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Gippsland Ag news
Thursday, 11 July 2019
In this edition
  • Ambitious new technology trial open to Maffra farmers
  • Global Table exhibitor's participation call out
  • Expressions of Interest for small scale pig and poultry producer workshops
  • Water hyacinth found in urban lake
  • Drought and dry seasons support services and information 
  • What's on
  • Save-the-date
Latest news
Ambitious new technology trial open to Maffra farmers
IoT launch picture

An innovative trial testing the potential of Internet of Things technology on farms is now open to Maffra dairy farmers as part of a statewide trial.

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.

Internet of Things technology – making appliances ‘smart’ by connecting them to each other via the internet – is 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.

Over 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 business.

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.

Global Table exhibitor’s participation call out
Global table banner

The Victorian Government is seeking applications from export-ready Victorian food and beverage organisations to participate as official Victorian Exhibitors at Global Table 2019.

The world event is taking place in Melbourne from 3 to 6 September 2019.

Expression of 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 on a 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.

Expressions of Interest for small scale pig and poultry producer workshops

Agriculture Victoria is calling on Expressions of Interest from producers interested in hosting a free workshop that will 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 $3000 for expenses related to on-farm works, consultancy, or training that supports the preparation of a land use planning permit application.


Workshops will run from 9 am – 3 pm and be held in locations determined by registrations of interest. Preferably 12 – 16 properties are required to host a workshop. 

To assist us hold a workshop in a convenient location to you, please register your interest on Eventbrite.

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.

Register your interest in attending a workshop at Eventbrite.

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

Water hyacinth found in urban lake
Water hyacinth bulbs

One of the world’s worst weeds, water hyacinth, has been found and treated in the ‘Waterways’ estate in Melbourne’s south east.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officers removed 14 plants from Sunset Lagoon, one of the constructed lakes on the estate.

A Weed Spotter volunteer reported the infestation to Agriculture Victoria, enabling officers to treat the infestation before it had begun to spread.

High Risk Invasive Plants Biosecurity Manager, Angela Constantine, said Agriculture Victoria would continue to monitor the site for many years to ensure it stays free of the aquatic weed.

“Water hyacinth is a highly invasive aquatic weed. The plant grows rapidly, forming a dense, impenetrable mat on the water’s surface that can reduce water quality, devastate wetlands and displace native aquatic species,” she said.

“In just one season, a single water hyacinth plant can produce more than 3000 seeds that can survive for up to 20 years.

“Therefore, it is very important to prevent water hyacinth from entering or establishing infestations in our waterways.

“Water hyacinth can be identified by its distinctive mauve flower and bulbous spongy stems. Often kept for its very attractive flower, owners may be unaware of the profound threat it poses.”

Anyone who may have seen water hyacinth plants, or may potentially have it in their possession, is urged to contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 and not attempt to remove the plants themselves.

Agriculture Victoria will remove any water hyacinth plants found at no cost to the land owner.

For more information about water hyacinth and invasive plant management visit the Agriculture Victoria website at or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Drought and dry seasons support services and information
One-on-one assistance

Have you dropped into our offices at Bairnsdale, Maffra or Swifts Creek lately?

Did you know you can make an appointment to talk to a staff member about a pasture recovery grant, drought assistance and technical workshops in the region?

You can also make a time to have a one-on-one consultation.

You will find us at:

  • 574 Main Street, Bairnsdale (same place as the DELWP office)
  • 1 Stratford Road, Maffra
  • 13 McMillan Avenue, Swifts Creek (same place as the DELWP office)

As always you can also get more information, tools and advice online at or call us on 136 186.

On-farm emergency water infrastructure rebate scheme

Producers are encouraged to access the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme for the purchase and installation of emergency water infrastructure for livestock.

In Gippsland, the scheme is available to eligible farm businesses in the Wellington and East Gippsland shires.

Farm businesses NOT in these local government areas can make an application if they can demonstrate a critical water need for livestock resulting from current seasonal conditions.
These applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The scheme is available for water infrastructure purchased since 1 July 2018. Guidelines and application details can be obtained from Rural Finance.

Look over the farm gate
Look over the farm gate logo

Look Over the Farm Gate grants are still open for farmers and communities facing drought and dry conditions across central and eastern Gippsland and northern Victoria.

