Barn offices, milking parlors and kitchen tables have long been the settings for good, genetic conversations. Questions like ‘What bull should we use?’ or ‘Have you seen the fresh YODER daughters?’ or ‘The All West guy is coming…what should we buy this time?’ are just part of the lengthy discussions between family members, neighbors and friends. And for some, these genetic chats are quite lengthy and sometimes quite dramatic!
For all those who love this industry, we thought you’d like to hear how some of your All West salesmen/technicians weigh in on the question, ‘Should we buy proven bulls or genomic young sires?’ We also asked our All West team who their favorite bull was to sell this fall. Here’s their contribution to our genetics chat!
“What do I like to sell better? Genomic young sires. For me, I feel it’s accurate enough. If you carefully select the bulls and dig into pedigrees, you can make some excellent breeding choices. I’m beginning to like having some of the early daughters of the bulls in my area, and my customers love seeing bulls graduate with ‘high proof grades’ and they already have daughters in the corrals! Also, I think there are some bulls in the genomic pool that are overlooked and can be very affordable/valuable to the customer. My favorite bull this fall? 7JE1163 IRWIN. I wish I would have battled through the fertility issues and used more. I’ve only got a few going with more in the pipeline, but man they’re good!”
Kevin Lincomfelt, Galt, CA
“I like selling young sires because they are new and exciting, with amazing numbers! My favorite bull this fall has been 7JE1219 OLIVER-P. He fits a lot of herds needing udder improvement, plus he is polled!”
J.R. Fisher, Tillamook, OR
“I personally like proven sires better because there’s just no guess work…you know what you’re getting! Genomics is fun because it’s exciting to see these young bulls and their extremely high genomic numbers. I try to make sure my customers know and understand proofs very well, and also realize that proof numbers can, and will, change. My favorite bull this fall? I have to pick 7HO11314 MOGUL and 7HO11351 SUPERSIRE because of what they do time and time again!”
Don Davis, Hilmar, CA
“I use young sires more than proven sires, but they have to be over 800NM$ and over 100 pounds of combined fat and protein. That’s not to say that I won’t use proven bulls, and in that category, I really like 7HO11525 DONATELLO, 7HO11585 STERLING and 7HO11351 SUPERSIRE. But, of all the bulls (proven and young sires), I’m excited to see the daughters of 7JE1503 RONALDINHO!”
Mike Parreira, Tulare, CA
“I personally like proven sires on Holsteins, and my favorite bull this fall is 7HO11585 STERLING. His daughters are outstanding and I think he would fit in most dairies to make generations of above quality, dairy cattle. For the Jerseys, I tend to prefer young sires. I think with the right criteria on mating and the abundance of genomic information available, there is more to gain to make a better cow!”
Loren Hoekema, Everson, WA
“I could go either way with this question, but I think using proven young sires is pretty exciting. I believe in the reliability of genomics and have personally seen the results in the corrals. Typically, I’ll look at a linear and then the sire of a bull before deciding what to use. I’ve got to make sure they match the criteria of the customers who I’m selecting bulls for. I really like the daughters I’ve seen of 7HO11283 MAYFIELD, and I’m also anxious to see what 7HO12834 SATCHEL will do!”
Jason Gagnon, Cotati, CA
“I like to sell young sires because I like getting top, breed-leading genetics into customer herds as early as possible. It’s always a joy to see a young sire that I’ve been selling a lot of, become a proven superstar…and my customers are already milking daughters! My favorite bull this fall has got to be 100GV6064 BLACK PAT, our All West homozygous black, homozygous polled Gelbvieh bull with extremely high fertility. I’m always rooting for the home-team!”
Kit Watson, Prosser, WA
In reality, the only right choice is the answer that works for YOU! Contact your All West/Select Sires representative and get his/her take on upcoming proofs, what bulls they are moving…and even who their favorites are. It’s a pretty interesting discussion!