Turretfield Research Centre

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) uses the Turretfield Research Centre to conduct research that benefits the state’s primary livestock industries.

Sheep Reproductive Biology

Sheep reproductive biology expertise and facilities at the centre are world class.

Research and commercial contract programs conducted at the centre include:

  • optimisation of in-vitro embryo culture
  • commercial development of juvenile in-vitro embryo transfer
  • transgenesis, genome editing and cloning.

Our Livestock Innovation and Welfare Science Program conducts advanced animal reproduction research, and is at the forefront of its field in Australia.

Field Crop Research

The centre is a major site for our:

Technical expertise

The latest research results and developments at Turretfield are valuable resources for consultants, associations and other agencies.

We convey this information to producers and agribusiness through:

The Turretfield environment

The centre is situated at Rosedale, in South Australia’s cereal livestock zone. Its Kingsford property is 4 km to the west.

Area and topography

The centre has:

  • 508 hectares of arable, flat to undulating land
  • contour banking permitting cropping on the slopes.

The Kingsford property has 370 arable hectares.


Soils at Turretfield are predominantly loamy red-brown, slightly acidic to neutral with:

  • smaller areas of sandy red-brown earth
  • patches of dark-brown alkaline cracking clays over limestone.

General Farming Operations

Field crop research:

  • 120 hectare in a 5 split paddock rotation of:
    • pasture / cereal (paddock area sown to pasture in year 1 is sown to cereal in year 2.)
    • cereal trials / pulse trials (paddock area sown to cereal in year 1 is sown to pulse trials in year 2.)
    • cereal
  • followed by two year pasture.

Remaining arable land (around 80 to 160 hectares per year) is cropped irregularly to grow grain and hay. This is used to feed stock during late summer to autumn.

Arable paddocks have been continuous pasture for up to 30 years.


Pastures cropped at the centre are based on annual species, principally:

  • subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum, varieties Clare, Rosedale, Junee and Seaton Part)
  • Trifolium michelianum (Paradana)
  • Medicago truncatula (Parraggio, Mogul) together with volunteer grasses, including:
    • annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum)
    • barley grass (Hordeum leporinum).

The pastures are normally dry sown after the cropping phase.

Selective use of herbicides control grass and broadleaf weeds. This maximises the legume content of pastures.

Stocking rate

The carrying capacity of Turretfield and Kingsford is:

  • 4,500 dry sheep equivalent (DSE) or 4.5 DSE per hectare, equating to approximately:
    • 7.5 DSE per arable pasture hectare
    • 2.5 DSE per unarable hectare
    • 1.0 DSE per cropped hectare (stubble grazing).

About Turretfield

The Turretfield Research Centre was established in 1908.

As a result of review of State Research Centres in 1985, Turretfield:

  • assumed state-wide responsibility for sheep and wool research
  • maintained a role in cereal-livestock zone cropping and pasture agronomy research.

Additional land (Kingsford) was purchased in July 1989. New office, laboratory and conference facilities opened in October 1991.

In August 1995, laboratory and office facilities were leased to a private commercial pharmaceutical company, BRG Australia. This move was part of SARDI’s charter to:

  • promote industry development
  • reduce reliance on public sector funding

Funds to finance research at Turretfield are derived from:

  • the State Government
  • industry trusts
  • the private sector.

Contact us

Turretfield Research Centre

Holland Road, Rosedale, SA 5350
Phone: (08) 8524 9600
Fax: (08) 8524 9088

Page Last Reviewed: 27 Jul 2015
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