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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 4 June, 2020
In this edition:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
staying safe keeps us together

The Victorian Government is gradually easing restrictions currently in place to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As restrictions are being eased, the Victorian Government continues to recognise the critical importance of the agriculture and food sector and will ensure our farms and agribusinesses keep operating - to keep the supermarket shelves stocked and food on Victorians’ tables.

In all activities, farmers are asked to be considered. Be cautious.

Use your common sense. And if you don’t have to do it – don’t.

Stay safe by maintaining good hygiene, keeping your distance from others and if you feel unwell stay home.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should get tested.

The situation continues to change rapidly so please regularly check the Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest update:

More information is also available on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Latest news
Young and future farm managers Sunraysia webinar

Agriculture Victoria and the Young Farmer Business Network is excited to share an opportunity in the Mallee’s Sunraysia region with an upcoming risk management webinar.

The interactive online workshop with Gavin Beever and guest presenter Brian Wibberley will cover managing business risk, including farm management deposits.

Join us on Tuesday 9 June 12.30 – 1.30 pm. You can register here or contact

Soil moisture information at farmers' fingertips

The Victorian Government has announced improvements to the Soil Moisture Monitoring Program as it continues to support farm businesses impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions.

The new set-up will mean easier and quicker access and the improved search function will allow farmers to distinguish between crop types being monitored, pasture and soil types and locations – all which influence soil moisture data.

Until now, the data had been only available via a monthly e-newsletter subscription or by using a verified login.

New tools featured on the platform will translate the data into real-time local information. These tools include a temperature gauge, current soil moisture profile and a one to three-month rainfall outlook for Victoria.

The improvements will also enable more farmers to see the daily ‘Speedo soil moisture graphs’, which are a real time soil moisture percentage measure.

These graphs are an important tool for farmers experiencing increasingly variable climatic conditions, specifically rainfall to make timely decisions.

Farmers can subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria Soil Moisture Monitoring e-newsletter to get further information and analysis of data.

The new Soil Moisture Monitoring program portal can be found at

For more information on Drought and Dry Seasonal Conditions support and services visit or call 136 186.

New regional jobs to support agriculture

Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes recently announced funding from the Agriculture Workforce Plan will be put towards job creation projects for five Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) across Victoria and create more than 80 full-time equivalent jobs benefitting the agriculture industry.

These new jobs will be focused on projects that provide benefits to Victorian farmers and the wider agricultural industry – a focus that is particularly important given the impacts of recent bushfires and seasonal conditions.

Funded projects include fruit fly control measures in the Goulburn Broken CMA which will target the removal of wild fruit trees from public land and supporting bushfire recovery work in Bunyip and other parts of the Port Phillip Westernport catchment.

Port Philip Westernport will also commence an innovative new program focused on agricultural education in schools involving excursions to farms and school incursions to put farmers and producers in front of students to talk about the agricultural industry and food.

In the Mallee CMA, a project will be delivered to aid weed and pest animal control, while Wimmera and Glenelg Hopkins will help agricultural landholders with land management measures such as re-vegetation and weed control.

The majority of the jobs are regionally based and will provide employment over a six-month period.

Successful applicants will be matched with positions through Working for Victoria, the government’s initiative to help jobseekers find work and employers find workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan is supporting businesses in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas within key agriculture and food processing industries through job-matching, case management, worker relocation needs, transport and training.

To register interest in the program or other job initiatives, visit

Building farm resilience for challenging times

Farm businesses are being supported to build their resilience against economic challenges through a range of tools and webinars being offered by the Victorian Government.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes encouraged Victorian farmers to sign up for the webinar series and seek relevant support to ensure their business continuity in the face of challenges.

The series will help participants identify how to safeguard their core business operations when unexpected situations occur.

Although Victorian farmers are no stranger to disruption and volatility – having faced bushfires, floods, drought and dry seasonal conditions – the webinars are particularly timely as many businesses cope with the impact of coronavirus.

They will provide practical measures for farmers to identify how to measure their capacity to continue operating and to recover from any significant challenge through a framework that withstands disruptions, applying examples of continuity principles and sharing expert advice.

