A new across-breed Spring Calving Index (£SCI) and three different sires to include a Holstein, Friesian and Jersey, all vying for the top position, could make future breeding decisions more problematic.

Although Holsteins dominate the ranking taking five of the top 10 placings, the Jersey breed, which is significantly smaller in numbers, puts in a creditable performance, securing a further four of lead 10.

New No 1 £SCI bull is the Holstein, Stantons Most Wanted, which has moved up from ninth position by transmitting plenty of high fat milk together with low cell counts and great daughter fertility – the best in the top 10. His £SCI is £480.

Second-ranked is the British Friesian, Catlane Caleb which has been a long-standing feature of the £SCI rankings, bringing the high daughter fertility for which the breed is renowned. His SCI is £475.

The Jersey, Danish VJ Tester has also been a regular fixture and now has an SCI of £472 while the Holstein, S-S-I Mogul Multiply ranks fourth (SCI £464).

The Holstein, Teemar Shamrock Alphabet – the best daughter lifespan improver in the top 10 – holds on to fifth position with an SCI of £458.

A run of three Danish Jerseys – Danish VJ Tudvad, Danish VJ Zolt and VJ Juris have SCIs of £454, £435 and £433 respectively, taking sixth to eighth position. Tudvad features high milk quality and low cell counts, Zolt is notable for low maintenance costs and high daughter fertility, while Juris is a good allrounder.

Two Holsteins, Bellemont Perks and Hoanster Zanzibar, complete the top 10, each offering high weights of fat and protein and SCIs of £418 and £417 respectively.

In contrast, those who have based their breeding policy on the Holstein in autumn block-calving herds will be reassured to see that no other breed comes close to their performance on the traits of most importance to their herds.

The emphasis on higher weights of fat plus protein and indoor winter feeding as part of the Autumn Calving Index (£ACI), while maintaining strong fertility and fitness, sees Teemar Shamrock Alphabet move up to take the lead (ACI £641) ahead of Stantons Most Wanted (ACI £633).

Third-ranking View-Home Littlerock cements the gains he made in the Holstein breed £PLI ranking (ACI £627), while in fourth position, Siemers Bloomfield (ACI £623) transmits the highest fat production and daughter type in the top 10.

In fifth is S-S-I Mogul Multiply with an ACI of £621.

Commenting on the figures, Marco Winters, head of animals genetics for AHDB Dairy said: “Both of these lists are across-breed rankings representing the bulls which rise to the top when all breeds are thrown into the mix and compared on a level playing field.

“It is little surprise to see the Holsteins dominate the autumn block-calving ranking, but three dairy breeds feature high on the ranking for £SCI, each meeting spring block calvers’ demands in different ways.

“I would urge producers with block calving systems, especially those considering cross-breeding, to use this UK ranking, which is the only one with which they can compare different breeds on the same genetic base and therefore in the same list.”