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Farming in Tasmania, 1840-1914


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Easteal, BV 1971 , 'Farming in Tasmania, 1840-1914', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Tasmania's easily cleared land was limited, and
after the mid-1830's, when such land could no longer be
had to support soaring sheep numbers and to replace land
exhausted by continual cropping, pasture damage became
widespread and wheatgrowing viable only on larger holdings
where pasture could be "rotated" with cropped land.
Settlers and capital thereafter by-passed Tasmania for
the developing colonies, and large numbers of able bodied
men were drawn away. Purely pastoral districts stagnated, as did most districts in the south, as the south's long cropped wheatlands were limited and broken, and only a limited respite was gained by the shift to the larger unit. In the north natural conditions favoured the combination
of wheat and wool on the larger scale and mechanized
farming, and districts within paying distance from
Launceston emerged as the colony's leading cash cropping
districts. At the same time the cattle runs in the
outlying districts were broken up into mixed farms,
many of which were tenanted. By 1880, however, yields
in the north were declining. Fallowing and the use of
guano were now possible, but were expensive in relation
to the market price. Exports of wheat ceased, some
farmers abandoned cropping, and many tenant farmers
were forced to shift westward into the pioneer districts.
The north, like the south, was unable to retain its
population once further expansions was impossible and yields declined.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Easteal, BV
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