Browse Entries

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Biographical entry

  • Trove

Biographical entry Custance, John Daniel (1842 - 1923)

Norfolk, England
14 December 1923
Black Forest, South Australia, Australia
Agricultural educator and Agricultural scientist


In 1881 Professor Custance was appointed as South Australian Government Professor of Agriculture, a newspaper article in the Express and Telegraph on 18 May 1881 explained that 'his duties were represented as being to superintend the experimental farm, to study the-climate of South Australia and its various soils, and to advise the Government on all points bearing on the well-being of the agricultural community of the colony'. Custance built collaborative relationships with the South Australian farming community and went on to lobby for and eventually found the first Agricultural College in Australia, the Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1883. Today the Roseworthy Agricultural College has been incorporated into the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Adelaide and is a world renowned centre for excellence in dryland agriculture and animal production. In addition to his contribution to agricultural education Custance made significant contributions to agricultural science conducting a series of fertiliser trials on cereals, which were extended by Professor William Lowrie from 1887 onwards. They reported on the beneficial residual effects of superphosphate on the clover pastures which followed the cereal crop and encouraged a diversification of crops to be grown in South Australia.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Biographical cuttings on John Daniel Custance, former first Professor of Agriculture in SA, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals, Bib Id: 255144; National Library of Australia. Details

State Records of South Australia

  • Press cuttings compiled and annotated by Professor J.D. Custance - Agricultural College, Roseworthy, 1879 - 1887, GRG61/16; State Records of South Australia. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

Newspaper Articles



See also

McCarthy, G.J.