CRV Ambreed has announced its best graduate bull team in 50 years, including a sire bred by a Dannevirke breeder.

Ruanui Terific DIESEL S3J, bred by Ruanui Jerseys in Dannevirke, is a short-gestation Jersey bull with superior health and efficiency scores, meaning his daughters will typically be healthier, easier to manage, live longer and produce more milk solids per kilogram of feed than the average cow.

Over the past five decades CRV Ambreed has worked with thousands of farmers to breed the type of cow they are proud to have in their herd, and that suit New Zealand's unique farming systems.

A visit to Ruanui Jerseys four years ago led to Diesel being nominated for CRV's progeny test programme as a calf. Once mature, his semen was harvested at CRV's production and logistics centre and distributed to contracted progeny test herds for mating. His daughters were then assessed on their performance in a range of environments, and measured for their production value and traits.

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He's one of 18 bulls to graduate, and his traits make him key to the future success of New Zealand's dairy industry.

CRV breeding programme manager Aaron Parker says breeding for improved health and efficiency works.

"Analysis of herd records show that a sire with an excellence rating on the Better Life Health index will have progeny with lower somatic cell count and higher conception rates.

If they have an excellence rating on the Better Life Efficiency index, they will have progeny producing more milk solids and lasting longer in the herd," he says. CRV product manager Peter van Elzakker says more farmers are looking for genetic solutions.