The webinars complement the government’s ongoing drought support, which includes the recently expanded On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant allowing farmers to apply for up to $5000 for business planning and up to $5000 for infrastructure investment.

There are also new activities eligible for investment under the grant, including technologies to improve mobile phone connectivity, soil moisture probes and weed control.

The Victorian Government is delivering this support as it understands the critical importance of our agricultural and food sector, which relies on the continued operations of our farms and agribusinesses to keep the supermarket shelves stocked and food on Victorians’ tables.

Register for each of the webinars below to attend or receive a link of the recorded event.

Webinar 2: Your Financials
Thursday 18 June, 1.30 pm

Webinar 3: Your Resources
Thursday 2 July, 1.30 pm

Webinar 4: Your Plan
Thursday 16 July, 1.30 pm

Grazing management to make the most of the winter
dairy cows grazing

Sarah Clack
Agriculture Victoria Dairy Extension Officer

There has been a good start to the season in many areas of Victoria.

To make the most of it grazing management of pastures can be used to maximise pasture growth and utilisation helping us to get the most out of the resources invested.

The aim of good grazing management is to balance the requirements of the pasture and the herd.

Grazing ryegrass pastures between the two to three-leaf stage allows the pasture to reach maximum production.

When the tiller reaches the two-leaf stage it has restored its energy reserves used to regrow after the last grazing and the pasture is nutritionally balanced for the herd.

Allowing the tiller to reach the three-leaf stage before grazing is a bonus, as the third leaf is an extra 30 to 40 per cent larger than the second leaf.

If the pasture grows beyond the three-leaf stage, the first leaf begins to die losing quality and increasing wastage.

The grazing rotation length is determined by the leaf appearance rate. As the temperature declines and day length shortens going into winter, the leaf appearance rate slows.

This means the grazing rotation needs to be lengthened to allow the pasture to continue to reach the two to three-leaf stage target.

If our leaf appearance rate is 15 days, the rotation length would need to be 45 days to reach the three-leaf stage.

This would make the pasture area on offer per day 1/45th of the total milking area.

Leave a post grazing residual of 4 to 6 cm between clumps.

This is where the tiller stores its energy or ’fuel’ to re-grow. Grazing below 4 cm will reduce the energy reserves available for regrowth resulting in smaller tillers and less pasture available at the next grazing.

Grazing above 6 cm has no benefit to growth and increases pasture wastage.

Don’t allow stock to have access to the pasture for longer than two to three days as this will result in new shoots being grazed and a reduction in growth.

Increasing the rotation length decreases the area of pasture available and often the amount of pasture available, leading to lower post grazing residuals.

Supplements, for example grain, silage and hay, are used to manage the residual height.

If post grazing residuals are below 4 cm more supplements should be offered to the herd to increase the residual.

If residuals are above 6 cm less supplement should offered to the herd to minimise pasture and supplement wastage.

Remember, keep an eye on the leaf stage of the pasture you are offering to the herd and the post grazing residual as the cows leave the paddock each day to see if you are reaching your target leaf stage and post grazing residuals.

Lengthening or shortening the grazing rotation is about reaching the desired leaf stage, ideally two to three-leaf stage.

The post grazing residual, a measure of feeding level including supplementary feeding, is used to maintain a residual height of 4 to 6 cm.

For information go to

Low survival for iodine deficient lambs

Dr Jeff Cave
District Veterinary Officer

Goitre, due to iodine deficiency, leads to enlarged thyroid glands seen as swellings in the neck of affected lambs, which are born weak and die easily from the cold.

Particularly after a wet season I hear farmers in the hilly country east of the Hume Highway comment ‘some of my newborn lambs have an enormous lump under its throat’. Invariably this is relating to goitre.

If you consider the main source of iodine is from sea salt, which is leached from soils during heavy rainfall, it is not surprising that many of our soils in north eastern Victoria are deficient in iodine.

Cases of goitre typically occur after three consecutive months of 80 mm or more of rain.

Since a reasonably wet winter has been forecast following our effective autumn break, producers with flocks lambing from mid-winter onwards this year should be considering the prevention of goitre in their flocks.

