With its history steeped in agriculture, Yorke Peninsula has come a long way since pastoral development began in 1846.
Leases were first given in 1851 and had a term of just 14 years. This was enough to give squatters security, and rent was set at just 10 shillings a square mile!
A successful wheat crop grown at Green Plains near Kadina in 1860, saw the growth of agriculture. In 1876, the ingenuity of early settlers helped ease the laborious, backbreaking work of clearing mallee stumps with the invention of the Stump Jump Plough. By 1884, 180,000 acres were planted and reaped and cropping became a viable business.
The rich limestone soils and growth in agricultural knowledge from clearing the land to sowing seeds, produced bumper crops and the Yorke Peninsula soon became known as the 'Barley Capital of the World'!
Today you will find a little part of Yorke Peninsula in most glasses of Aussie beer, as this is one of the richest wheat and barley regions in the world.
Stump Jump Plough
Invented by R.B and Clarence Smith, this invention helped revolutionise the task of reducing the despised mallee scrub. This South Australian icon made cropping viable and the factory which now houses the Ardrossan Museum, was the most up-to-date factory in the Southern Hemisphere until 1907.
To find out more, why not put yourself in the shoes of a farming pioneer at one of the many museums throughout Yorke Peninsula?
A visit will help provide an insight into the region’s pioneering families and the impact their farming practices had on modern Australian agriculture.