List of Operational Centres

Operational Centres of the Department of Agriculture in South Australia

Source: Governmental records including Annual reports of the Department of Agriculture of SA and Parliamentary Papers of SA as well a personal communications.

Location Start year End year Type of centreFunctionNotes
Adelaide 1902 ongoing Head office After 1902 various city locations including the Education Building; in 1950 first autonomous head office established Simpson's Building 133 Gawler Place, Adelaide, renamed Agricultural Building; in 1974 relocated AMP Building 25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide. Subsequently Department has used a number of different offices for housing separate divisions.
Adelaide IMVS 1910 ongoing Research & Diagnostic Commenced operations as the SA Government Laboratory of Pathology and Bacteriology and rebranded as the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in 1935. In 1982 the Veterinary Division was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, but remained colocated in Frome Road, and subsequently renamed VetLab. Staff moved to the Glenside Offices in 1993. The South East Regional Veterinary Laboratories were established at Struan in response to the BTEC program.  In 1994 veterinary diagnostic services were outsourced to a private contractor.
Angaston 1910 closed Office Adviser/inspector of orchards for the Barossa region; operated from home. Date of closure unknown
Balaklava  1959 1964 Office Agricultural Adviser for the Lower North region. Office closed and moved to Kadina.
Berri 1911 1968 Research Berri Experimental Orchard was established in May 1911 for investigations into the culture and irrigation of fruit, vegetable and new crops in the Riverland region. During its first 6 years, Berri Experimental Orchard was administered by the Dept of Irrigation and Reclamation Works.The Dept of Agriculture commenced management of this facility in 1917. Berri Experimental Orchard was closed in 1968 with transfer of activities to Loxton Research Centre.
Berri 1914 1990 Office Berri District Office housed a range of advisory and support staff serving irrigation industries across the Berri, Barmera and other Upper Murray districts. An Inspector of Fruit was appointed in 1914. The first dedicated horticultural adviser was appointed in 1927. Between 1914 and 1966, support staff operated from the house provided for them, travelling out to visit most growers on their properties. In 1966 a formal office was established in the town of Berri. It was closed in 1990 with services being transferred to the Loxton Office.
Blackwood 1908 c.1970 Research Blackwood Experimental Orchard was a research orchard for pome and stone fruit culture of the fruit growing areas of the Adelaide Hills; fruit storage and virus investigations of pome fruits and cherries; tomato and potato breeding.  
Booborowie 1912 1933 Research Booborowie Experimental Farm was one of five key research centres operated by the Department in the early 1900s.  It undertook extensive work on crop, pasture and livestock research.  For a short period of time it was a training farm for disadvantaged boys, however did not operate for very many years.  
Cape Borda KI C1980 1986 Research Leased property on the western end of the Island,near Cape Border, for a major industry funded sheep research project.  
Carrieton 1909 closed Research Dry land farming trials to test viability of farming in low rainfall areas. Date of closure unknown, however unlikely to be operational for more than a couple of years. This was one of a network of "demonstration sites" across the state and was not considered as one of the five major centres at that time.
Ceduna 1958 ongoing Inspection Ceduna inspection facility is located on Highway 1 approximately 1km west of Ceduna. It is an inspection depot established to prevent entry of fruit fly and other plant pests into South Australia.  It also undertakes inspection of livestock and farm machinery coming from WA. A temporary roadblock was established on the bridge at Port Augusta in 1957. This roadblock was transferred to Ceduna in 1958. To improve traffic control, the Ceduna facility was re-sited 1 km west of the town in 1971. Boom gates were installed in 1987.
Ceduna 1929 1975 Office Agricultural adviser and stock inspector. Services provided from Minnipa Agricultural Centre and Pt Lincoln.
Cherry Gardens 1910 closed Office Resident inspector of orchards; advisory and regulatory service for the Adelaide Hills; operated from a home office. Date of closure unknown
Clare c. 1960 ongoing Office The office was originally served by a dairy field officer but later became a regional office for the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula. SARDI relocated a field crop evaluation unit to Clare around 1990.  
Cleve 1956 2010 Office Advisory and regulatory functions; dealt with soil erosion, agronomy and animal health advice.  