Like other essential trace minerals, iodine is only required in small amounts.

The thyroid gland produces hormones, which are essential for life.

A lamb or kid with goitre will often be undersized or stillborn, have a reduced wool cover, and be weak and susceptible to cold stress.

Goitre in newborn calves is extremely rare. Property owners who have never seen goitre will often see it following a shift in their enterprise from producing cattle to sheep or goats.

An outbreak of goitre can be challenging to manage since any affected lambs or kids will have a low survival rate and the deficiency in the ewes or does needs to be corrected quickly before lambing or kidding occurs.

Iodine deficiency is easy to prevent, by providing iodised salt from the third month of the ewes’ pregnancy. This can be given in a variety of ways such as iodised salt blocks or potassium iodide drenches.

For further advice please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer on 136 186.

Using rotation to grow more feed

Understanding the principles behind grazing rotations that deliver more feed is the focus of a new online presentation from Agriculture Victoria.

The Autumn Grazing Management presentation demonstrates how stock can undermine the persistence of plants leading to slower growing, thin pastures and weeds or undesirable species filling the gaps.

“This is where grazing management is really important,” Agriculture Victoria grazing expert Fiona Baker said.

In the presentation, Ms Baker highlights the principles used to determine grazing rotations and the science behind using a rotation to grow more feed.

She outlines the key changes that occur within the plant when rotationally grazing, which lead to healthy and vigorous plants, and in turn, to higher quantities of dry matter per hectare being available.

The webinar recording also discusses setting up a rotation; grass characteristics; knowing how much feed is available on offer; when to remove stock; and the importance of rest periods.

The Autumn Grazing Management presentation is one of three from a recent Agriculture Victoria webinar series, funded from the Victorian Government’s 2019-20 drought support package:

The third and most recent presentation in the series - Planning and designing a 5-star water supply – was presented by Agriculture Victoria farm water specialist Clem Sturmfels.

In the presentation Mr Sturmfels addresses water quality and quantity, climate impacts, water planning and design and encourages farmers to consider all available supply options before committing to a major investment such as a bore, larger dam or reticulated water supply.

Mr Sturmfels, whose background is in soil conservation, whole farm planning and on-farm water reticulation systems, provides advice on calculating the water needs of a grazing enterprise, while also considering strategies for a dry season or drought.

The webinar also provides information about planning, designing, mapping and implementing a water supply system - the recording can be found here

Enquiries about any of the webinars can be directed to Tess McDougall on or 0409 841 492.

Beetle benefits webinar

Sometimes referred to as ‘nature’s architects’, dung beetles are a desirable part of a healthy landscape and can significantly improve the overall health of your soil.

Join renowned expert Dr Bernard Doube for an online webinar on the benefits of the soil-enriching and pest-control qualities of dung beetles.

Bernard is dedicated to teaching farmers how to work with dung beetles.

He has worked with CSIRO for 29 years, including seven years as OIC of the CSIRO Dung Beetle Research Unit in Pretoria, South Africa.

Since 2003 he has been the lead researcher and director of Dung Beetle Solutions International (DBSI) where he is strongly involved in research and farmer education.

Read more:

As a dung beetle ambassador, Bernard will discuss the benefits of the soil enriching and pest-control qualities of dung beetles and how they can improve pasture profitability and sustainability.

The one and a half hour session will cover:

  • which dung beetle species suit your property
  • native and introduced species
  • how to maintain your dung beetle populations
  • which chemicals kill dung beetles
  • farmer nurseries to breed the new spring species on-farm
  • biochar to increase soil carbon and animal health

Preparing to join the webinar

Joining the webinar is easy!  We’re using Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) and the good news is you don’t need an account or software installation.

It is a good idea to join the webinar early to make sure you can access the webinar - click here to join

You will be prompted to download the MS Teams app or join via their browser.

During the webinar

The webinar will start with a short introduction, followed by a presentation. Please use the chat function to ask questions.

After the session

The webinar will be recorded and available on the North Central CMA’s website after the session.

The Fast Break - Victoria

Welcome to the "Fast Break" climate enewsletter.

