Quality at Orrie Cowie sale

ANNUAL SALE: John Dalla holds last year's $6200 annual sale topping Poll Merino ram sold to the Radnor stud on the tray of the sale agents, Elders promotional truck.

ANNUAL SALE: John Dalla holds last year's $6200 annual sale topping Poll Merino ram sold to the Radnor stud on the tray of the sale agents, Elders promotional truck.

Productive and refined bale fillers with ideal wools are certainly prominent at Orrie Cowie Merino and Poll Merino studs at Warooka.

Orrie Cowie is renowned for producing these big, heavy cutting sheep carrying waxy, well nourished, bright, white, stylish and soft handling wools.

They are profit making genetics in all environs, but especially advantageous in challenging higher rainfall, or dusty areas.

At the 2018 Royal Adelaide Show, Orrie Cowie had the heaviest fleece exhibited at 17.9kg.

Principals Heather Dalla and son John report that their 2019 sale team is also living up to the stud's heavy cutting reputation, with cuts over 9kg from only five months wool growth!

This sale team of approximately 120 Poll Merino and Merino rams are all March shorn and have an average bodyweight over 100kg.

John Dalla was asked to join a contingent of Young Wool Producers from Australia in a visit to China by AWI in February, which reinforced his views that the type of sheep Orrie Cowie is producing are just what the market-place needs.

"The Chinese are looking for Merino wool supplies in the middle micron range of 19 to 23, as they are finding the general push to finer wools is making this preferred range less plentiful; so I'm pleased to find they mainly want what we are producing," John Dalla said.

For Heather and John, there is no better endorsement of their genetics than the successes within the flocks of their clients. Producer satisfaction is best indicated by the large number of long-term repeat clients from five states and most SA regions who were active at last year's sale. The sale topped at $6200 and averaged $1966 for 117 Merinos and Poll Merinos, but there were still high-quality rams sold at very affordable rates, thus options for all budgets.

For those wanting an independent assessment of the Orrie Cowie quality, they need to look no further than the stud's recent showing successes at Adelaide, Burra, Canberra and Hay. Amongst these was the Supreme Poll Merino exhibit at the 2019 Canberra GSSM with a 2017 drop son of Monarch 489, currently weighing 168kg. He has many half brothers in this year's sale.

However, the highlight was winning the 2019 Riverina Wool Australian Hogget Ram of the Year at the recent Hay Sheep Show in June with OC 023, a Poll son of Eclipse 310.

"We are extremely proud to have won this award, arguably the most prestigious hogget ram competition in the country," Heather Dalla said.

This ram will also have many half brothers in the sale. Other family lines include sons and grandsons of Trojan and Titan, sons of Casper (half brother to the pair that won at Burra), plus several new sires for genetic diversity.

"With returns in both wool and meat markets at record high levels, producers are being rewarded for their sheep work and it is certainly our aim to support them by breeding early maturing Merinos with high fleece weights," Heather Dalla said.

However, Orrie Cowie is not just about Merinos and the wool side of the industry. They also cater for the prime lamb producers with their impressive White Suffolk and Poll Dorset rams. Formerly under the Redwood prefix, these are now under the same Orrie Cowie prefix.

They will offer 40 of these "meat machines" after their Merino auction. Historically they are very affordable, especially considering today's lamb industry, topping at $1300 and averaging $916 last year.

The Dallas are just as committed to this side of their sheep production. Having started with top genetics from studs including Wheetelande, at the 2018 RAS Elite Sale they went in partnership with the Button family at Minlaton to purchase the Premier White Suffolk stud's supreme all breeds ram for $43,000. His lambs are very promising, while some will be on display at the ram sale.

That 2019 Orrie Cowie sale will be held on-property at Warooka on Wednesday, August 14 at 1pm with Elders as sale agents. Inspections are welcomed and can be made on the morning of the sale, or from 3pm the day before (13th) followed by an evening meal, or at other times by appointment.