Balisto dominates the genomic top list in August 2015

The Top-10 includes 8 new Holstein bulls. 7 of them are Balisto sons. Right at the top, Cinema remains undefeated. Among the Red Holsteins, there are interesting homozygous polled bulls and Apoll P is by far the best.

Snowman Heaven VG 87 (dam of Cinema, Baltikum, Superman, Chevalier, Blue Snow and Beat)

Toplist Holstein (genomic tested bulls)

Toplist Red Holstein (genomic tested bulls)


After Cinema (s. Chevrolet), who has been at the top with unchanged RZG 167 since December 2014, a real dilemma has emerged: Which of the 13 Balisto sons, in the Top-20 at the moment, is the best and the right one to use? Not to mention the other 23 Balisto sons in the Top-300.

The highest ranking among them is Barcley at No.2 with RZG 165, especially as he is the highest among the half brothers for RZM with 159. It is as a result of his very high components (+0.30 % fat, +0.30 % protein) and, to a lesser extent, milk yield (+1,574 kg). For conformation, he is good with RZE 124 (udder 111, feet and legs 122). However, he can be recommended for milking robot farms (RZRobot 129). Barcley is out of a Canadian Epic and the full sister of the highly daughter proven Dutch bull Hunter (Man-O-Man x Shottle).


Board at No.3 is also new and only one of two newcomers in the Top-20 as a Boss son and an alternative sire to Balisto. For production transmission, he is high with positive components (+1,710 kg milk, RZM 145), but the conformation figures with RZE 137 (udder 127, feet and legs 136) make him interesting as he is the highest here. Moreover, he is one of the highest bulls for RZFit with 148 (RZS 126, RZN 129, RZR 106). Since this proof run, RZFit is calculated and published for genomic bulls too. On the dam’s side, Board has the sire line-up Epic, Niagra, Shottle, O-Man.

With the two high newcomers, the early Balisto son Baltikum was displaced to rank at No.4. The half brother of Cinema (dam: Snowman Heaven VG 87) remains very interesting with RZM 152 and RZE 132, especially for fans of tall cows (143).

New Burano (No.5, Balisto x Mayfield) is the highest in the Top 10 for udder with 139 (feet and legs 113, RZE 136). With +2,129 kg, he is the highest of all 42 Balisto sons for milk yield (+0.01 % protein, RZM 143). Functional traits are all clearly positive, too (RZFit 143). Before his Mayfield- (Domain x Shottle) dam De-Su 2017, there is a Super sister of the highly daughter proven sire Armitage (s. Man-O-Man).

The second new bull not with Balisto in his pedigree is Citizen at No.6. As a Chevrolet son out of the Bookem sister of Cinema, he is a three-quarter brother of the No.1. With not that much milk (“only” +2,192 kg, RZM 145), he is clearly better for conformation (RZE 130), especially for udder (128, feet and legs 118). Citizen has a full brother who is also new, but definitely ranking lower: Chico (No.95, RZM 142, RZE 127). Moreover he has an interesting half brother out of Sargeant at No.81: Samaris (RZM 137, RZE 130, udder 125, feet and legs 125).

Barolo (new at No.7) is the highest for longevity in the Top-10 with RZN 143 (RZM 135, RZE 128). The new full brother Belsan who is also new ranks at No.50 (RZM 137, RZE 122, RZN 133). The dam of these two is KNS Dream Rock (s. Shamrock) and, therefore, the full sister of the daughter proven Man-O-Man son Montari (No.225 daughter proven).

Balu (new at No.8), as many of the Balisto sons, is out of the mating with an Epic daughter. In this case, he is out of a Danish Goldwyn grand dam. Balu excels with complete balance (RZM 146, RZE 128, udder 125, feet and legs 120, RZS 134, RZN 127) and lots of milk (+1,788 kg) with positive protein (+0.12 %) as well as RZFit 141 and RZRobot 131. Moreover, he can be recommended for use on heifers with RZKd 118.