Check the soil moisture, climate driver summary and climate predictions from May run models.

Agriculture Victoria is partnering with the Grains Research and Development Corporation to bring you monthly climate model outlooks for South Australia, Southern New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.

As usual, if you have comments, questions or feedback address them to Dale Grey at


Weeds and rabbits project
weeds and rabbits

The Weeds and Rabbits Project is seeking support from private and public land managers to help combat pests and weeds which cost Victoria more than $1 billion a year.

Landholders are being invited to take part in a state-wide survey about how they manage weeds and rabbits on their property.

The results will provide a better understanding of the barriers people face with implementing weed and rabbit management practices.

Agriculture Victoria is the lead agency in the delivery of programs to combat established invasive species, which is underpinned by the Commonwealth Government-funded Weeds and Rabbits Project.

Complete the survey at

The survey closes Sunday 24 June.

Monitor your farm business performance
sheep in paddock livestock farm monitor project

“I used the Livestock Farm Monitor individual farm report to go to the bank and help with extending a loan. It provided the bank with an independent report of my farm’s performance.”

That’s one of the many ways Victorian farmers have benefited from taking part in the Livestock Farm Monitor Project.

The LFMP estimates the economic performance of sheep and cattle farms by collecting detailed physical and financial farm information.

Agriculture Victoria is offering sheep and beef producers the opportunity to participate in the 2019–20 project.

Participation is free, and all information is treated as highly confidential.

Previous reports are available on the Agriculture Victoria website or contact Sam Henty for more

'Intelligent' weeds evolve to evade controls
raphanus raphanistrum mrm wild radish

Findings from one of Australia’s longest running paddock surveys have confirmed some plants will change the way they grow and reproduce to avoid all forms of weed control.

“This is one of the first studies in cropping systems to prove the ‘intelligence’ of weed plants, and their ability to evolve over time to evade control strategies in an attempt to survive,” Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) research agronomist Mike Ashworth said.

“In simple terms, this study has shown us how weeds, particularly wild radish, can evolve and adapt their growth habit or life cycle to evade weed control, not only in regard to herbicide resistance, but also non-herbicide control strategies that growers now use.”

Conversely, the far-reaching study, conducted with investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), also found a lack of any clear evolutionary response of annual ryegrass to harvest weed seed control (HWSC).

Dr Ashworth, who managed the biological sampling, analysis and interpretation of research findings from the weed control study, said this is exciting news for grain growers because it reaffirms the value of HWSC.

AHRI used the information from long-running paddock surveys, that began in 2001 in Western Australia’s northern agricultural region, to ascertain the evolutionary consequences of weed seed control on long-term weed populations.

Dr Ashworth said one of the most interesting findings highlighted by the research was the ability of wild radish populations to evade HWSC.

“The achilles’ heel of wild radish is that it retains nearly all of its pods on the plant until harvest, making it an ideal candidate for interception and destruction using HWSC,” he said.

Despite this fact, the research has shown that wild radish is capable of responding to HWSC measures by lowering the height of its pods to reduce the number of pods captured at harvest time.

The height of the lowest-retained wild radish pod changed significantly between the in-crop population and the control.

This is important because it directly affects the maximum cutting height and interception efficiency at harvest, with seeds located under a nominal cutting height of 10 cm unlikely to be intercepted, thereby replenishing the soil seed bank.

Dr Ashworth said the data indicated the pods in the crop were, on average, 12 cm lower than the pods on the plants in the control plots.

The height of the lowest pod in the control population was 20.3 cm, while the average lowest pod in the in-crop population was 8.3 cm. So, in this situation, HWSC would be less effective, although still worthwhile as significant amounts of seed would still be captured.

In terms of time of flowering, the wild radish patches in-crop flowered 11.5 days earlier than the control populations.

In regard to annual ryegrass, the research demonstrated early flowering time was found in all intense cropping situations but wasn’t directly correlated to the use of HWSC.

Likewise, on all sites, germination percentages of all ryegrass seeds were lower in the intensively managed in-crop samples when compared to the control, indicating there is a shift towards an increase in ryegrass seed dormancy.

