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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 11July 2019
In this edition

Innovative technology trial for Victorian farmers
Expressions of interest for small scale pig and poultry producer workshops
Tunnel erosion remediation through soil condition and deep ripping
Global Table exhibitors participation call out
Jump into Spring’ with the Dairy Ladies’ Luncheon
On-farm energy grants program open
Scholarships for young Victorian farmers
Enter the Rural Press Club Awards now

What's On

Latest News
Innovative technology trial for Victorian farmers
Launch image of the Internet of things trial

An innovative trial testing the potential of Internet of Things technology on farms is now open to Victorian horticulture, dairy, sheep and grains farmers.

The trial will support Victorian farmers to investigate and capitalise on the opportunities of digital technology, putting themselves – and Victorian agriculture – at the forefront of farming innovation.

Embracing digital agriculture has the potential to boost the value of Australia’s agricultural production by $20.3 billion, with Internet of Things technology – making appliances ‘smart’ by connecting them to each other via the internet – at the heart of this growth.

The Internet of Things technology will allow farmers to gather on-farm data from embedding sensors on devices such as soil moisture probes, weather stations and silo storage monitors.

During the next two years, Agriculture Victoria will partner with hundreds of farms in the trial across four regions: dairy in Maffra, grains in Birchip, sheep in Serpentine and horticulture in Tatura.

The program is now encouraging farmers who want to take a low-risk approach to investing in new technology to apply for the program and trial new devices that could boost their farm’s efficiency and productivity.

In the first round of the trial, eligible farmers will have access to grants of up to $30,000 to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of acquiring Internet of Things technology from a catalogue of products put together for the trial.

Recently four Agriculture Victoria industry technology coordinators were appointed to support farmers to select technologies that best match the needs of their businesses.

The trial is part of the Government’s Connecting Victoria Program which aims to improve digital connectivity and usability for rural and regional Victoria.

Farmers interested in taking part in this exciting new trial can submit their expression of interest at

Expressions of interest close on 2 August.

Expressions of interest for small scale pig and poultry producer workshops
Pig stalls
Chickens in paddock
two pigs
farmer with chickens

Agriculture Victoria will host a series of free workshops to help new and existing small-scale pig and poultry producers prepare a land use planning permit application.

Please note: Only attending participants will be eligible for the supporting grants program of up to $3,000 for expenses related to on-farm works, consultancy, or training that supports the preparation of a land use planning permit application.

Expressions of interest for workshops that will run from 9:00am-3:00pm and be held in locations determined by registrations of interest.Preferably 12-16 properties required to host a workshop.

To assist us hold a workshop in a convenient location to you – please register your interest via the website below. Lunch will be provided, so please indicate any dietary allergies on registering.

These workshops will advise producers on:

  • planning requirements
  • property development, locality and nutrient management plans and
  • identification of site improvements needed to support their planning permit application.

Pre-workshop preparation - Agriculture Victoria may contact registered participants to determine property specific details prior to the workshop. This will allow us to provide participants with farm maps and/or aerial images.

To register your interest in attending a workshop go to Eventbrite.

For more information please contact  Ann McDowell on 0436 934 343 or

Tunnel erosion remediation through soil condition and deep ripping

Tunnel erosion is an insidious form of soil erosion that can lead to paddocks becoming untrafficable, dangerous and costly to repair. Sediment from tunnel erosion sites can also affect water supplies and nearby soil quality.

Sodic (dispersible) sub soils on sloping land are most prone to tunnel erosion and are common across Victoria. Tunnel erosion may be initiated by uneven saturation or concentrations of run-off into the subsoil.

This can arise through poor ground cover or cultivation or excavation in - or near - susceptible areas. Run-off then moves as lateral flows in the sub soil, entraining clay particles down the slope and leaving behind voids or tunnels.

Information on how to identify, repair and prevent tunnel erosion, including a farmer case study, is now available on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Global Table exhibitors participation call out
Global Table conference image tile

The Victorian Government is seeking applications from export-ready Victorian food and beverage organisations to participate as official Victorian Exhibitors at Global Table 2019, taking place in Melbourne from 3 to 6 September 2019.

Expression on Interest registration has been extended until 31 July 2019.

Global Table is a dynamic new business event that connects world industry leaders, innovators, corporates and governments who are committed to transforming the food industry towards a more sustainable future through trade, investment and innovation.

