Three breeds feature in the top five in the newly published Spring Calving Index (£SCI) rankings, where Jersey sires take three of the top four positions.

In No 1 position is the familiar Danish Jersey, VJ Tester, which offers producers big gains in milk quality, daughter fertility and lifespans, and has an SCI of £477.

Third and fourth positions are also taken up by Jerseys in VJ Voeholt Jern James (SCI £426) and Glamour Boghill Casper (SCI £419), respectively. Casoer transmits a balance of weight and percentages fat and protein in his production proof, alongside thrifty calves.

Taking second place is the Holstein, Progenesis Unicorn (SCI £439) which will boost milk volume and weight of fat and protein while also reducing cell counts.

Level-pegging in fifth place are the British Friesian, Catlane Caleb, excelling for daughter fertility while the Danish Jersey, Danish VJ Tudvad, offers high milk quality and low cell counts. Both have SCIs of £415.

“Dairy producers favour a variety of different breeds for their spring block calving, grazing-based systems, and this £SCI ranking shows numerous breeds could fulfil their requirements, offering a cross-section of traits with which to improve their herds,” says Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy.

The Autumn Calving Index (£ACI) ranking, by contrast, sees more dominance by the Holstein, and little change at the top since the last index run.

Westcoast Guarantee (£ACI 619) retains his No 1 position, ahead of Progenesis Unicorn (£ACI 600) up from third place.

Hoanster Zanzibar (£ACI 595) moves one place down to third while Westcoast Yamaska (£ACI 578) moves up to fourth position.

The only newcomer in the £ACI top five is Stowey Magician (£575), which graduates as a milk quality and daughter fertility improver, also improving lameness and lifespans.