What this means for growers, Dr Ashworth said, is while HWSC is effective, so too is an early sown crop to outcompete the ryegrass, particularly those weed seeds that are germinating later.

Dr Ashworth said the intensive research points to a simple message for growers which is to use as much diversity as possible in their weed management strategies.

The only long-term solution, he said, is to continually modify strategies to be one step ahead of this evolutionary process.

The other message, which is just as critical, is for growers to continue to invest in HWSC.

AHRI attracts an annual investment contribution of more than $1.5 million from the GRDC and is based at The University of WA School of Agriculture and Environment.

Agroforestry survey – have your say

If you are a farmer, researchers from the University of Tasmania would like to hear from you!

Dr Dugald Tinch and PhD Candidate Zara Marais are working on a project that aims to understand how farmers make decisions about planting trees on their farms.

They hope to find out which factors are most influential in these decisions: does tree species and arrangement make a difference, and what about cost?

Which ecosystem services (e.g. shelter, erosion control) are most important to farmers when it comes to planting trees, and does that change depending on the size or the type of the farm?

The end goal is to gain a better understanding of farmer preferences and priorities, which will ultimately help to improve extension efforts in farm restoration and agroforestry.

You can contribute by filling out a 10 minute online survey, with a chance to win a $50 Bunnings voucher.

If you have any questions about the survey, you can contact the researchers directly at

Livestock biosecurity funds
livestock biosecurity

The Livestock Biosecurity Funds Grant Program is now open for applications.

Apply now for support for projects or programs that prevent, monitor and control diseases in Victorian cattle, sheep, goat, swine or honeybee industries.

More information at

Young farmer business network
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.

PhD research fellowships on offer
apply now more than 30 phd research fellowships on offer

In partnership with the University of Melbourne, Agriculture Victoria is offering 32 PhD research fellowships in the grains, dairy and horticulture industries.

The fellowships will be based across Victoria at the department’s world-renowned research centres. Successful candidates will be rewarded with a $33,000 per annum scholarship, access to state-of-the-art facilities and opportunities for professional development and overseas travel.

To find out more visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

Young farmers scholarships - applications open until 14 June
young famrers scholarships

The Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship Program provides young farmers and/or young farm workers up to $5000 towards training or study (Upskill), and up to $5000 extra funding to invest on-farm or in professional development (Invest), to put new skills into practice.

Each year, scholarships are awarded to young farmers aged 35 or younger. Since the program was established in 2015, 63 young farmers have been awarded scholarships.

The scholarship program is designed to be flexible and to fit with the different demands and ambitions of young farmers. It provides young farmers and those who work directly on farm with an opportunity to invest in themselves and their career.

Applications for this year’s round of scholarships are now open to farmers aged 35 or under who have been working in farm businesses for at least three days a week for the past three months, with at least two years total experience on-farm.

To find out more about the program and to apply for a scholarship, visit

Applications close on Sunday, 14 June.

Managing dry conditions
Farming and community group drought funding
the farming and community group drought funding program

Agriculture Victoria is pleased to announce the successful applicants for the Farming and Community Group Drought Funding Program

The program enables groups to engage technical experts to deliver timely and relevant technical information to increase their skills and technical knowledge and to support decision-making during drought and dry seasonal conditions.

Drought and dry seasonal conditions affected famers are encouraged to visit the Agriculture Victoria for details of these workshops and register to take part over the following weeks.

Agridome Consultancy will deliver three webinars in the North-East with a focus on livestock management and restocking to build genetics and overall farm enterprise decision making.

Herd Solutions will deliver six webinars with subsequent individual consultations in East Gippsland with a focus on pasture establishment and management, and livestock restocking to build genetics.  

Birchip Cropping Group will deliver four digital seminars with subsequent individual sessions in the Wimmera and Southern Mallee to improve mental health to prepare and manage dry seasonal conditions.

Upper Murray Better Beef Group will deliver four facilitated digital workshops and a trial in the North East with a focus on emerging technologies to address priority challenges in relation to drought preparedness and resilience.

Wimmera CMA will deliver four facilitated digital workshops and a trial in the Wimmera with a focus on understanding emerging technologies.

