Bull Update – 10 December 2021


The top Holstein Friesian bulls from the latest NZAEL Run.

On the December 10, 2021 NZ Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL) launched the latest round of enhancement to the state-of-the-art genetic evaluation system, collectively referred to as NZAEL 3.0.

The enhancements, which have been internationally peer-reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), include new data filters and model updates based on research findings and farmer feedback. This follows significant investment in the development of the software and systems used in the evaluation.

Under these enhancements, breeders can expect to see milk protein and fat increase by nearly $1/kg, or 22%.

A new Functional Survival breeding value replaces the previous Residual Survival and Longevity breeding values, better accounting for a cow’s ability to survive in the herd across different stages of life, and a new TOP value, teat length, is now available for breeders to use.

Finally, the CR42 (% calving within 42 days from planned start of calving) fertility trait used has been updated to better use data representing the timing of calving. It penalises cows with poor fertility, including those that fail to calve, but among those that calve it rewards cows which calve earlier in the season, whilst penalising those that calve later.

The release of the updated Economic Values (EV) used to construct Breeding Worth (BW) index also coincided with the NZAEL 3.0 launch.

The BW values for the most recent cohort of high-reliability sires, born 2010-2019, will gain $34 on average. This means BW for young offspring of those sires, such as replacement heifers, are also likely to increase after the NZAEL 3.0 launch.

The average sire will see an increase in its BW due to the increases in economic values, but also due to increased dispersion in some of the NZAEL 3.0 breeding values. Some of the poorer bulls will decrease their BW.

Holstein Friesian sires will see an increase in their BW of around $40-$50 on average.

In April 2022 Udder Overall will be introduced into BW, and the next iteration of the evaluation model updated, NZAEL 3.5, will include genomics and will be released in December 2022. Updates on these changes will be provided as they become available.

NZAEL 3.0 Queries

Members can go to the NZAEL website to gain a better understanding of why animals have moved, and for further information on the changes.
If there are individual animals you wish to query, please email You must include an identifier for any animals you are enquiring about, as well as your contact details and preferred contact method and times.

We have received assurance that NZAEL has enhanced its capability to receive and respond to queries in a consistent and timely fashion in order to cope with demand.

Click below to download the top Holstein Friesian bulls for the 10 December 2021 AE Run.

The next update will be available after the 21 January 2022 AE Run.

For enquiries or feedback, please contact Amelia Griffin, HFNZ Field Officer:
 021 411 341 –

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