The German Holstein breeding industry is characterized by very versatile breeding programs with different priorities. This is not only reflected in the wide-ranging product that is on offer, but also in the great variety of bloodlines used.
Verein Ostfriesischer Stammviehzüchter eG (VOSt): Proven cow families and high reliability
The open breeding program of VOSt uses the best Holstein breeding worldwide and selects according to its own, independent criteria. Really long lasting and deep cow families are the basis for this successful development in breeding. The main selection area for the breeding program is the European area along the coast of the North Sea, from the Bretagne in France in the South, up to Denmark in the North. Special attention is drawn to the East-Friesian breeding area with its traditional and deep cow families bred over many generations. The aim is to breed long lasting, healthy cows with top conformation. Annually about 45 – 50 Holstein and 2 – 3 Red Holstein bulls are tested.
The VOSt breeding program produced the internationally and successfully used GGI transmitters like Lukas, Black, Bob, Lentini RF, Louvre, Lasso and Derby.
NOG Nord-Ost Genetic GmbH & Co KG (NOG: RBB, RinderAllianz, MAR and RSH)
From July 1st 2012, the partners of the NOG NORD-OST Genetic GmbH & Co KG decided to merge their breeding programs into NOG.
Key points of the agreement are specifically the joint selection of desired genetics, increased application of modern biotechnical methods as well as effective use of top bulls through more intensive exchange of semen and organization of the members’ bull stocks. The entire selection work in the breeding areas of the NOG partners is carried out according to consistent selection criteria the particular breeding organizations. The terms of the contract with local breeders for the support of the execution of biotechnical activities as well as the purchase of bull calves is standardized. The coordination of breeding programs within NOG offers the opportunity to select the best young cattle and cows for mating nationally and internationally. Top-class young cattle with high genomic breeding values can be used intensively for breeding purposes in the biotechnology station in Nückel. Selection work in outside breeding areas is coordinated within NOG and carried out by the sire analysts responsible for all NOG partners.
All young bulls selected for purchase are allocated to the NOG partners, according to demand, and will then be owned by the particular organization. Former NOG bulls are allocated to the NOG partners as well so that NOG will, in future, no longer house bulls. With the selection of all bull calves being from one list, what is purchased, will be better for quality and breeding values as well as pedigree variety.
The semen exchange program, proven over the years, now ensures that the breeders in the NOG area have access to all bulls of the NOG partners: an important requirement for the widespread use of the best genetics. With the above mentioned methods, the NOG partners will improve the efficiency of their breeding work, decrease breeding costs and provide its member farms with a choice of genomic and daughter proven sires of improved quality.
TopQ (Qnetics, RUW: Search for top-class genetics from all over the world
TopQ is the merger of the Rinder-Union West eG (RUW) with the Qnetics GmbH that represents the breeding areas Hesse and Thuringia. TopQ was founded to continuously offer the member farms of the partners, semen from interesting Holstein bulls and Red Holstein bulls of the highest genetic level. The basis for this is a strict breeding program which is one of the biggest programs in the world. Within TopQ, approx. 2,000 Holstein and 1,000 Red Holstein bulls are genomically tested each year. During this process, the entire breadth of internationally available top genetics is used both on the sire’s and the dam’s side. The sire analysts of the TopQ breeding organizations work together on the selection. Due to allocation of Germany and the other most important genetic markets worldwide between the sire analysts, selection efficiency is increased. For the selection of sires of sons, the world’s Holstein population is analyzed intensively and frequently, and a specific selection of sires of sons is made among the best sires of the worldwide Holstein population, taking into account the latest breeding value data. Outstanding bull dams are selected from the worldwide Holstein genetics pool on the female side as well. The selection is carried out using all available state-of-the-art information media on the basis of genomic and conventional breeding value information as well as all production figures to hand. All bull candidates being considered for the insemination breeding program are genomically tested and selected on the basis of their genomic and conventional breeding value. Selection of the worldwide genomic tested young bulls is done continuously based on the total merit index (gRZG) of the German genomic system for breeding value estimation. Bulls chosen have to be at the absolute top of the population and offer good all-round predisposition as well as alternative bloodlines as far as possible. The young bulls purchased are allocated among the TopQ breeding organizations according to defined rules and standards. Internationally popular and proven sires like Mascol, Gibor, Tableau, Elburn RDC and Goldday as well as high genomic young bulls like Lexington, Big Point, Sundance and Label P are the results of this intensive breeding policy.