Department of Agriculture Publications and Reports

Since its inception, the Department of Agriculture has published a wide range of publication series or types to record and deliver information to its diverse range of clients and the wider community. These publication types have been tailored to meet the needs of various audiences and fulfil the agency’s regulatory, research and extension roles. They vary from highly scientific reports to small simple documents with a very specific message to the general community. Some publications have been written in languages other than English to meet the special needs of particular audiences.

Publication types

The table below lists the various series or types of publications published by the Department of Agriculture since its inception. They are listed in chronological order based on their commencement date.

The table also contains information about the period of publishing, and a description of the role or purpose of the publication type. The life of each publication type or series has also been documented. Some have been short lived, some amalgamated with others, some rebadged, while others have been published over more than 90 years.

Where lists of titles for a particular publication type are available, these can be accessed by clicking on the link provided under the publication type heading.

In addition, Department of Agriculture research staff have written and published many refereed research papers over the past 100+ years. These are published in a wide array of national and international research journals rather than the Department’s internal publication series.

List of publications





Journal of Agriculture and Industry of South Australia


V62 No. 3


Journal of the Bureau of Agriculture prior to the establishment of the Department of Agriculture. Published from Roseworthy Agricultural College by Molineux

Journal of Agriculture


Vol 79 No 2


Targeting a broad rural audience.Published monthly up to 1970, then quarterly to 1976. During its early years, the Journal of Agriculture was supplied to all Agricultural Bureau members.Later it became a subscription series. Many Journal of Agriculture articles were published as Bulletins, while many Bulletins were also reprinted as a series of articles in the Journal of Agriculture.

Department of Agriculture and PIRSA Annual Reports


1987- onwards


Annual Report:

Formally advising Parliament and the public of the agencies activities. Annual reports were not published between 1976 and 1987.

Bulletins – Series 1

Bulletins – Series 2



No 481



Detailed articles on a range of topics of relevance to farmers and technicians; including photos.

The initial series published between 1905 and 1969 used a simple numbering system. The subsequent bulletin series published between 1972 and 1998 used a Bulletin number plus year numbering system.

Click on the Bulletin link for a full list of topics, authors and publishing dates for the 1905 to 1969 series. The Bulletin series is further complimented by the Extension Bulletin and Special Bulletin series shown below.



No 4057


Two pages of simple technical information on specific topics of relevance to South Australian Agriculture. Often consisted of reprinted articles from the Journal of Agriculture.

From 1975 Fact Sheets replaced the Leaflet Series.

Horticulture Spray Charts




Annual charts providing pest and disease management programs for various fruit crops and grape vines for the Cool Climate (Adelaide Hills) and warm climate (Riverland) districts. To handle the growing complexity of using IPM, in 1988 the Spray Charts were replaced with a comprehensive book, “Pest and Disease Control Handbook – pome fruit, stone fruit and berry fruit”, which was updated every 2-3 years.

Weed Control Notes


No Series numbers


A series of leaflets each dealing with an agricultural pest plant under the Weeds Act (S.A.), 1956-1969. Later issued with the title Pest Plant Notes, by the Pest Plants Commission, South Australia, under the Pest Plants Act (S.A.), 1975

Experimental Record

Agricultural Record




V13, No18


Contains refereed biological, economic, and sociological scientific papers not published in other publicly accessible scientific journals.

Experimental Record was renamed Agricultural Record in 1974 and published approximately every 6 months. After 1986, researchers were encouraged to publish research papers in national and international research journals.

Soil Conservation Reports


Branch Report No S1/82

Research & Extension:

A series of 206reports prepared by Soil Conservation Branch officers. Major topics include local soil surveys, land and vegetation descriptions, evaluation of soil fertility matters, soil conversation techniques, overseas study tours, and irrigation and salinity management. The series also contained and additional 6 Special Land Descriptions, 17 Specific Land Use Surveys, and a Land Description.

Horticulture Branch Research reports


Variable numbering system

Applied Research& Extension:

Published annually over 10 years between 1967 and 1977, these reports assembled results and information about the numerous research and demonstration projects, surveys, study tours being conducted by Horticulture Branch research officers. The series comprising approximately 290.

Project report grouping varied from year to year and used both crop and topic categories. Some of the common categories for grouping included citrus, stonefruit, pomefruit, viticulture, vegetables and potatoes, crop physiology, fruit packaging/storage, entomology and plant pathology headings.

From 1981 to 1984, Horticulture Branch Research Reports were combined with Agronomy Branch Research Reports and published as the Plant Industry Division report.

Special Bulletin


No 3/76


A series of specialised bulletins using a publication number plus year numbering system. More than 60 Special Bulletins were published during the 8 year life.

