Forward this email | View in web browser
Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 12 December, 2019
In this edition
Latest news
Climate webinar series will keep you informed

Agriculture Victoria is running a lunchtime climate webinar series in 2020, where participants will hear from a broad range of expert speakers from Agriculture Victoria, Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), CSIRO and other agencies.

Agriculture Victoria Climate Specialist Graeme Anderson said these webinars are great for busy people who want to keep informed but can’t attend face-to-face seminars, with the flexibility to connect into the webinar from anywhere with a mobile or internet connection.

“Participants can hear from experts on a range of current topics as they enjoy their lunch or they can simply watch and listen to the recording at a time that best suits,” Mr Anderson said.

“This climate webinar series will tap into a range of expert speakers so we can hear the latest science, insights and innovations in this space.”

Some of the webinar speakers include BoM’s Luke Shelley who will discuss their new Local Climate Guides for the Victorian regions, and CSIRO’s John Clarke will share the new Victorian Climate Change Projections 2019.

Also from BoM, Climatologist Andrew Watkins will discuss the new BoM seasonal forecast products and new multi-week and seasonal outlooks.

“There will be several Agriculture Victoria presenters, including myself talking about weather forecasts, seasonal outlooks and climate change projections and what they can and can’t do,” Mr Anderson said.

“Agriculture Victoria Senior Irrigation Officer Rob O’Connor will discuss our irrigation products and services and how using BoM evapotranspiration (ET) data can assist determine plant irrigation requirements.

“Plus our Seasonal Risk Agronomist, Dale Grey will present the Break Seasonal Forecast updates, including both autumn, winter and spring outlooks.”

More subject experts presenting through the 2020 webinar series include:

  • Cam Nicholson from Nicon Rural Services will share valuable insights on farm decision making
  • Geoff Steendam, Senior Manager Hydrology and Climate Science, DELWP will discuss the Victorian Water and Climate Initiative and findings
  • Agbyte’s Leighton Wilksch will walk attendees through farm weather stations and examples of how they are being used to provide value for farmers.

For more information and to subscribe to stay up-to-date with these upcoming climate webinars visit: or contact Heather Field on 5336 6607 or

The Very Fast Break

The final ‘Very Fast Break’ for 2019 is here.

Catch the year in review, the winner of ‘The Break Award for notable climate model performance’ and hear from this year’s 'player of the seasons' climate indicator.

Wishing you a safe summer and hoping 2020 bowls up a ripper ...

Watch it here.

Pet pigs and small herds a focus for PICs

Agriculture Victoria is reminding pig owners that every property with livestock is legally required to have a Property Identification Code (PIC).

Live now, the campaign ‘Get your pig a PIC’ is aimed at people who might have a pet pig, or a small herd, through advertising on traditional and social media.

Victoria’s Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Cameron Bell said PICs were a key part of Victoria’s biosecurity system.

“It doesn’t matter whether you have one pig or hundreds of pigs, it’s important that everyone with livestock has a PIC,” Dr Bell said.

“PICs are used for locating properties to provide advice to livestock owners, to help manage animal welfare issues and to assist in the event of emergencies such as fire, flood or an exotic animal disease incursion.

“Victoria is free from many devastating diseases such as African swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease and we can keep it that way through a strong biosecurity system,” he said.

“Get a PIC, identify your pigs correctly, register with PigPass and record all pig movements on the PigPass database.

“Now that summer has arrived and with it the bushfire season, it’s yet another reason to apply for a PIC if you don’t have one already, or make sure your details are up to date.”

Dr Bell said PICs were free and easy to obtain through the Agriculture Victoria website.

“It is also crucial to keep pigs healthy by ensuring they are not fed swill.”

Swill includes meat, butcher’s shop waste, bakery food that contain meat and vegetables that have been served with meat, and imported dairy products.

“Swill feeding is illegal in Australia, to help protect our livestock from exotic animal diseases.

“Pigs should be fed commercial pig rations, grain, fruit and vegetables. If in doubt, do not feed leftover food to your pigs.”

Remember, get your pig a PIC. Visit or call 136 186.

Young Farmer Business Network

Young Farmers of Victoria – this is your network to talk about farm business management with other like-minded young farmers through social media, articles, online and face to face forums.

Click here to join and learn more about the Young Farmer Business Network Facebook group.

Food Innovation Voucher Stream – Round 4 closing 22 December

The Food Innovation Voucher Stream is a new initiative of the Victorian Government that helps companies access the know-how needed to innovate, diversify, improve productivity and take new and innovative products to market.

Applications for Round 4 of Boost Your Business close on Sunday 22 December.

Potential assistance available includes: 

  • Up to $10,000 for early stage feasibility and testing
  • Up to $50,000 for process innovation, product development and research and development


Applicant businesses must be a small to medium enterprise with an operating presence in Victoria and be registered as members of the Food Innovation Network.

Round 4 of Boost Your Business closes Sunday 22 December 2019.

More information on how to apply is available here

Honey bee health survey

A short survey has been developed to find out how healthy Australian honey bees are, and what pests and diseases might be causing problems for beekeepers.

The results from the survey will be used to decide what help beekeepers might need to keep their honey bees healthy. It will also provide statistics for use by the industry.

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, Plant Health Australia, and AgriFutures Australia, encourage all Australian beekeepers to take part in this survey, which will only take 10–12 minutes to complete.

The survey closes on 31 December 2019.


Planning support for small-scale pig and poultry producers

Provides Victorian small-scale pig and poultry producers with funding of up to $3,000 to help them with the costs related to obtaining a land use planning permit.

Who can apply:

At a minimum, you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be seeking a land use planning permit for an existing or proposed small-scale pig or poultry farm located in Victoria
  • complete a small-scale pig and poultry planning workshop prior to applying for the grant program.

Other eligibility requirements may apply.

Deadline to apply: Applications close: 31 May 2020

Applications will remain open until 31 May 2020, or when the funding allocation is expended, whichever occurs first.

Contact information: 13 61 86 or

APPLY HERE: Planning Support Program for Small-Scale Pig and Poultry Producers VIC


GRDC Grains Research Update – Bannockburn
Event details

Thursday 27 February
9 am – 1 pm

Cultural Centre
27 High Street


The GRDC Grains Research Update events are for agronomists, consultants, researchers and growers to see and discuss the latest in research and to network with their peers about how to apply new and relevant information to the latest farming systems.

Presenters and topics to be confirmed soon.

Register here.

Event details

Wednesday 25 March

Wannon Function Centre


Great South West Dairy Awards Gala

The gala evening will once again acknowledge and celebrate those who are achieving great things in the dairy industry.

Awards will be made in the following categories:

  • Dairy Farm Business Management Award
  • Young Dairy Leader Award
  • Service Provider Award
  • Natural Resource Sustainability Management Award
  • Employee Award
  • Western Victorian Dairy Industry Honour Board
  • Farm Photo Award.

Further information about the awards, including the application process, is available from WestVic Dairy at or by contacting them on 5557 1000.

Subscribe to BSW Ag News

Subscribing to the Barwon South-West Ag News is easy - simply click here.

Contacting Agriculture Victoria

Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment
contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or

A full list of our contact points can be found at:

Don't forget to check out Agriculture Victoria's social media sites for up-to-date information and news.


'Like' our Agriculture Victoria Facebook page.


Follow us on Twitter @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


Privacy | Email:


If you would like to subscribe, visit

This newsletter is distributed by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.