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Thursday 13 February 2020
In this edition

Looking after your best work-mate - dogs on utes

Lambing in dry times - livestock discussion groups

Water hyacinth – don’t buy, sell or give it away

NLIS management workshops for livestock producers

New IoT network to benefit farmers looking to invest in agtech

New controlled traffic farming resource available

Victoria's 2020 Rural Women's finalists announced

Farm machinery improvement grants now open

On-farm drought resilience grant program now open

On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate

Natte Yallock farmer Matt Cain explains how a support grant helped him

GRDC events to set the scene for 2020 Victorian cropping season

Young farmer business network

What's On

Looking after your best work-mate – dogs on utes

Dr Jeff Cave
District Veterinary Officer

There is no argument that working dogs are an enormous asset to farmers and it stands to reason, if your dog travels on the back of your ute, you need to take extra care to avoid exposing it to heat stress on hot days.

While it is legal to allow appropriately restrained dogs to travel on the back of utes, dogs left in the sun for long periods can quickly dehydrate or even die from heat stress.

Adequate shelter, for example a fixed canopy, needs to be provided to protect tethered dogs from extreme temperatures.

A lot of utes and tray backs these days are made of metal and will heat up quickly and could easily burn dogs’ paws. It is now a requirement to ensure metal floors in utes are covered on a hot day.

Ensure dogs kept in cages have adequate ventilation, particularly when the vehicle is not moving, and ensure all dogs are given regular access to cool water.

Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act requires dogs travelling in the back of utes, trailers or open tray trucks to be tethered or caged in a manner that prevents them from falling from the vehicle. The only exemption is when dogs are actively working livestock.

The tether should only be long enough to permit the dog to stand, lie down and move about but not so long that it could potentially let the dog fall off the vehicle and be dragged or strangled.

Tethering dogs should always be regarded as a temporary, short term method of restraint.

For further advice please contact the RSPCA, your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer, or in NSW your Local Land Services.

Lambing in dry times - livestock discussion groups

Farmers from the Millewa-Carwarp district and surrounds are invited to come along to FREE livestock discussion groups with Vin Madden of Madden Livestock Services.

Date: 12 March
Time: 9.30 am-12 midday
Location: Cullulleraine Community Complex

Date: 12 March
Time: 1.30 - 4 pm
Location: Meringur Community Centre

Date: 13 March
Time: 9.30 am-12 midday
Location: Carwarp Hall

These are free events with morning or afternoon tea provided.

Please note: Agriculture Victoria will cancel this workshop if a Code Red fire day is declared for the Mallee.


  • Nutritional requirements for pregnant and lactating ewes
  • Managing ewes/lambs in stock containment areas
  • Importance of having a feed budget and using feed test results
  • Please also bring along any other sheep related questions as there will be time for general discussion

If you are interested in coming along, please contact:

Rachel Coombes: 0436 001 258 or

For more information about assistance available to help farmers manage during dry seasonal conditions call 136 186 or visit

Water hyacinth – don’t buy, sell or give it away

Water hyacinth is a highly invasive weed that is choking lakes, rivers and water ways around the world and Agriculture Victoria

Water hyacinth may look pretty but has a well-deserved reputation for being the world’s worst water weed.

An advertising campaign, ’Water hyacinth – don’t buy, sell or give it away’, targets the illegal buying or selling of the State prohibited weed - the highest category of declared noxious weeds in Victoria.

The campaign will run on social media and online advertising sites in English, Mandarin, Khmer and Vietnamese.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Manager – High Risk Invasive Plants, Angela Constantine said water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), was very harmful in aquatic environments.

Ms Constantine said water hyacinth could rapidly affect water quality, native aquatic plants and fish, and have an impact on recreational activities such as fishing and boating.

“We are asking people, if they see water hyacinth, to contact Agriculture Victoria and we will remove it before it can spread further,” Ms Constantine said.

It is illegal to buy, sell, display, propagate or transport State prohibited weeds.

Ms Constantine said in recent years Agriculture Victoria had prosecuted people for selling water hyacinth on Facebook and Gumtree.

“It’s important to know what you are buying, selling, or giving away,” she said.

Last financial year, Agriculture Victoria detected 21 cases of water hyacinth being traded online, and nine of these were in Victoria.

Ms Constantine said water hyacinth was easier to recognise during summer when it was flowering.

“Water hyacinth can be identified by its distinctive mauve flower and bulbous spongy stems,” Ms Constantine said.

“It is often kept for its very attractive flower, but owners may be unaware of the profound threat it poses.

