Meanwhile on the eastern side of the Peninsula small coastal towns were springing up as the surrounding land was being opened up in the 1850s for (initially) sheep and cattle runs. After about 1870 they were sub-divided into smaller holdings of a square mile or smaller sections for scrub-clearing and growing crops of wheat and barley.
During the first few years of cultivation and crops the grain harvested was of excellent quality, but as the soil fertility became reduced so did the quality of subsequent harvests. Scientific research into the problem led to the development of the super-phosphate fertilizer which proved to be the solution, and a Phosphate Fertilizer Works was constructed at Wallaroo to manufacture this valuable fertilizer from imported phosphate rock mined from Nauru and Christmas Island, etc. Now farmers could add the super-phosphate to their seed and be assured of a reasonable chance of a successful grain harvest every cropping year.