Agronomy Branch Reports


No 112

Applied Research & Extension:

An internal Agronomy Branch series of publications for circulation to agronomists, researchers, and service personnel working with grains, herbage and seed industries. The series contains a wide array of information including research reports, conference proceedings, seasonal reports, study tours and surveys.

Extension Bulletin


No 21/76


Detailed series of small topical articles relevant to farmers and technicians. They use a publication number plus year numbering system. A total of 215 extension bulletins were published. Generally they are smaller documents than Bulletins. Includes the quarterly Rural Market Outlook series.

Livestock Branch/Animal Industry Division Technical Information Circulars



Applied Research & Extension:

From 1970 to 1981 the Department of Agriculture (to 1975) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (1975–1979) Livestock Branch issued a series of 58 Information Circulars. These contain a wide range of research, extension and study reports associated with livestock breeding, feeding, and industry development.

After 1981, livestock research papers were published in a broad range of national and international refereed scientific journals.

Farming Forum


V18 No. 1


Produced by Economics Branch targeting farm management and farm decision making topics. Merged with Farm Management Society Journal from 1990 to 1994

Fact Sheets

1975 onward



Simple, mostly single page handouts on specific topics on a wide range of farming, horticulture and general agricultural topics.

Prime Notes was a searchable CD containing all of the fact sheets published by state and national agriculture agencies. It was published every 6 months under a national agreement by Qld DPI with support from all states from 1996 to 2006. PIRSA assisted with disk formatting and layout of these CD’s.

Farm Costs and Returns


12 (annual)


Farm management decision & planning tool. Published annually in conjunction with the Stock Journal for cereal and livestock enterprises, it provides an array of information about input and operating costs to assist budgeting. A similar Horticulture Costs and Returns was produced in conjunction with the Murray Pioneer newspaper.

Northern Cattlemen’s News

1975 onward

Current with different name


A publication servicing landholders in the pastoral areas.It was subsequently published under various names including “On The Run” (sheep focus) (August 1988-94) and “Across The Myalls” (cattle focus). It is currently published as “Across the Outback” for all agencies delivering services in the pastoral areas.

Cereal Weed Spraying Chart




An annual wall chart showing the range of weeds that will be controlled by various herbicides registered for use on different cereal crops.

Market Development Papers


No 14


Series of comprehensive booklets on specific industry development opportunities.

Pig Industry News



Vol. 98


A long running extension newsletter targeting pig producers and industry leaders.

Plant Industry Division Reports


No. 15

Applied Research & Extension (internal):

After merger of the Agronomy Branch and Horticulture Branch to form Plant Industry Division, this group published its annual reports, workshop proceedings and industry studies in the Plant Industry Division. This numbered report series was published between 1981 and 1984.

Technical Reports


No 275

Applied Research & Extension:

Technical Reports are a series of comprehensive and descriptive reports on a wide range of research and extensions topics.Target audience is people servicing agricultural industries (In house with limited refereeing). Click on the technical reports link for a full list of topics and authors.

Technical reports cover a vast array of topics and contain information about specific research projects, surveys, study tours, training material,conference proceedings, and investigations into the performance of industry projects.

Technical Papers


No 39

Applied Research & Extension:

Technical Papers are a series of descriptive reports about a wide array of topics on specific research projects, surveys, or studies. Technical Papers are generally a smaller document than a Technical Report.

Pulse (& Canola) Weed Spraying Chart




An annual wall chart showing the range of weeds that will be controlled by the various herbicides registered for use on different pulse (and canola) crops.

Publications Lists

Dec 1976 - 1997


Published quarterly listing the publications. Includes order forms for subscribers and prices.

Farming Forum Nov 1973 - Dec 1981 Quarterly

The first issue of Farming Forum was published in November 1973. Subsequent issues were produced quarterly until December 1981.

Copies of publications

For many years the Department of Agriculture ran its own library located in its head office. In 1995 the Department of Agriculture/PISA/PIRSA library was amalgamated with the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus library and all publications moved to the Waite to be housed in a new purpose built building (Woolhouse Library).

It has not been possible to list where each publication can be sourced as complete sets are rarely available at the one site. Individual publications can generally be sourced at one of the following libraries or storage sites:

  • Barr Smith Library Waite – University of Adelaide Waite Campus (Woolhouse Library)
  • Barr Smith Library - Roseworthy Campus
  • State Library
  • State Archives
  • Trove (National Library of Australia)

Some publications have been digitised and can be searched for via the University of Adelaide Library.

About the authors

This information about the range of publications published by the SA Department of Agriculture/PISA/PIRSA was prepared by members of the History of Agriculture Working Group during 2013 and 2014. Key contributors were Arthur Tideman, Bill Giles, Barry Philp, Phil Cole, Don Plowman, Tricia Fraser, and Trevor Roberts.

Page Last Reviewed: 01 Mar 2018
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