Sims Farm article (pdf 501.6 KB)

The Sims’ Farm Bequest
c. 1960 1980 Research A bequeathed estate (Sim's Farm) used for investigations into soil erosion and pastures; the Department later (1980) transferred property to the Education Department.  
Cockburn & Oodla-Wirra 1960
Ongoing   See details under Oodla-Wirra below  
Coonawarra 1910 closed Office Resident inspector of orchards; advisory and regulatory; operated from home. Date of closure unknown
Dawson 1909 closed Research Dry land farming trials to test viability of farming in low rainfall areas. Date of closure unknown, however likely to have been around 1905.
Echunga 1956 1985 Office Animal health adviser; advisory and regulatory duties.  
Flaxley 1985 2010 Research Dairy husbandry and technology; Northfield Dairy Research Centre dairy activities transferred to Flaxleyin 1985; served as the Adelaide Hills office after 1990s. Focus on pasture improvement and utiisation, soil nutrition and water pollution and a bioscience activity.
Flinders Chase 1944 1960 Research Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island Ligurian bee project; the Department conducted a Ligurian bee farm for the purpose of supplying pure bred queen bees to apiarists.  
Gepps Cross 1913 1999 Inspection Office situated at metropolitan sale yards; regulatory duties and identification and prevention of stock diseases.  
Glenside c.1990 ongoing Head office Livestock and animal health branch headquarters and veterinary laboratories. The Fruit Fly Inspectors were transferred from Prospect in 2011. Part of Biosecurity SA, division within PIRSA, 33 Flemington St. Glenside.
Glenside 1948 1980 Inspection Operation centre for fruit fly outbreaks; equipment stores. Located at water tower near the corner of Greenhill Rd and Conyngham St Glenside.
Hackney 1908 c.1927 Research See Blackwood Experimental Orchard for details. Was primarily a repository of genetic material from which cuttings were propagated for commercial use. Now part of the Botanical Gardens.  Around 1927 the 4 acre area was transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the Municipal Tramways Trust.
Hammond 1909 closed Research Dry land farming trials; testing viability of farming in low rainfall areas. Date of closure unknown, however this was not considered to be a significant research facility.  Is likely to have been closed shortly after establishment.
Hart 1982 ongoing Research Private demonstration site for dryland cereal production. Supported by the Department of Agriculture and CSIRO technical staff.
Jamestown 1928 ongoing Office Dairy; soil conservation; agronomy; advisory centre. Base for Oodla-Wirra roadblock staff.  
Kadina 1963 ongoing Office Advisory centre; agronomy; livestock; inspection.  
Kapunda 1953 1960 Office A shop front office was established in Kapunda to support soils officers and advisers serving the grains, dairy and livestock industries serving the Lower North. Kapunda Office was closed in 1960 and staff transferred to the Nuriootpa District Office.
Keith 1950 2010 Office Advisory centre; agronomy; livestock; stock inspection.  
Kingscote c.1970 ongoing Office Regulatory and advisory functions; livestock; pastures; fisheries officer.  
Kybybolite 1905 ongoing Research Research into soil fertility studies, cereal variety trials, testing of new pastures, sheep stocking trials, prime lamb research and dairy; an experimental orchard operated from 1908-1930; remains as an outstation of Struan. Research staff transferred to Struan 1996. Farm managed from Struan.
Lameroo c.1940 2004 Office Advisory; agronomy.  
Lenswood 1964 2015 Research and office Main research facility for Adelaide Hills pome fruit, cherry and potato industries. A landcare program for high rainfall areas operated from the late 1980’s. An expanded regional office, laboratory and conference complex was opened on 27th March 1992. This Centre was decommissioned in 2015 and sold in 2017.
Lock 1989 1996 Office Eyre Peninsula Rural Adjustment Plan; agronomy advice.  
Loxton 1908 1913 Research 600 acres of crown reserve on banks of River Murray, west of Loxton; set aside as a research farm for dry land cereals.  
Loxton (Veitch) 1908 1930 Research Grain experiments and dry land farm demonstrations. The centre was also known as Veitch's Well. See also Loxton documentation.
Loxton (town office) 1968 1995 Office Advisory and regulatory functions; agronomy; horticulture; soil erosion; subsequent to regionalisation the office became a regional headquarters for the Murray Lands. Remaining staff were moved to the Research Centre.
Loxton 1960 ongoing Research Established to investigate practices and problems associated with irrigated fruit and vine production; from early 1970’s new emphasis on irrigation practices and subsequently base for the Irrigated Crop Management Service; became a regional office when advisory and regulatory functions were transferred to this location when the Loxton town office was closed in 1995. Major upgrades in 1981 and 2016.
Milang 1953 1969 Research Used both as a demonstration and research Centre; demonstrated irrigation potential in the Murray Lakes district; pasture species and management.  
Mile End c.1910 c.1980 Inspection Inspection point for commercial consignments of fruit and plants transported to and from South Australia; fumigation chambers; railway goods yards. Located in railway goods yard.