Emerging and export-ready Australian exhibitors in the categories of dairy, meat, grocery line, grains and baking, and non-alcoholic beverages are encouraged to take part in what will be Australia's biggest agribusiness event to showcase their innovation and expertise.

The Victorian Government will host a Victorian Trade Zone at the trade show to support eligible Victorian organisations to exhibit.

Victorian Exhibitors will have the opportunity to showcase their products at the Global Table Trade Zone and connect to new opportunities with international buyers and visitors attending the Expo.

The Victorian Government is offering a subsidy of up to $2200 for approved and qualified Victorian exhibitors. Places for the subsidy are limited though and will be distributed ona first-come, first-served basis.

Dates: Tuesday 3 September to Friday 6 September 2019
Location: Melbourne Showgrounds - Epsom Road, Ascot Vale
Cost for Victorian exhibitors: $2420 for a Standard Trade Booth - upfront payment is required.

Register your interest before 31 July. 

‘Jump into Spring’ with the Dairy Ladies’ Luncheon

WestVic Dairy will host the annual South West Dairy Ladies’ Luncheon at the Brother Fox Café, Deakin University, Warrnambool on 14 August.

Headlining this popular event in 2019 will be TV presenter Gorgi Coghlan. Gorgi can currently be seen on Network Ten’s ‘The Project’.

In addition to her TV work, Gorgi has a diverse resume which includes journalism, travel reporting, musical theatre, education and professional singing.

Georgie Coghlan headshot

The Ladies’ Luncheon has been running successfully for 11 years and aims to inspire women in the dairy industry, as well as providing an opportunity to get off-farm and enjoy some great entertainment, food and laughter.

WestVic Dairy’s Chair, Simone Renyard said, our vision is to give the ladies of the dairy industry a chance to have a day away from their farms and businesses, forget about all the issues in the world and have a day of fun, socialising and networking.

“Women are the backbone on many farms, it is important to acknowledge and support them, as well as provide an opportunity for some time out to relax and rejuvenate,” Simone said.

The theme of the year is ‘Jump into Spring’ which gives women in the local industry something to look forward to, as Simone explains,

“It’s all about coming out of winter, everybody gets a little bit over putting the gumboots and wet weather gear on. For the day we can get rid of all that, put on some colours, a bright dress and look forward to spring.”

Purchase your ticket to this year’s Ladies’ Luncheon, $35pp including a drink on arrival, grazing table and two course meal,

For more information, or if unable to book online call WestVic Dairy on (03) 5557 1000.

On-farm energy grants program open
Energy grants options tiles

Farmers are now able to apply for an on-farm energy grant.

The on-farm energy grants are available to eligible primary producers until March 2020 or until available funding is exhausted (whichever comes first).

Apply early so you don’t miss out.

You will need an on-farm energy assessment, or an equivalent certified on-farm energy assessment conducted in the past two years, to access one of the grants under the Agriculture Investment Energy Plan (AEIP). Find out more on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Scholarships for young Victorian farmers
Young farmers scholarship

The Victorian Government’s Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships are now open to young farmers looking to access study and training, and then invest on-farm or in further professional development.

Up to $10,000 is available per scholarship – with each recipient eligible for up to $5,000 to support their training and study in areas such as business and risk management, genetics and pasture management development.

Once recipients complete their studies, they will receive further support of up to $5,000 to put their new skills into practice through professional development, business planning or to invest on-farm in equipment.

The Young Farmers Scholarship program has successfully supported 50 young farmers to develop their skills across a range of agriculture sectors since 2015.

The Government works to support Victoria’s next generation of food and fibre leaders through a range of programs including the Young Farmer Business Bootcamps, Young Farmers Business Network and the Young Farmers Advisory Council.

Applications for this year’s round of scholarships are open to farmers aged 35 or under who have been working in farm businesses 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

Enter the Rural Press Club Awards now
Rural press club awards photo 2018

The Rural Press Club of Victoria 2019 Rural and Regional Journalism and Photography Awards showcase and recognise the best journalism and photography across the State and highlight media outlets that have inspired change in their communities.


Journalists and photographers enter their best work and also compete for the prestigious Journalist and Photographer of the Year titles.

Each newspaper, radio station and TV station also compete for the Media Outlet of the Year award, which is hotly contested.