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

If you see or have any water hyacinth, or any other State prohibited weed, report it to the Agriculture Victoria Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or

NLIS management workshops for livestock producers

Agriculture Victoria is holding practical, hands-on workshops in February and March for sheep, goat and cattle producers on how to use the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.

The workshops will walk producers through their NLIS requirements and navigation, completion of movement transactions and reporting functions on the NLIS database.

Participants will also learn how to update their Property Identification Code (PIC) details.

All sheep, goats and cattle tagged with an electronic NLIS tag must be transferred on the NLIS database when they are moved between two different Victorian Property Identification Codes (PIC).

Agriculture Victoria Technical Specialist Kirstie Anderson said the aim was for producers to understand their livestock traceability requirements and how to manage their NLIS database account.

The recent bushfire events across Victoria has demonstrated just how important it is to keep PIC details up to date.

Dates and locations (all sessions run from 10 am to 3pm, with lunch provided).

  • Camperdown – Tuesday 18 February at WestVic Dairy, 5 Cressy Street, Camperdown
  • Hamilton – Thursday 20 February at Agriculture Victoria, 915 Napier Road, Hamilton
  • Dookie – Friday 28 February at University of Melbourne, 940 Dookie/Nalinga Road, Dookie
  • Seymour – Friday 13 March at DELWP, 15 Hume and Hovell Road, Seymour
  • Echuca – Wednesday 25 March at Agriculture Victoria, Corner Ogilivie Ave/Annesley Street, Echuca
  • Ararat – Wednesday 25 March at Agriculture Victoria, Shire Hall Barkly Street, Ararat
  • Horsham – Tuesday 31 March at Agriculture Victoria, 110 Natimuk Road, Horsham
  • Webinar – Monday 16 and 23 March

For further information on NLIS requirements and PICS is available at

Numbers are limited so please register early at

For more information on the workshops, or to register over the phone, please contact Kirstie Anderson at Agriculture Victoria on (03) 5761 1647.

New IoT network to benefit farmers looking to invest in agtech

To improve farmers’ access to reliable network coverage, Agriculture Victoria is partnering with the National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo) to deliver Internet of Things (IoT) network connectivity to farmers around Serpentine.

The new long-range network (LoRaWAN) being rolled-out as part of Victoria’s On-Farm IoT Trial, will allow for thousands of sensors to be securely connected to the internet, providing farmers with real-time data to improve their on-farm productivity, efficiency and sustainability.

New network connectivity will not only benefit farmers taking part in the trial but will also provide broader opportunities for digital uptake in communities in the trial region.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said the On-Farm IoT Trial had the potential to revolutionise farm businesses, putting Victorian farmers at the forefront of agricultural innovation.

“We’re excited to work with NNNCo to roll this exciting technology out to keep our farmers connected and help them work smarter – not harder,” Ms Symes said.

CEO of NNNCo Rob Zagarella said the company’s network and data platform roll-out was a commitment to every farmer in the trial regions to provide the coverage they needed to better manage and run their operations.

“Farmers now have a broad choice of devices and applications from the growing global IoT ecosystem,” Mr Zagarella said.

“This includes irrigation management and control, and real-time monitoring of soil health, rainfall, cattle movement, farm assets, worker safety, and water tank levels so that they can proactively respond to the needs of the farm,” he said. 

To find out more about the On-Farm IoT Trial visit agriculture visit

New controlled traffic farming resource available

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Australian Controlled Traffic Farming Association (ACTFA) have launched an e-book titled “On the right track, controlled traffic in the low rainfall zone of south-eastern Australia”.

The e-book is the outcome of five years of work on the GRDC-funded project "Application of controlled traffic farming in the low rainfall zone", which set out to answer grain grower's questions about the adoption of controlled traffic farming (CTF) in the south eastern Australian low rainfall zone.

CTF is a farming production technique that keeps the wheels and tracks of all cropping equipment to 12-18 per cent of paddock area, leaving the remaining ground always uncompacted and in optimum condition for crop productivity.

While the hard data and analysis in the e-book is primarily from the low rainfall zone, the book also contains information of potential interest to grain growers in all other production zones across Australia.

Various aspects of a CTF system can be applied in all places and to all grain, fibre or forage crops.

The booklet can be downloaded here:

Victoria’s 2020 Rural Women’s finalists announced

PICTURE: Jackie Elliott, Kerryn Wildenburg, Katrina van Eyk and Kelly Barnes.