Millicent unknown unknown Office Dairy; fisheries officer.  
Millicent 1880 unknown Research The South East (Millicent) Experimental Farm was established in 1880, prior to the establishment of the Department of Agriculture. It was primarily looking at the feasibility of the area for forestry and agriculture. There is no mention of this Farm in early Annual Reports of the Department so it is likely to have been closed shortly after it was opened.
Minburra 1911 1913 Research Dry land farming trials to test viability of farming in low rainfall areas; specifically testing utility under extreme conditions. Was decided very early that this region of the state was not suitable for crop production.
Minnipa 1915 ongoing Research Originally called Eyre Peninsula Experimental Farm; investigations of agricultural and livestock problems of the Central and Western Eyre Peninsula; long term trials designed to measure effects of Medics and superphosphate on cereal yields. It is noted that from 1931 to 1932 the farm was carried on under a share farming agreement in which the share farm utilized the Department plant etc.; agreement concluded in 1940 and the farm was carried on by an overseer until the Department in 1946 appointed Mr. H.R. Day as manager of the farm.
Mt Barker c.1980 1993 Office Advisory and regulatory duties for agronomy, livestock and soil conservation. Was the district headquarters for the Department. The office was initially located in the Old Primary School at 40 Adelaide Rd Mt Barker. After approx. 2 years it was transferred to 38 Wellington Rd Mt Barker. Staff transferred to Flaxley or the catchment management centre in 1993.
Mt Barker unknown ongoing Office Cooperative amalgamation of government agencies relating to water conservation and land use issues in the Mount Lofty Ranges.  
Mt Gambier 1929 ongoing Office Advisory and regulatory services; dairy; animal health; horticulture; soil management; agronomy. Fisheries inspection staff also based here.
Mt Remarkable 1916 1921 Training Established as a training farm in dry land practices solely for returned soldiers from WW1. The farm was closed in 1921 and was ultimately subdivided into small holdings.
Murray Bridge 1905 1911 Research Reclaimed swamp; research into establishing pastures after flood.  
Murray Bridge 1929 ongoing Office Advisory and regulatory duties; dairy; poultry; agronomy; horticulture; animal health; soils; pigs.  
Mypolonga c.1910 closed Office Horticulture; inspector of fruit; additional duties such as an inspector and valuer for Lands and Survey Department. Date of closure unknown
Naracoorte c.1950 1973 Office Advisory and regulatory duties; animal health including foot rot eradication; animal husbandry; dairy; cereal crops; pastures; seed production. Office moved to Struan House.
Neeta 1911 closed Office Horticulture; appointment of an inspector of fruit; additional duties such as an inspector and valuer for Lands and Survey Department. Date of closure unknown.
Netherby 1935 1953 Research Centre for the demonstration of production of fruit major crops; commonly but wrongly called Fullarton Orchard. Now part of Urrbrae Agricultural High School/TAFE
Northfield 1961 c.1990 Research Major Research Laboratories; series of research units including pigs; horticulture; dairy; weeds; soil conservation. Facilities were built on land formerly owned and managed by the Hospitals Department; total area 240 hectares.
Nuriootpa 1937 ongoing Research Also known as Barossa Viticulture Station; services the wine and grape industry; trials on cultural practices; pest and disease control of vines in non irrigated districts; also services dry land agricultural industries; the District Centre office was originally located here but was moved to a new building at the Research Centre site in 1978.  
Nuriootpa 1960 1982 Office Nuriootpa District Office was commissioned on 18th January 1960 in the Nuriootpa Institute.  It housed Advisory Officers serving the horticulture, dairy, livestock, and grain industries; also soil conservation;  across the Barossa and lower north districts. Nuriootpa District Office staff were transferred to more spacious accommodation when a new office and laboratory complex was completed at the Nuriootpa Viticulture Centre in 1982.
O'Laddie 1909 closed Research Dry land framing trials to test viability of farming in low rainfall areas. Date of closure unknown.
Oodla-Wirra 1960 ongoing Inspection In response to outbreaks of Queensland Fruit Fly in Broken Hill, a part time roadblock was established at Cockburn in 1960, with this becoming permanent in 1961.  In 1980, a new facility with boom gates was built at Oodla-Wirra and the Cockburn facility was closed. The roadblock is serviced by Inspectors based in the Jamestown Office of PIRSA.
Parafield 1905 c.1990 Research Produced samples for baking qualities and tested varieties of wheat; later a plant introduction centre where pasture plants were grown and evaluated. The property was formerly a train mortuary.
Parafield 1911 1993 Research Research and demonstration centre for poultry husbandry; random sample tests for industry research into poultry nutrition; genetics and breeding systems for egg and meat strains; poultry housing design. Remaining staff were transferred to Roseworthy, as part of the Pig and Poultry Production Centre.
Parndana 1954 1985 Research Also known as the Kangaroo Island Research Centre; evolved from the Soldier Settlement Scheme (WW2); emphasis on pasture utilization by sheep; mineral nutrition of pastures; testing of pasture species; livestock research.  
Penola c.1930 closed Research Established early 1930s; field trials were conducted by the South Eastern Tobacco Grower's Association. Date of closure unknown.
Pinnaroo c.1940 ongoing Inspection Seasonal roadside inspection for prevention of fruit fly and other plant pest infestations in SA.  
Pompoota c.1910 closed Office Horticulture; appointment of an inspector of fruit; additional duties such as an inspector and valuer for Lands and Survey Department; operated from home. Date of closure unknown.
Port Adelaide c.1900 c.1980 Inspection Prevention of plant and animal pest infestation; inspection; quarantine; vacuum fumigation.  
Prospect 1980 2011 Inspection Fruit fly headquarters for the operation of the pest eradication unit including state plant quarantine. Moved to 33 Flemington St. Glenside to co-locate with Biosecurity SA.
Pt Augusta 1952 ongoing Office Advisory and regulatory functions; livestock; later became regional headquarters for the Northern Region. Was the major operational centre for the BTEC program in the northern pastoral area.
Pt Lincoln 1929 ongoing Office Advisory and regulatory functions; dairy; agronomy; livestock; In1979 became the regional headquarters for the Eyre Region.  
Quorn 1937 closed Office Regulatory; advisory; livestock. Date of closure unknown.
Renmark unknown 1996 Office Advisory and regulatory functions; horticulture.  
Riverton 1929 1969 Office Advisory and regulatory functions; agronomy; crop production; poultry husbandry.  
Roseworthy 1887 1902 Office Original head office 1887-1902, prior to formation of the Dept. of Agriculture as a separate entity.  
Roseworthy 1988 2009 Information Centre Located at Roseworthy Agricultural College; a major distribution hub for Department of Agriculture publications.  
Roseworthy 1993-94 ongoing Research Pig and poultry staff were relocated from Parafield and Northfield from 1993. The Pig and Poultry Production Institute building was opened in 1996 and the Davies building several years later when Roseworthy was expanded to include the focus for most animal research when the University of Adelaide and South Australian Research and Development Institute, (SARDI) relocated their livestock research and teaching capability to the site in c.1990.  
Shannon 1910 1913 Research Dry land farming trials to test viability of farming in low rainfall areas.  
Streaky Bay 1929 2010 Office Advisory; dry land cereals crops; animal husbandry.  
Struan 1948 ongoing Research In 1948 developed for cattle and sheep trials; in 1973 the Struan district office was located at Struan house; in 1977 became SE Regional headquarters; there was a significant laboratory established during the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis eradication campaign; expanded to accommodate staff transferred from Kybybolite 1996.  
Swanport 1927 1929 Research Irrigation; pasture development for the dairy industry.  
Turretfield 1909 ongoing Research Initially developed as a dairy and stud farm but converted to investigating cereal, seeds and livestock production; investigation into weeds and pest animal control; soil conservation; early tillage machinery development.  
Undalya 1946 c.1960 Home office Apiaries; advisory and regulatory functions.  
Urrbrae (Waite) 1924 ongoing Research Multiple Agricultural research and learning programs for State and National institutions. Field Crop Pathology Unit was the first group based at the Waite.  Major expansion occurred from the late 1980s following the decision to close the Northfield Research Laboratories.
Victor Harbor 1986 2011 Office Pastures; advisory and regulatory functions; crops.  
Virginia 1978 2010 Office Advisory service; research; other services to horticulture industries on the Adelaide plains. Office space was leased in the Virginia Horticulture Centre from 1996 onwards.
Waikerie 1910 1996 Office Horticulture; advisory and regulatory functions.  
Wanbi 1946 c.1990 Research In 1946 the leasehold was surrendered to the crown as a conservation reserve and subsequently became a research centre to combat soil erosion as sand drift was a grave problem in the Mallee area; cattle, cereal and fertiliser studies were also conducted.  
Willalooka 1952 c.1960 Research A 500 acre (202.35 hectare) block, located in the Hundred of Willalooka (near Keith), was sown in 1949 by the Lands Department to test the economics of land development in the area.  
Wirrabara 1905 c.1950 Office Inspector and advisory services to orchards; shared office accommodation with Department of Woods and Forests.  
Wudinna 1996 2010 Office Centre for the Eyre Peninsula Rural Adjustment Plan; agronomy advice.  
Yamba 1957 ongoing Inspection First 24 hour road block established; roadside inspection for prevention of fruit fly and other plant pest infestations in SA.  

Page last reviewed: February 2020

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Nov 2017
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