Alex Arena heifer takes top spot

By Alana Christensen

Toolamba stud Vala Holsteins has made a surprise surge up DataGene’s Australian Breeding Values, securing the top genomic Holstein cow position.

Seven-month-old Vala Quantum Nady-Imp-Et overtook Glomar Holstein’s Glomar Goldwyn Lucky 4319-Et with a BPI of 436.

According to DataGene analysis, the ranking means Vala Quantum Nady-Imp-Et has the potential to add an additional $436 profit annually.

Vala Holsteins livestock and marketing manager Angela Varcoe said the move to number one was a surprise.

‘‘I knew it was pretty high last month but we didn’t expect to be that much ahead,’’ Ms Varcoe said.

‘‘It’s been a long time coming. It’s been something we’ve been trying to do for a while, not just BPI but American TPI and LPI. We only started testing for BPI quite recently.’’

Ms Varcoe said genetics had been a key focus of the stud’s owner Alex Arena, who previously owned Coomboona Dairies.

Holstein Australia genetic services manager Rohan Butler said it was an exciting change.

‘‘Prior to this we had a number one female that held the spot for a really long time,’’ Mr Butler said.

‘‘It’s great to have new blood at the top of the list, especially from a cow family that isn’t widely represented within Australia.’’