Beatstick, one of the early Balisto sons, is at No.9, with unchanged RZG 161 (RZM 140, RZE 131). He now gets company from his new Anton half brother Aquila at No.117 in the top list (dam: Gold Chip x Billion) who is even higher for conformation with RZE 133, especially for udder with 129 (feet and legs 121). Both brothers are sires for trouble-free cows with the same RZFit 146.

The last new Balisto son in the Top-10 is Basement (No.10). He is out of Snowman x Super and has balanced scores at a high level (RZM 144, +0.10 % fat, +0.18 % protein, RZE 127, udder 122, feet and legs 123). He has strengths for all functional traits (RZFit 144, RZRobot 131) as well as direct calving ease (RZKd 113) and daughter calving ease (RZKm 116).


76 more newcomers

The top list further includes 17 other new Balisto sons. 9 of them rank between 11 and 30. As the Balisto sons all show very high fitness values as well as high production and excellent conformation, the differences are small and the choice of the most interesting ones is difficult. This dilemma also brings up questions about the strategy within the breeding programs. Do we really need another son X by sire of sons Y – should we ignore bulls with an alternative bloodline and just a few points less in the total merit index?

Balboa at No.14 is a special Baliston son (RZE 121, udder 120, feet and legs 114) due to very high components (+0.54 % fat, +0.31 % protein) with +1,290 kg milk (RZM 156). The Danish dam was interestingly raised with Denim x Niagra x Roumare.

Bailando (No.15) and Boston (No.135) are very closely related to Balisto, out of Numero Uno sisters of, amongst others, the frequently used Lexor sons Lobach, Lennon or Leno and Lexington. They are a good example of the fact that the ranking within the top list only finitely reveals something about the overall quality of breeding. Both have a similar overall conformation with RZE 130 and 133 respectively and exactly the same udder breeding value (127) whereas Boston is higher for feet and legs with 127 than Bailando with 122. For RZS, Bailando clearly wins (133 compared to 109), but Boston has very convincing direct calving breeding values (RZKd 118) like his daughters (RZKm 120). Both RZFit 145 and RZRobot 129 and 131 respectively make the decision between these two not that easy. So they are both a good choice despite a difference of 120 places.

Batista (No.45) does not have any weakness in any of his single breeding values: RZM 133, RZE 133 (udder 130, feet and legs 126), RZS 125, RZN 135, RZFit 145 and RZRobot 136 stand for absolute balance at the highest level. His somewhat older full brother, Bartoli (dam: Hunter x Bolton) at No.23 has very similar breeding values.

The dam of Barey (No.99) is one of the few German Robust daughters. She was imported as an embryo out of an American dam. His hallmark is very highly pre-estimated longevity with RZN 139 (RZM 129, RZE 132, udder 130, feet and legs 121).


Other sires

Epic’s influence is getting bigger and bigger. He is not only one of the most common dam’s sires of bulls in the Top-300 (18x) – Snowman (32x), Man-O-Man (25x) and Bookem (23x) are even more common –, but also has more influence via his sons Anton and Album (both are out of Man-O-Man).

Among the 13 Anton sons, 9 of them are new. Azur, new at No.30, ranks the highest. His dam is a Shamrock sister of the new, current No.1 of the daughter proven bulls Suran. Azur transmits lots of milk (+1,919 kg, RZM 138) with rock-solid other figures (RZE 129, udder 127, feet and legs 120, RZFit 143).

Adamo (No.107, RZM 133) has a somewhat different maternal pedigree with Jackson (Jeeves x Bolton) and Xacobeo (RZE 124, udder 120, feet and legs 124).

Argus (No.126, DS: Bookem, RZM 136) and Artist (No.274, DS: Gold Chip, RZM 127) are new Anton sons with high RZE 135 and 136 respectively. Argus especially shows a fantastic linear and can be recommended for use on heifers (RZKd 116, RZKm 118).