Mallee Sustainable Farming will deliver a series of videos and accompanying podcasts in the Millewa with a focus on farmer management decision-making to maintain ground during dry seasonal conditions.

For more information visit or call 136 186.

access up to $5000 for on-farm drought infrastrcuture to improve mobile phone connectivity, weed control or soil moisture probes.
On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants program expanded

The maximum value of the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants has increased from $5000 to $10,000 to boost farmers’ access to professional services while still enabling farmers to invest in drought preparedness infrastructure.

Eligible farm businesses can now apply for:

  • up to $5000 for business decision making activities (with no-contribution required)
  • up to $5000 for infrastructure investments (with at least 50 per cent co-contribution required).
  • There are three new eligible infrastructure investments under the resilience grants:
  • technologies to improve mobile phone connectivity
  • weed control (e.g., purchase of registered herbicide)
  • soil moisture probes (as an explicit investment under soil moisture monitoring activities)

For more information and to access the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants program, call Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit

Farmers are encouraged to apply early to ensure they do not miss out on funding.

Dry seasons support
Support for Victorian farmers continues

Agriculture Victoria remains available to assist Victorian farmers. We want to reassure farmers, particularly those impacted by bushfires and drought, that we will continue to provide support services to you and your farming business. However, the way we are doing this during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed.

What are we doing differently?

We are moving from our usual face-to-face client contact to other alternatives. This means we might call you on the phone, send you information via post or email, invite you to a video or teleconference, or even a webinar.

Our technical support remains available to help landholders affected by fires and drought in East and Central Gippsland, North East, Millewa and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District. 

Farmers can call us to access information tailored specifically to their needs on a range of topics including:

  • feed planning and pasture recovery
  • supplying feed and water to livestock
  • land and farm water management
  • general technical information
  • other assistance available and grants programs

Farmers affected by drought and bushfire

For support in bushfire-affected areas contact our Agriculture

Recovery Managers:

  • Gippsland – Keren Walker on (03) 5159 5118
  • North East – Kylie Macreadie on 0428 975 728

For support in drought-affected areas contact our Dry Seasonal Conditions Coordinators:

  • Millewa – Sue McConnell on 0418 572 087
  • Northern – Mick Bretherton on 0428 346 209
  • East and Central Gippsland – Nick Dudley on 0428 562 139.

Or email us at

Farmers can also continue to call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186 and access the website anytime at –

There are many other agencies providing assistance too – this includes the Rural Financial Counselling Service:

  • in Gippsland call 1300 834 775
  • in the North East call 1300 834 775.

Rural Finance is administering many grants programs for drought and bushfire impacted farmers. Give them a call on 1800 260 425 or access online anytime at   

Dairy support

The Dedicated Dairy Support Program is available to dairy farmers in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District who are considering structural or significant changes to their business.

Decisions could include leaving the industry, scaling back (or up), family succession or transitions to other enterprises.

For more information go to, call 1300 834 775 or email

Bushfire Recovery Victoria is also a great service to connect you with recovery services and information from the whole of the Victorian Government. Call them on 1800 560 760 or visit at

are you a dairy farmer in the gmid?
Dry seasons hotline

Millewa and Carwarp district farmers can contact Agriculture Victoria on 1800 318 115 for dry seasonal conditions information and advice.

You may have questions about:

  • feed budgeting
  • stock containment areas
  • feed testing
  • livestock requirements
  • biosecurity
  • soil management

Our staff can also discuss other available support including grants.

CWA Drought Relief Program

The CWA of Victoria’s Drought Relief Program has been provided a funding boost by the Victorian Government for the provision of household financial relief.

A grant payment of up to $3000 per individual applicant and/or household is available for farming families, farm workers and contractors that are drought-affected and reliant on farming as their primary source of income.

This program is being funded through the Victorian Government’s Farmers’ Drought Fund - Household Financial Relief program.

To access an application form or to find out more go to or email

For anyone seeking a copy of the application form or requiring assistance to complete the application, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or email the CWA on

Feeding livestock website
feeding livestock website

Did you know that the Agriculture Victoria’s Beef and Sheep Drought Feeding and Management online books have a new home?

