Goyder's Line

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Description:
<!-- Unsourced image removed: right|thumb|200px|A map showing the location of Goyder's Line --><!-- Unsourced image removed: right|thumb|200px|An original map of Goyder's Line -->Goyder's Line is a boundary line across South Australia corresponding to a rainfall boundary believed to indicate the edge of the area suitable for agriculture. North of Goyder's Line, the rainfall is not reliable enough, and the land is only suitable for grazing and not cropping. The line traces a distinct change in vegetation. To the south, it is composed mainly of mallee scrub whilst to the north salt-bush. In general Goyder's Line represents the demarcation of a long-term rainfall average of 10 inches (254mm).

History

With barely 30 years' knowledge of this new country to go on, farmers needed reliable information. In 1865 George Goyder provided it. He discouraged farmers from planting crops north of his line, declaring this land suitable only for light grazing. However farmers were optimistic. 1865 was a year of bumper rains, so many ignored Goyder and headed north, starting farms and planting crops. Just a few years later many had to abandon their farms. Goyder was proved correct and the land was indeed unsuitable for crops. Many farmhouse ruins can still be seen near Goyder's line.

There have been periods of development north of the line, but invariably nature has won out. Entire towns and farms were abandoned when there was a return to longer-term average rainfall. The line has...
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