Among the first 5 Album sons, Altona, out of the Barbie family, at No.79 is the highest (DS: Shamrock). In particular, his conformation breeding values (RZE 136, udder 124, feet and legs 134) and longevity (RZN 140) are eye catching, resulting in 11th place on the RZFit (150) top list.

Albatros (No.98, RZM 129, RZE 134) descends from an early Snowflake daughter that contributed to his strong debut for conformation at No.21 of the daughter proven bulls.

Assist (No.277) has the highest RZE of all the Album sons with 139 (udder 138, feet and legs 126), but is not a production sire with +564 kg milk (+0.36 % fat, +0.16 % protein, RZM 125).


The first two sons of Rocky (Shamrock x Goli) are Rocky (No.55, DS: Bookem) and Rodeo (No.75, DS: Hunter). Rocky is very high for longevity (RZN 140) with RZM 133 and RZE 124 (udder 130, feet and legs 116). Rodeo has similar production values (RZM 134) and overall conformation (RZE 127) and is more balanced in the linear (udder 120, feet and legs 126).

New Dallas at No.65 is the highest conformation sire in the Top-300 with RZE 147. He is an early Defender (Mogul x Man-O-Man) and maternal half brother of the previously mentioned Argus (DS: Bookem). In addition to a fantastic linear, Dallas offers very good milkability (RZD 125) with positive udder health (RZS 119). With +1,159 kg milk, +0.16 % fat and +0.11 % protein, Dallas should also have sufficient production (RZM 134).With the same RZG 154, the late Chevrolet son, Cornwall, at No.67 is just two places lower than him (RZM 124). Among a total of 14 Chevrolet sons, he is by far the highest conformation bull (RZE 141, udder 136, feet and legs 131), above Citizen (No.6) who is also new with RZE 130. The dam’s line with the sire line-up Numero Uno, Atwood and Shottle may be the reason for this. With RZFit 150 (RZN 139, RZR 121, RZS 122), Cornwall is also one of the highest bulls for fitness.


Outside the Top-100, these bulls are worth a second glance: Cashpoint (No.180, Cashcoin x Grafeeti, RZM 130, RZE 128, udder 137), Goliath (No.210, Giant x Edison, RZM 120, RZE 135, udder 132, feet and legs 132), Ladino (No.244, Loren x Man-O-Man, RZM 130, RZE 134, udder 134, feet and legs 120) and Dragster (No.255, Doorman x Billion, RZM 126, RZE 137, udder 136, feet and legs 116).

Button RDC (new at No.174) is interesting both for Black & White and Red & White. The Big Point son is red carrier because of his Hill dam whose dam is a sister of, amongst others, bulls like Perfect Aiko, Applejax or Amor Red. These all-round bulls are characterized by good production transmission with balanced components (RZM 134), more than just solid conformation (RZE 125, udder 123, feet and legs 125) as well as milkability RZD 114.

The breeding value level of the genomic bulls is so high and bulls are so faultless – through extremely strict pre-selection out of more than 10,000 promising candidates per year – that it is not surprising that the percentage of inseminations using young genomic sires keeps increasing in Germany.

Red Holstein

The number of new Red Holstein bulls is limited – especially at the top – but the most interesting news come from the polled bulls.

Apoll P (Aikman x Lawn Boy) is lonely at the top with RZG 161, a lead of 5 points (RZM 153, RZE 125, RZS 121, RZN 124, RZR 97).

Apoll P

Action (No.2) and Fireman (No.3) switch places. Like Apoll P, Action is an Aikman son too. They could not be more different for production transmission. While Apoll P is the highest sire for milk yield in the top list with +2,725 kg, Action “only” has milk yield +786 kg, but extreme components (+0.63 % fat, +0.44 % protein). Within RZE 118, Action shows a balanced positive linear with no extremes (udder 115, feet and legs 118).