Congratulations to Jackie Elliott (Byaduck), Kerryn Wildenburg (Kyneton), Katrina van Eyk (Pyramid Hill) and Kelly Barnes (Dunkeld) who have been announced as the Victorian finalists in the 2020 Victorian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award acknowledges and supports the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.

The Victorian winner will be announced at an upcoming ceremony on March 24 and will receive a bursary of $10,000 to implement their project.

Discover more about the awards at

Farm machinery improvement grants now open

Farmers in Victoria's Millewa region can now apply for a farm machinery grant to help them maintain on-farm machinery and equipment and prepare for future seasons.

Applications are open for the Farm Machinery Improvement Grants Program as part of the government's $31.6 million drought assistance package, announced in October las year.

The program will be delivered by the Victorian Farmers Federation and will provide grants of up to $10,000 to eligible dryland farm businesses in the Millewa and surrounding areas.

Farm owners, operators, share farmers or leaseholders can apply for a grant to undertake essential maintenance and repair of machinery including tractors, harvesters, seeders and hay baling equipment – including maintenance and repairs to meet safety standards and repairs to fix or replace broken parts.

The $31.6 million drought package takes the government's total support for drought-affected farmers since September 2018 to over $81 million.

For more information about the program and to apply for support, visit or call 136 186.

On-farm drought resilience grant program now open
new drought grants

Victorian farmers impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions are encouraged to apply for two grant programs offering both on-farm assistance and direct financial household relief.

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 announced on 2 October 2019.

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

The On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program is now available to assist eligible farm businesses to invest in on-farm drought preparedness or to seek business advice with a grant of up to $5000.

To access the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant farmers should contact Rural Finance direct to discuss their eligibility on 1800 260 425 or go to

Both programs target farm businesses and farming families in the Wellington and East Gippsland shires, dryland farming in the Millewa region and irrigation farming in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID). 

For further information on other available support and assistance contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186, visit the website or drop into the closest Agriculture Victoria office in your area.

On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate

The On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is now available for the purchase and installation of emergency water infrastructure for livestock.

The scheme is available to eligible farm businesses in a number of local government areas, including: Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, Loddon, Strathbogie, Swan Hill, Mildura and Buloke.

Farm businesses outside of the above 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, call 1800 260 425 or visit

Natte Yallock farmer Matt Cain explains how a support grant helped him

Watch Natte Yallock farmer Matt Cain talk about how he used his On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grant to put in a new reticulated water system that saves him time.

For more information about drought and dry seasonal conditions grants and other types of support call 136 186, drop into a local office or visit

GRDC events to set the scene for 2020 Victorian cropping season

Registrations are now open for Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) grains research and farm business Update events to be held throughout Victoria in early 2020.

GRDC Grains Research Updates and Farm Business Updates – designed to inform grain growers’ decision making leading into next year’s cropping season, and beyond – have been scheduled for February and March.

Information, insights and advice to be presented at the Updates have the potential to underpin improved agronomic practices and farm business operations for increased profitability, according to GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Courtney Ramsey.

“The GRDC Grains Research Updates will each feature a line-up of expert speakers who will deliver the latest findings from GRDC research investments which have relevance to and implications for the State’s growers,” Ms Ramsey said.

Grains Research Updates will kick off on February 25-26 when the State’s premier grains research, development and extension event is held in Bendigo.

The Bendigo Update plays an important role in enabling researchers to transfer their knowledge from GRDC investments to advisers and growers, and for showcasing the latest developments in technology.

A regional GRDC Grains Research Update will be at Bannockburn on 27 February.

GRDC Farm Business Updates have been scheduled for Swan Hill on March 11 and Bendigo on March 12.

“Further opportunities to generate profit growth within Victoria’s grain growing enterprises will be explored at the Farm Business Updates where the economic implications of practice change by growers and critical skills for business improvement will be investigated.”

For further information and to register for the Updates, please visit or phone ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email

Young farmer business network
Young Farmers Business Network group on Facebook

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.

What's On

Agriculture Victoria will cancel workshops on Code Red fire danger days

Drought and dry seasons workshops

For a complete list of Northern and North-West farmer workshops focussing on drought and dry seasonal conditions support and advance, go to the Agriculture Victoria website here.

Upcoming webinar - Inside the Bureau's new climate guides project

Date: Monday 24 February
Time: 12 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: Free


The next presentation in the climate webinar series for 2020 will look inside the Bureau's new climate guides project.

The new regional climate guides aim to help farmers understand and manage their climate risk by providing regionally focused climate and weather summaries that detail historical observations and trends using information available from local Bureau of Meteorology weather stations.

