South Australia is Australia’s driest state with about one-third of its land area having no significant economic use and more than one-half devoted to pastoralism. SA has the highest proportion of Australia’s vineyards with major growing areas in the Barossa, Clare, Riverland, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Coonawarra regions. Cattle are raised mainly in the Adelaide Hills, the lower south-east and far north districts. Dairying is concentrated in the Adelaide, lower south-east and lower Murray districts.
Grain cropping is focused north and east of Adelaide and on the Eyre Peninsula. Annual rainfall across these cropping regions ranges from 300mm at Ceduna to 570mm at Clare, 335mm at Lameroo in the east and 575mm at Naracoorte in the south east. The C3 cereal crops (wheat, barley, oat and triticale) account for more than 80% of the cropping area in South Australia, with a range of grain legumes and canola making up the balance. Much of the cropping area is dominated by coarse textured and low fertility soils, although there are significant grain cropping regions with highly productive soils and climates.