This year’s gala awards night will be held on Friday, 23 August to recognise the best work published from 1 July, 2018, to 20 June, 2019.

The awards are open to all journalists, photographers and media outlets in Victoria and Tasmania. Journalists and photographers can enter the awards from 24 June - 19 July.

To enter the awards, you need to be a member of the Rural Press Club of Victoria.

Find out more here

What's on
Opportunity for Profit Workshop
Workshop Details

Where: Lake Bolac

When: Monday 15 July, 8:45am - 12:45pm

Free workshop


This half day workshop will delve into the results from a three year national project funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

The project has benchmarked more than 300 grain businesses nationally to identify what drives profit in each agro-ecological zone and how the provision of technical information links with these profit drivers.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the performance of the top 20 per cent of growers in your region
  2. Build your knowledge around the profit drivers that really make a difference in a grain business
  3. Identify the management traits of the top 20 per cent grower
  4. Have access to diagnostic tools and processes to easily assess your own business performance

For more information and to register call (08) 8841 4500, email or visit

Seasonal climate update webinars for winter – 15, 16, 17 July

These lunchtime webinars, with seasonal risk agronomist Dale Grey, will focus on the seasonal climate outlook, based on model projections for the climate drivers as well as the oceanic, atmospheric and soil moisture conditions of particular relevance to the grains industry in the GRDC Southern Region states

These webinars are simply on-line presentations which allow you to ask questions. They will be recorded, so if you miss the live presentation you can watch it later at a time that suits you.

Victorian winter climate update
Monday 15 July 2019 at 12:00pm AEST
Event number: 575 589 208
Event password: vicfastbreak

Click here to attend the Victorian winter climate update webinar.


South Australian winter climate update
Tuesday 16 July 2019 at 12:00pm AEST
Event number: 578 936 361
Event password: SAFastBreak

Click here to attend the South Australian winter climate update webinar.

Bioindicators of high performing soils
Meeting Details

When:  Monday 22 July, 11:00am

Where: Maroona Rec Reserve hall, 7356 Mortlake-Ararat Road, Maroona

FREE (Lunch provided)

RSVP (for catering):  Wednesday 17 July



You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Managing biological function is central to improving soil productivity.

Improving soil biological function could help reduce yield gaps in cropping soils of western Victoria.

In 2019, the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soils CRC) will pilot a project to design practical tools to measure and monitor biological functions in a target cropping area of western Victoria. 

The Soils CRC is looking to partner with cropping farmers and advisors who can help make these tools simple, practical and useful for farmers.

You are invited to meet with leading soil biologist and project leader Pauline Mele to discuss how you can support and benefit from this research.

To find out more and RSVP contact: Ayesha Burdett on 0429 021 500 or by email:

Australian Sheep and Wool Show – 19 to 21 July, Bendigo

The 142nd Australian Sheep and Wool Show will be held over three days at the Prince of Wales Showground, 42-72 Holmes Rd, Bendigo, Victoria.

For full event details please visit

Innovation Generation
Innovation generation header image

Celebrating its 13th year, Innovation Generation has been hosted in six states and territories across Australia and attracted more than 1800 young agricultural enthusiasts. This event will be at Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre on July 22-24.

If you are 18-40 and working in the agriculture industry, Innovation Generation is the one conference you can’t afford to miss.

Bringing together award-winning speakers, innovators and industry professionals from across the sector, you will be inspired, challenged and your networks strengthened.

To register go to

Webinar: Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of calf scours – 25 July
Phone seminar/webinar

When: 25 July

Time: 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: online or phone in - 

Please register prior to the event.


Join our phone seminar/webinar to get the latest information on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of calf scours.

Highly regarded farm consultant Graham Lean will lead the one-hour webinar which will include advice on diagnosing scours, effective and timely treatment and simple preventative management steps.

Please register prior to the event here.

Mallee Machinery Field Days – July 31 and August 1

Agriculture Victoria will again be at this year’s Mallee Machinery Field Days.

A wide range of timely information for grain and livestock farmers will be a cornerstone of the Agriculture Victoria site at next month’s Mallee Machinery Field Days near Speed.

Optional health checks will also be available this year, with a team of agri-health professionals from the National Centre for Farmer Health offering field day goers an opportunity to check on their number one asset - their health. 

More details coming soon so watch this space.

