A NSW Government website

Yanco Agricultural Institute

Supporting the sustainability and profitability of crop production


Yanco is in the heart of the Australian food bowl and is at the centre of the most productive region in the country. Yanco was the location for the beginning of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA), from which much of the Shire’s prosperity springs.

Yanco Agricultural Institute, a NSW DPI Centre of Excellence, strives to provide targeted research, development and education to support the sustainability and profitability of crop production in southern New South Wales. The Institute is located between Leeton and Narrandera in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Comprised of over 813 hectares of dryland farming country and mixed irrigation, the Institute focuses on research on the efficient and sustainable production of crops including rice, cotton, citrus, cereals, canola and pulses.

Tocal College has a satellite campus located at Yanco Agricultural Institute. The College has offered producers the opportunity to engage in short courses since 1986, and offers accredited training.

The Institute has a wide range of soil types from grey self-mulching clays to light sandy soils. Irrigation requirements are supplied from the Burrinjuck and Blowering dams via the Murrumbidgee river and an extensive canal system.

Our research

Research is concentrated on crops grown under irrigation. Citrus and entomology trials are also conducted at the Institute.

Our facilities & services

Yanco Campus offers labs, greenhouses, field sites with irrigation and education at Yanco campus

Visit, Events and Learn

Yanco Research Station offers various events and engagement activities for producers, students and the broader community

Our region

The Riverina is home to the Murrumbidgee River and its waterways, winding its way through an array of charming town, food trails, and natural wonders just waiting to be explored. Taste delicious wine, pick your own fruit and discover artisan delights including locally made chocolate and cheese in the heart of Australia’s Food Bowl.

The Western Riverina has some of the most highly productive agricultural land in the Murray Darling Basin. The landscape, which is largely made up of plains, supports a diverse range of agricultural industries that build on the reliable water supply, enhanced by irrigation districts. The main agricultural enterprises include broad-acre cropping (cereals, oilseed and pulses), beef and sheep grazing, intensive poultry and pigs, irrigation cropping (cotton, rice, maize), and rangeland grazing in the west. Irrigated agriculture (including cotton, rice, horticulture – citrus, grapes, nuts) is a key feature.

The following table shows the Gross Value of Production for the region in 2020-21

ProductionValue% Share of NSW
Sheep and lambs318,540,22523%
Cattle and calves314,799,41812%
Grapes - Wine production127,348,42956%
Total primary industries2,616,833,01522%

Data from ABS


Yanco Agricultural Institute is situated in northern Riverina of NSW at an elevation of 136m and is suited for temperate horticultural and broadacre crop production.  Temperatures can range from a minimum of -3ºC in winter to a maximum of 42ºC in summer with an average rainfall of 433mm.

Our history

In 1908 the Yanco Experiment Farm was established when the NSW Department of Agriculture purchased 323 acres of North Yanco Station. Three years later a further 1500 acres was purchased, and smaller land parcels were purchased from adjoining properties between 1911 and 1920 to bring the Experiment Farm to its current area of 813 hectares. Accommodation for 18 apprentices was constructed soon after the farm was established.

In May 1928 the property was transferred to the Child Welfare Department and became a home for 128 delinquent boys, the Riverina Welfare Farm. The Department of Agriculture continued to conduct crop trials on the property during this period.

In 1942 the Riverina Welfare Farm ceased operation and the property became POW Camp 15, which held over 700 Italian prisoners of war. The farm was still managed by the Department of Agriculture and the Italian POW interns provided labour for one of the largest vegetable production units in Australia that contributed to the Allied war effort. The property was handed back to the Department of Agriculture in 1947 and renamed Yanco Experiment Farm.

Between 1948 and 1951 the farm was used partly for the training of returned soldiers under the Commonwealth Rural Training Scheme.

Education has been a major focus of Yanco Agricultural Institute since its inception. In 1961 an agricultural college was established on the site, and Yanco Agricultural College commenced operations in 1963 with a full initial intake of 38 students studying a 42-week Farm Certificate Course.

The Yanco Campus for Tocal College continues to provide a wide range of courses to farmers, consultants and other members of the community.

Yanco Agricultural Institute Site Video



2198 Irrigation Way
Yanco NSW 2703

Postal address:

Yanco Agricultural Institute
Private Mail Bag
Yanco NSW  2703


Phone: (02) 6951 2611

International: +61 2 6951 2611

Fax: (02) 6955 7580

Email: yai@dpi.nsw.gov.au


Programs and Initiatives

Farms of the Future

The Farms of the Future program will deliver on-farm connectivity solutions to five target regions comprising 11 local government areas (LGAs) in rural and regional NSW

Yanco Agricultural institute

A wide range of short training courses for primary producers, owners of small farms, new entrants to agriculture and horticulture, and to those thinking of investing in a rural enterprise is provided at the Yanco Campus.

News and case studies