breeding consistently well and descends from the legendary Laurie Sheik family.

“We are thrilled to add Lancaster to our portfolio where he joins two other international top 20 genomic sires. The number one genomic sire in the world is Mr Rubi-Agronaut, also from Cogent, while NH Sunview Fantastic from our stud also features in the top 20.

“Both bulls’ exceptional qualities have earned them their top 20 positions and Fantastic has the rare quality of transmitting super-low cell counts (-39 SCC index) together with positive milking speed, so will be an asset to any modern dairy herd.”