The maps and charts are shown here with acknowledgment and thanks to the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, South Australian Government.

November 10, 1842

THE CROPS, THE HARVEST, AND THE LABOR MARKET.

No stronger proof of the present pressure upon the labor market, or of the necessity of a public appeal to the Home Government for renewed emigration to South Australia, could have been afforded, than that which has been witnessed during the last two or three weeks in the scarcity of hands to gather in the harvest. In some districts, the wheat crop has been all but lost for the want of ready available labor; and in others, our agriculturists have had to pay from five-and-twenty to thirty shillings per acre before they could get it cut down. Under these circumstances, there must either be a suspension of further agricultural operations, or an introduction of fresh labor into the market; and we are happy to have it in our power to state, therefore, that a preliminary meeting was held on Thursday evening last, with the view of bringing this subject as speedily as possible under the notice of Her Majesty's Government. The drawing up of a memorial on the subject has, we believe, been confided to Messrs Morphett, Mann, Giles, Hagen, and one or two other gentlemen, equally competent, but whose names we do not happen just now to remember.

29 December 1843

MALTING BARLEY.

WE beg to call the attention of farmers to the propriety of growing a much larger proportion of barley. The brewers cannot at present get malting barley at any price, and they would gladly give 5s. per bushel for it. They recommend that the farmers should grow principally English barley, and a portion of Cape, and skinless. We believe two-fifths of the former, and a fifth of each of the latter, makes the best malt. The brewers here could make excellent ale and porter for exportation, if they had abundance of malt. On this subject we subjoin some very appropriate remarks by a Van Diemen's Land paper:

MALTING BARLEY.-We would call the attention of farmers to the circumstance, that malting barley is not equal to the brewers' demands this year; this shews the want of skill. It should be the study of the agriculturist so to divide his farming operations and cropping, as that he would be able to realize the whole range of the consuming market, and to raise those descriptions of crop which are the most productive. Now we believe that barley can be raised on light land which will not yield wheat; it is also asserted that the land that will yield 25 bls. of wheat, will yield 40 bls. of good malting barley!

The advantage here is too obvious to require one word more respecting it, but there is another point in connection with it that does. By raising a proper quantity of good malting barley, the colonial brewers will be enabled to make the several kinds of malt liquors which have been heretofore imported, and of a better quality because much of the liquors imported, in order to stand the effect of climate, is submitted to a process of drugging of a poisonous nature, and pernicious to the human system; and thereby retain in the colony many thousands a year that leave us for these articles.

November 25, 1842

THE WHEAT MARKET

WE find, as we predicted, that several persons are very active in taking advantage of the poverty of our agriculturists, and are buying wheat for four and-sixpence and five shillings per bushel for shipment to the other colonies. Now in New South Wales even, Valparaiso wheat is refused to be sold for six-and-sixpence per bushel, and colonial wheat of good quality realises from seven to ten; and in consequence of the general failure of the crops in Sydney, there is no doubt that it will shortly rise above ten-and-sixpence. We would strongly urge upon the farmers, therefore, not to sell their wheat under seven shillings or seven-and sixpence per bushel; indeed, we feel convinced, that the best samples will shortly realise ten shillings. The probable quantity which can be spared for exportation, after supplying all our own wants, is 100,000 bushels, this if sold at Sydney at ten shillings, will realise eight to the merchant, who can fairly afford seven shillings or seven-and-sixpence to the farmer. At this price, the merchants will not probably feel disposed to ship off more than the 100,000 bushels which remain after supplying the requirements of the colony; but there is no doubt that some would buy up the whole crop if it could be procured at five or six shillings per bushel; and flour would consequently again be raised to famine prices, and distress, the most direful, would pervade the whole community.

We therefore again urge upon the farmers for their own sake, as for the sake of the colony, not to part with their corn for the present prices, being convinced that much better prices will be offered as soon as another mail arrives from Sydney. And we would caution all persons growing corn to prepare for the worst, by reserving at all hazards, sufficient for the sustenance of their own families and dependents, not forgetting the seed for next year.