Upper North Farming Systems

The Upper North Farming Systems Group (UNFS) covers a diverse geographical region in the Upper North Region of South Australia. The region includes two distinct localities 1) Coastal plain characterised by a mix of sandy and clay soils with warmer winters and hot summers and 2) Interior undulating higher altitude country with cold winters and generally heavier soil types. The district is predominantly a low rainfall zone, however there are areas of mid-level average rainfalls. Our region is bordered to the north and east by the pastoral zones and extends south to the higher rainfall zones and encompasses the towns of Booleroo Centre, Port Pirie, Peterborough, Orroroo, Quorn, Nelshaby, Jamestown, Laura, Burra and Wilmington. The Upper North Farming Systems Group’s mission is to facilitate capacity building and empowerment of the Agricultural Community across the whole of the region.


Through a range of projects delivered by the Upper North Farming Systems Group landholders have gained greater knowledge and understanding of farming systems and productivity, enabling better targeting of land uses, inputs and land management actions. Projects have focused on increased adoption of no-till and stubble retention on cropping land across the region, enhanced timeliness of sowing, improved cereal and pulse rotations and agronomy, improved stock management and increased summer weed control increasing plant available water and nutrients. The group has also undertaken numerous projects to increase the skills and knowledge of farmers around grazing land management and has increased the adoption of improved cover management through use of fodder shrubs, confinement feeding of livestock and adoption of new technology and data capture and analysis systems.

The group is member driven and utilises research, development and extension activities to support farmers to learn together to improve their farm and the whole of region productivity, profitability and sustainability.