They are housed and updated on the Feeding Livestock website and can be downloaded or viewed in whole or as individual chapters on any device.

Other key features of the website, include:

Upcoming webinars
Controlling worms in beef cattle

Farmers can tune in to expert advice on the latest in parasite control in beef cattle.

The 60-minute webinar will provide an in-depth update and discussion about the latest developments in diagnostics and worm treatment in cattle, and the production benefits.

Presenter Matt Playford is a veterinary consultant and is the director of Dawbuts Pty. Ltd., a company that runs a parasitology laboratory and conducts research on behalf of the livestock industry.

He has a special interest in livestock parasite diagnostics and anthelmintic resistance.

Worms have a major impact on the health, welfare and productivity of beef cattle herds and as they live in the internal organs, they can be difficult for farmers to see, diagnose and control.

The full impact of worm burdens is not always fully understood despite their negative effect on production and the economic benefits of worm control.

This free webinar will provide updates on the most recent advances in diagnostic methods and how these have made testing more accurate, faster and cheaper.

Producers can join the evening session via their phone and/or computer, tablet or smartphone, and will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues with Mr Playford following his presentation.

  • The webinar, which is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia, is on Wednesday, 10 June from 7.30 to 8.30 pm.

To register on Eventbrite please go to:

For further information or if you are unable to register online please contact Cathy Mulligan on 0438 341 970 or email:

MLA Webinar: The best age to wean prime lambs

When: Tuesday 16 June, 8 – 9pm

Dr Bruce Allworth of Charles Sturt University will be discussing when is the best time to wean crossbred lambs off crossbred ewes.

Tune in to hear:

  • When do ewes cease lactation?
  • Is 14 weeks still the best option for weaning if you lamb in July?
  • What are the factors to consider when determining your weaning date?

Learn more and register online.

Contact: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) on 1800 023 100 or

Pig producer webinars
pig producer webinars
Farm business resilience webinar series

Agriculture Victoria is delivering a series of webinars to improve farm business resilience. Farmers and farm business managers should register for the webinars to identify how to safeguard their core business operations when unexpected situations occur.

Register for each of the webinars below to attend or receive a link of the recorded event.

Webinar 2: Your Financials
Thursday 18 June, 1.30 pm

Webinar 3: Your Resources
Thursday 2 July, 1.30 pm

Webinar 4: Your Plan
Thursday 16 July, 1.30 pm

Climate webinars
climate webinars
Navigating the new Agriculture Victoria soil moisture monitoring website

​In this webinar, Dale Boyd will provide an explanation and walk-through of the new Agriculture Victoria soil moisture monitoring website.

This will include navigating the website to find the soil moisture probe nearest to you and interpreting the data collected at that site.

Dale Boyd shares his expert knowledge in how soil moisture information can be used to make valuable and informed seasonal risk decisions.

When: Wednesday, 17 June, 12 – 1 pm

Register online.

Contact: Alice Ritchie on 0429 386 781 or

Managing climate variability webinar - MLA

Topic: Overview of the Managing Climate Variability R&D Program and Extreme Events Forecasting

Description: Doug McNicholl will provide an overview of the long-standing cross-sectoral MCV Program and introduce the Forewarned is Forearmed (FWFA) Rural R&D for Profit Project. His presentation will focus on the outputs, outcomes and impacts sought from the MCV and FWFA for individual producers and broader industry benefit.

Time: Jun 25, 1 pm (Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney)


Seasonal soil moisture probe network update

Recorded live Thursday 21 May, 2020.

Title: Seasonal soil moisture probe network update

Summary: In this webinar, Dale Boyd provides a seasonal update of the cropping soil moisture conditions as measured by the Agriculture Victoria moisture probe network.

About the presenter: Dale Boyd is a seasonal risk agronomist in the grains team with Agriculture Victoria based out of Echuca. He has worked with the department for 20 years and during that time has worked on a range of projects linked to monitoring soil moisture, irrigated cropping, and the current seasonal risk work. This work is a state-wide technology adoption project that uses deep soil moisture probe and weather station networks.

You can watch a recording of the presentation here:

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