Community groups in drought affected communities can apply online for grants of $1,500 to run events that address mental health and wellbeing.

Look Over the Farm Gate is a mental health and wellbeing initiative funded by the Victorian Government (drought support funding committed in September 2018).

It is managed by the Victorian Farmers Federation in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Country Women’s Association, Country Fire Authority, and National Centre for Farmer Health.

Applications are being accepted for events until March 2019 and are assessed on a first in best dressed basis.

For more information and how to apply visit or to contact the coordinator at

What's on
Fox and wild bounty collections
When and where:


Ellinbank (fox/wild dog) – Monday 15 July, 2 pm to 4 pm at 1301 Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank

Bairnsdale (fox/wild dog) – Tuesday 16 July, 12 noon to 2 pm at 35 Dargo Road, Bairnsdale

Maffra (fox/wild dog) – Wednesday 17 July, 9 am to 11 am, 1 Stratford Road, Maffra

Yarram (foxes only) – Wednesday 17 July, 2 pm to 4 pm, Rodgers Street, Yarram


The Victorian Government’s fox bounty resumed in March.

Agriculture Victoria has collection sites in Gippsland in July, September and October.

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

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

Innovation Generation 2019
Innovation generation
When and where:

Monday 22 July – Wednesday 24 July

Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre


Celebrating its 13th year, Innovation Generation has been hosted in six states and territories across Australia and attracted more than 1800 young agricultural enthusiasts. If you are 18 to 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 will strengthen your network.

Further information at To register, click here.

Irrigator Drought Forum
When and where:

Wednesday 24 July
10.45am – 12.30pm

Followed by free BBQ lunch.

Newry Hall
139 Main Street,


About 30 farmers attended an irrigator drought forum at the Newry Hall in the Macalister Irrigation District on 27 June, with panellists and local farmers Jon Ryan, Peter Neaves and Benn Thexton who shared their insights on lessons learned in the past 12 months and what they might do differently next season.

Come along to Newry Hall and join Jon, Peter and Benn on Wednesday 24 July when they present the second forum of this two-part series.

For registations and further information, contact the Agriculture Victoria Irrigation Team at Maffra on (03) 5147 0800.

142nd Australian Sheep and Wool Show
When and where:

19 to 21 July

42–72 Holmes Rd, 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

Ground cover and feed crops in dry times – Bairnsdale and Omeo field tours and information days
Where and when:



Wednesday 24 July
10.00 am – 3.30 pm

574 Main Street, Bairnsdale (DELWP office)


Thursday 25 July
9.45 am – 3.45 pm

Location details for the Omeo event will be provided on registration.

Lunch will be provided at both events.


‘Ground cover and feed crops in dry times’ is the topic of field tours and information days at Bairnsdale (24 July) and Omeo (25 July) later this month.

At Bairnsdale, the day will start at the DELWP building and feature a panel discussion from agronomists, seed specialists and research trial results. It will be followed by paddock walks in the Bengworden area discussing looking at wheat varieties, barley varieties, brassica, oats and rye grass, both dry land and irrigation.

At Omeo, the day will start with paddock walks across four properties in the Omeo region, looking at crops and discussing what has worked and what hasn’t. There will then be a panel discussion with agronomists, seed specialists and researchers at the Omeo Recreational Reserve, which will be followed by another paddock walk.

RSVP for both events to Natalie Jenkins on (03) 5152 0612 or

Delivered by Southern Farming Systems, supported by Agriculture Victoria and the Farming and Community Drought Funding Program.

East Gippsland Beef Conference
Better Beef logo

The East Gippsland Beef Conference connects local producers with leading producers, innovative farming practices, market analysis and forecasts, and industry research.

When and where:

Tuesday 13 August
Bairnsdale Sporting and Recreation Centre


Full program details and bookings are available on Eventbrite.

Farmers: $60 for the first person. $40 for additional people from the same business
$120 for non-farmers– e.g. agribusiness, government
$30 Students
$60 Dinner, St Mary’s Hall, Pyke St, Bairnsdale


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 logo
Rural Press Club Awards
Press club

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 July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.

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

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

Visit the Rural Press Club of Victoria website for more details.

To subscribe to Gippsland Ag News

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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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