Sheepvention – 4 to 6 August, Hamilton

Sheepvention, one of the largest farming events held in Victoria, will commence on Sunday, 4 until Tuesday, 6 August at the Hamilton Showgrounds.

Sheepvention brings together farming, competition, entertainment and fashion, with a bit of local produce thrown into the mix.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria at sites 76 & 77, 87 - 90.

For full event details please visit

Sheepvention save the date tile
Farm water reticulation workshops – East Grampians rural pipeline
Workshop locations and dates

Monday 12 August
9.30am – 3.30pm
Ararat Pyrenees House, East Grampians Health service, Girdlestone Street, Ararat.

Wednesday 14 August
9.30am – 3.30pm
Tatyoon Hall, Tatyoon Road, Tatyoon.

Friday 16 August
9.30am – 3.30pm
Willaura Public Hall, Main Street, Willaura.


A series of workshops will be run to assist farmers in planning and designing an on-farm water reticulation system at Ararat, Tatyoon and Willaura.

The topics to be covered include:

  • East Grampians Rural Pipeline update
  • Preparing a farm water supply plan
  • Calculating your total water needs

A small aerial map of your property will be provided for planning activities during the workshop, so please provide your PIC number when you register.

Lunch and morning tea will be provided.

Please register by Monday 29 July, along with your PIC number, to: Clem Sturmfels, Agriculture Victoria, ph: (03) 5355 0535, or Sarah Tottenham, GWMWater, ph: (03) 5381 9610,

GRDC Grains Research Update - Derrinallum
Update Details

Thursday 22 August
9:00am – 1:00pm

Derrinallum Community Hall
74 Main Street, Derrinallum

Cost: $30 per person and $20 for additional attendees


The GRDC Grains Research Update events provide agronomists, consultants, researchers and growers with a forum to showcase innovative thinking and the latest research outcomes relevant to modern farming systems.

For more information on the Derrinallum Update contact Brett Symes;, phone (03) 5441 6176

Visit the website for full details and to register.

Fox bounty collection continues
Scheduled collections

Colac19–21 Rossmoyne Road, Colac, Tuesday 27 August, 1.30 – 3.30pm

Geelong 16 Cadman Terrace, North Geelong, Tuesday 27 August, 9.30 –11.30am

HamiltonDepot Hamilton Centre, Napier Rd, Hamilton, Wednesday 28 August, 1.30 – 3.30pm

Warrnambool 703–711 Raglan Parade, Wednesday 28 August, 8.30 – 10.30am


The Victorian Government’s fox bounty has been running since 2011.

Agriculture Victoria is again collecting until the end of October, which is consistent with previous years.

Eligible participants can submit entire fox scalps for a $10 reward.

Upcoming fox bounty collections for the Barwon South West region are for foxes only.

For full details on bounty collection times and locations, terms and conditions, and frequently asked questions, visit the Agriculture Victoria website or phone 136 186.

From the Ground Up, Regenerative Agriculture conference

As the cost of inputs rise and the challenges of farming in a changing climate become more pressing, we need to find new approaches to managing our farm businesses.

Regenerative agriculture can help you reduce costs by more efficiently using the resources you already have available. 

Through working with natural inputs and learning to work more effectively with natural processes, regenerative agriculture can help improve your soil, pastures and livestock health while also improving your bottom line.

Hosted by biodynamic farmer, grazier and 2018 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Winner Charlie Arnott, this three day conference introduces you to the fundamental principles of regenerative agriculture.  The program includes presentations, panel discussions and field visits.

From the ground up conference tile

The program

18 September: Why do we need Regenerative Agriculture?  What is the history of our landscape and what does this tell us about the future? What do we need to understand about our changing climate and how are communities coming together to respond to challenges?

19 September: How do we do Regenerative Agriculture? Foundational technical learning in building and maintaining healthy soils, ground cover and pasture management.

20 September: What would my business look like? Hear about examples of successful regenerative agriculture businesses at all scales. Understand the challenges and opportunities that you might face.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday, 19 September 2019 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday, 20 September 2019 9:00am - 4:30pm

Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre (COPACC), 95-97 Gellibrand Street, Colac 3250 

Find out more and book here.

From the Ground Up: Growing Regenerative Agriculture in Corangamite is presented by Otway Coast Regenerative Farmers and supported by The Australian Government National Landcare Program, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Southern Otway Landcare Network and the Colac Otway Shire Council.

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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. 


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