As autumn calving momentum builds, the new Autumn calving indexes from ADHB Dairy, gain a seasonal significance.

At the top of this ranking is the Danish-bred VH Balisto Brook, the bull which also leads the way for Profitable Lifetime Index and features in the top five for spring calving index (£SCI). With an ACI of £668, Brook is the first of 10 Holsteins to take the top 10 places on this across-breed ranking, designed to pinpoint the sires which transmit economic superiority in a typical autumn block-calving, winter-housed, UK situation.

Brook features milk solids, udder health and has the TB advantage prediction in the top five ranked on £ACI.

Remaining in second position is Teemar Shamrock Alphabet, whose daughter fertility and lifespan are combined with lower maintenance costs than most of his cohorts, to earn him an ACI of £647.

Also with an ACI of £647 is the equal second-ranking, newly proven Siemers Bloomfield. This son of Mr Mogul Delta excels for weight and percentage of fat. He also has the highest Type Merit amongst the top 10 £ACI sires.

Former front-runner, Larcrest Commend, cuts a familiar figure in fourth place (ACI £637) while S-S-I Mogul Multiply remains unchanged in fifth position (ACI £618), daughter fertility and general fitness.

Producers forward-buying for the spring-calving season have a slightly different mix of leading sires and a broader mix of breeds from which to select at the top of the £SCI ranking.

In No 1 position is the British Friesian, Catlane Caleb (£SCI 482), which moves up from third place, transmitting high quality, low volume milk production, low maintenance costs and daughter fertility – all considered key traits in a spring block-calving herd.

Second ranking Lakemead Jingle also features the characteristic fertility of the British Friesian breed alongside the highest TB advantage amongst the top 20 £SCI bulls.

In third place is the lead Jersey in this ranking, Danish VJ Tester (£SCI 471), which brings the high milk quality typical of the breed, with lower volume than his cohorts. Equally typical for the Jersey breed are the low maintenance costs of his daughters, who also feature fertility.

The No 1 £PLI and £ACI sire, VH Balisto Brook does not disappoint when it comes to £SCI, taking fourth place, at £463. This reflects this Holstein bull’s transmission of milk solids with components and udder health.

The top five is rounded off with the higher milk volume Teemar Shamrock Alphabet, which moves up from eighth place as daughters come into production. His SCI is £458.

“Producers are reminded that both the £ACI and £SCI are calculated across all dairy breeds, giving none any favour over another.

“This allows each breed to be compared on a completely level playing field, and helps those cross-breeding to fairly assess the sires most suited to their system.

“As is always the case, I would urge those using any breed on their farms to use UK-equivalent indexes rather than those from any foreign country. Other countries’ indexes are calculated with different economic conditions in play; they don’t always allow across-breed comparison and they cannot be compared in a meaningful way with indexes from the UK," commented Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy.