ANYONE wondering how pigs were first introduced to SA or how early agronomists decided to hone in on the Northern Adelaide Plains for horticulture production can find out at the click of a button from today.
The History of Agriculture website – showcasing thousands of historical agricultural images and information – has been given a facelift, with the new look going live today to celebrate National Agriculture Day.
The website houses historical records covering cereals and grains, livestock, horticulture, seeds, pastures and crops and features more than 4000 historical images.
About 15 years ago, a small group of people in PIRSA recognised the value of capturing the history of the department and how it had contributed to the development of the state's primary industries.
The website recounts the roles played by the Department of Agriculture, agricultural bureaus, learning institutions and other government agencies through historical documents, manuscripts, personal accounts and transcripts in the development of the agricultural industries and the role of government in SA through to the present day.
As part of an upgrade, the website has been made more user friendly, easier to navigate and mobile compatible.
History of Agriculture volunteer Don Plowman said users would be delighted to discover some of the recently-added content.
“We now have papers on the potato and stonefruit industries, water supply, settlement of rural and regional SA, the Pekina irrigation scheme and the Murray-Darling Basin,” Dr Plowman said.
Primary production has always played a critical role in SA, feeding the population and driving economic development for the state.
“In the early days of the colony, agriculture was critical to feed the new settlers and then generate a source of export income to help sustain the state's economy,” Dr Plowman said.
“While other industries such as clothing and whitegoods have come and gone, agriculture continues to be the backbone of the state's economy.
“SA has an enviable reputation for innovation in the agricultural sector.”
The update to the website comes as SARDI celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
“Research and development underpins productivity improvement and is complemented by on-farm innovation and value-adding,” Dr Plowman said.
The website captures the success stories to help inform future decision-making.
“It was also thought important to identify and celebrate the successes,” Dr Plowman said.
The History of Agriculture website was originally launched in May 2011 and is hosted by PIRSA.