Presenter: Luke Shelley joined the Bureau in 2008 and in the last two years has been a member of the Bureau's new Agriculture program, where he is currently the acting General Manager.  Luke has just finished travelling around the country to consult stakeholders on the design of the Bureau's new climate guides.

Stock water management workshops - two locations
  • Mitiamo, 28 February 2020, Mitiamo Sports Club
  • Tylden, 23 March, 2020, Tylden Community Hall

Registrations from 9.15 am for a prompt 9.30 am start.
Workshops conclude by 2.30 pm, FREE lunch included

“Being Prepared – Being Resilient”

These workshops will assist landholders to:

  • Understand farm water requirements – how much water might be needed for your property
  • Understand the process involved in locating main storage tanks, troughs and pipelines
  • Understand basic reticulation principles including head pressure and pipe friction
  • Understand the process and next steps in developing a detailed reticulation design
  • Consider the benefits of decommissioning farm dams

These workshops are for people who are planning a reticulation system to bolster their farm water supplies and ensure the correct flow rate arrives where it is needed.

GMWater representatives will also be present to discuss the Mitiamo Pipeline Project providing a project update and explaining connection processes.

For more information or to register your interest, contact Martin Hamilton on telephone (03) 5430 4802 or mobile 0429 946 149 or email

GRDC Grains Research Update (Bendigo)

GRDC Grains Research Update (Bendigo)

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.

Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Ulumbarra Theatre
10 Gaol Road, Bendigo

ABARES Outlook 2020

WHERE: Canberra

WHEN: 3 and 4 March, 2020

ABARES Outlook 2020 conference is exploring the practical steps to reaching what some call an ambitious target - $100 billion in farm output by 2030.

Be part of the conversation as we consider the opportunities and threats in reaching that target.

Early bird tickets

To register for early-bird registration rates, nominate session or speakers, or to register for our e-news updates go to

Best Practice Predator Management Webinar

Best Practice Predator Management Webinar will be held on Thursday, March 5 at 7.30 to 9 pm.

Topics covered:

  • Overview of fox and wild dog ecology
  • Impact of predators on lambing percentages and farm business
  • Applying best practice fox and wild dog baiting techniques on farm
  • Using Canid Pest Ejectors – the ‘new control tools on the block’
  • Working dog safety and baiting
  • Using Pestsmart and Feral Scan applications for the management of vertebrate pests

To register click here or for more information about managing a livestock enterprise, call Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or visit the Agriculture Victoria website at

GRDC Farm Business Update (Swan Hill)

The GRDC Farm Business Update events drive innovation and adoption of improved farm business management practices across the grains industry.

Wednesday 11 March, 2020

Town Hall Performing Arts Centre

57 McCallum Street, Swan Hill

9.30 am to 3.15 pm (Doors Open At 9 am)

Speakers and Topics coming soon

Precision ag one-on-ones

If you’re already working with Precision Agriculture, but looking for expert advice to solve key challenges or take the next step, Birchip Cropping Group will be holding a series of hour long, one-on-one consultations from 16 March.

This will provide growers with an opportunity to get tailor made advice specific for their farm and farming context, or expert help with key PA challenges.

The one-on-one consultations will be held in:

  • Birchip (16 March)
  • Horsham (17 March)
  • St Arnaud (18 March)

Registrations for these appointment-only sessions are essential.

Please contact Phillip Guthrie on 0422 570071 or to register your interest and reserve a time.

Traceability and NLIS Database Management – Producer webinar

Please note: This is a two-part webinar, delivered 8 - 9 pm Monday 15 March and 8 - 9 pm Monday 22 March. You must attend both parts to participate.

Agriculture Victoria is conducting this interactive two-part webinar to assist Victorian livestock producers to use the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database to complete transactions, including Property-to-Property (P2P) transfers.

This two-part webinar is relevant to cattle, sheep and goat producers.

All sheep and goats and cattle tagged with an EID NLIS tag must be transferred on the NLIS database when they are moved between two different Victorian Property Identification Codes (PICs).

This interactive two-part webinar will walk producers through setting up and using the NLIS database.


  • Setting up, navigating and using the NLIS database
  • Management of livestock movements onto your property
  • Property to Property (P2P) transfers on the NLIS database.

Numbers are limited to allow for an interactive session, so register early.

If you have any problems with registering online please call (03) 5761 1647.

Subscribe here to the 'Loddon Mallee Ag News' e-newsletter and share this link with your colleagues.

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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