Fageno son Fireman is the strongest for conformation of the top trio with RZE 126 (udder 118, feet and legs 123). Production values are nicely balanced with +2,234 kg milk and +0.03 % fat as well as -0.06 % protein (RZM 147).

He is followed by the highest newcomer at No.4, Brekan. He is one of two early Brekem (Bookem x Man-O-Man) sons out of a Destry x Ralstorm dam. With RZE 140, he is in the Top-5 for conformation in the top list (udder 130, feet and legs 132). He is No.1 for RZFit (151) which was calculated for genomic bulls for the first time (RZS 127, RZN 125, RZR 118, RZKm 117).


Effort (Ellmau x Snowman), because of the newcomer, is now at No.5 (RZM 134, RZE 133, udder 129, feet and legs 129). He is also in the Top-10 of bulls suitable for milking robots with RZRobot 132.

Defago Red (No.6, Fageno x Destry) is an all-rounder (RZM 140, RZE 129, udder 122, feet and legs 120) with clearly above average milkability RZD 115.

Three Perfect Aiko sons follow to complete the Top 10. Red Power (No.7, DS: Fidji, RZE 123) is the strongest for components (+0.69 % fat, +0.27 % protein, RZM 135) even though Perfection (No.10, DS: Selayo), is only just behind him with +0.51 % fat and +0.17 % protein (RZM 137). Payback (No.8, DS: Snowman), in contrast, gets his RZM 142 through milk yield (+1,992 kg) with neutral transmission for components. All of them have good overall conformation, especially good feet & legs and excellent udders: Red Power (RZE 123, udder 123, feet and legs 121), Perfection (RZE 129, udder 130, feet and legs 122) and Payback (RZE 135, udder 135, feet and legs 121).

In between at No.9 is the second newcomer in the Top-10, Francis. The Fageno son was born in Denmark out of the Destry daughter Mariella VG 89 – imported from Germany – out of the Dutch Massia family. The re-import should pay back with RZM 129, RZE 133, RZFit 149 and RZRobot 128.


The new Go Now RF son Go West (No.20) is out of a newly discovered cow family. The sire line-up on the dam’s side is Detroit x Malvoy x Gibor. So it is question of milkability which is positive, though with RZD 106. For production (RZM 134) and conformation (RZE 130, udder 121, feet and legs 126), there is nothing to complain about, neither for fitness (137) or suitability for milking robots (132).

Symplex (new at No.36) is even higher for conformation with RZE 135 and udder 128, as well as feet and legs 132. His dam Numero Uno Silky is a sister of Dixn Red (No.59, DS: Destry).

Barracuda, new at No.69, can be used widely (RZM 128, RZE 123, udder 120, feet and legs 119), as a Brekem son out of Acme RF and Baxter with RZFit 134 and RZRobot 124.


Homozygous polled

Very interesting news comes from polled breeding. For the first time, two homozygous polled bulls make it to the top list, Karat PP and Laser PP. Karat PP ranks at No.23 in the Top-25. He was born in Italy and is Kanu P out of Laron P and Ralstorm. With RZM 129 and positive components as well as RZE 128 (udder 120, feet and legs 135) and RZFit 137, you do not have to compromise to get 100 % of calves born polled.

The conformation level of Laser PP (No.61) is actually higher with RZE 136 (udder 115, feet and legs 138). In particular, you can expect tall animals with lots of capacity from him. The Label P son out of a Ladd P sister of Kanu P (grand dam’s sire Snowman), is also not bad with RZM 126 and almost 1,000 kg milk, too.

Lester P (No.31) and Cobain P (No.39) complete the category of heterozygous polled bulls. Lester P (Label P x Destry) with RZM 131 is stronger for feet and legs with 128 (RZE 125, udder 112), while Cobain P (Chipper x Snowman) is strong for udder with 129 (RZE 128, feet and legs 115). With +1,813 kg, you can expect lots of milk from Cobain P (RZM 132).