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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday, 18 July 2019
In this edition
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies with long-term feeding out
  • Bee biosecurity checklist for almond pollination
  • Be aware when purchasing fodder and livestock feed
  • Expressions of interest for small scale pig and poultry producer workshops
  • Fox and wild dog bounty in North East and Goulburn Broken​
  • What's on?
  • Save-the-date
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies with long-term feeding-out
Cows feeding out

Dr Jeff Cave                                                                                                                          District Veterinary Officer

It is important to remember, even if the current dry seasonal conditions wane, many farmers will still be feeding-out to livestock due to the lack of nutritious pastures.

It is essential to provide stock with the minimum nutritional requirements to prevent deficiencies, sub-optimal production, disease and death.

As feeding-out to livestock continues, deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins, particularly vitamins A and E are possible, although it is worth remembering that vitamin A and E deficiency only occurs if green feed has been absent for many months.

Treatment for both vitamin A and E deficiencies are by supplementation via injection or drench but should only be considered if lambs and cattle have been lacking green feed for three to four months, or if adult sheep have been lacking green feed for more than nine months.

Calcium, phosphorous and sodium deficiency are three mineral deficiencies that may also be seen during longer periods of feeding-out.

Calcium deficiency most commonly occurs in diets containing a high proportion of cereal grain. The addition of agricultural limestone mixed with the ration can be an effective form of prevention.

Phosphorus deficiencies occur when diets consist mainly of low-quality roughage for an extended period. The main signs of phosphorus deficiency are shifting lameness, an arched back and difficulty walking.

With extended deficiencies, stock may chew sticks, stones or bones from carcasses in paddocks to gain their phosphorus requirements. This then leads to a significant risk of botulism from the ingestion of bacterial spores in the decomposing tissues attached to bones.

Sodium is a major component of salt. Salt is important for the regulation of many processes in the animal’s body.

Most grains are deficient in sodium, so an addition of salt to diets containing a large proportion of grain, where stock drinking water has a low salt content, is recommended to prevent deficiencies.

The addition of salt to grain diets fed to wethers and rams may also assist in the prevention of bladder stones and urinary blockages by increasing water intake.

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

Bee biosecurity checklist for almond pollination
bee on blossom

Agriculture Victoria is preparing for the annual almond pollination season with an estimated 150,000 hives set to arrive in North-West Victoria in coming weeks.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Apiary Officer Joe Riordan said such a large movement of bee hives increases biosecurity risks associated with hive to hive transmission of bee pests and diseases, most notably American Foulbrood disease.

“American Foulbrood can spread from an infected hive whether it be weakened or already dead, known as ‘dead outs’, by robber bees who take the infected honey back to their healthy hive,” he said.

Mr Riordan said he wanted to remind beekeepers who are planning to attend pollination that they should complete a four-point checklist before leaving their premises.

“It doesn’t matter if they come from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales or Queensland, all beekeepers need to ask themselves, have they:
- undertaken an annual honey culture test?
- completed the Biosecurity Online Training (BOLT) course?
- inspected their brood for exotic diseases and pests such as Varroa mite?
- acquired the necessary health certificate to enter Victoria if coming from inter-state?

“Undertaking the activities on the checklist will support Agriculture Victoria efforts to ensure best practice management of hives as required by the Australian Bee Biosecurity Code of Practice.”

More honey bee information can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website here

Be aware when purchasing fodder and livestock feed

Movement of fodder and grain as stockfeed can potentially introduce new weeds into Victoria and poses a serious risk to both our plant and animal industries.

Victorian farmers sourcing fodder or livestock feed from new or different places to help them manage through winter are reminded to observe good biosecurity practices.

To minimise risk, farmers and land managers can implement some simple actions which could save money, improve environmental values and avoid future stress.

For stockfeed and fodder on-farm, consider the following:

  • Check the origin of your hay or grain stockfeed, has it come from a known weed-infested area?
  • Ask the supplier for written certification on any potential weed content
  • Where possible source locally grown feed to reduce the chance of introducing new weeds that are not already present and known in your locality
  • Keep records of purchased hay or grain stock feed: content, location sourced, producer, date purchased, transporter and feed-out area
  • Feed-out in a confined area away from drainage lines (stock containment areas) to reduce the likelihood of weeds being spread throughout your property
  • Monitor feed-out areas regularly and be suspicious of unfamiliar plants that germinate
  • Contact Agriculture Victoria staff for assistance with identification of suspect plants.
  • Ensure vehicles are thoroughly cleaned inside and out in designated areas to avoid the spread of weeds onto road reserves and adjacent land after deliveries.

For more information, please contact your local Agriculture Victoria Plant Standards officer, call 136 186 or go to

Expressions of Interest for small scale pig and poultry producer workshops
Piglets image

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 $3000 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 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 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

Young farmers of Victoria, this is your network!
YFBN image

The Young Farmer Business Network will connect you with accessible business management-related information, events of interest and information on Victorian young farmer groups.

It also signposts opportunities to apply for awards, grants and scholarships and/or to participate in other forms of learning.

The Young Farmer Business Bootcamps are in development across Victoria once again and details can be found on the Network.

Access the Young Farmer Business Network.

Fox and wild dog bounty in North East and Goulburn Broken
Fox image

The Victorian Government’s fox and wild dog bounty has resumed and will continue in the North-East and Goulburn Broken regions until October.

Eligible participants can submit entire fox scalps for a $10 reward during scheduled collection times.

North East and Goulburn Broken Victoria

Tatura (Fox only) – 255 Ferguson Road, Tatura
Monday 22 July, 11.30 – 1.30pm

Wodonga (Fox and wild dog) – 14 Moorefield Park Drive, Wodonga Tuesday 23 July, 9 – 11am

Ovens (Fox and wild dog) 5338 Great Alpine Road, Ovens
Tuesday 23 July, 1.30 – 3.30pm

Benalla (Fox only) – 89 Sydney Road, Benalla
Wednesday 24 July, 10am – 12 noon

Mansfield (Fox and wild dog) 128 Highett Street, Mansfield
Wednesday 24 July, 2 – 4pm

Broadford (Fox only) – 5 Mollinson Street, Broadford
Thursday 25 July, 10.30am – 12.30pm

For full details on bounty collection go to the Agriculture Victoria website,, or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Rural Press Club awards open for entries
RPC of Victoria

It's showtime! Book your tickets now for the 2019 Rural Press Club of Victoria Journalism and Photography Awards Night on Friday, 23 August.

Enjoy canapes, three courses and drinks at one of Melbourne's most exciting venues for the special member price of $110 (plus GST). Non-members are very welcome at $140 (plus GST).

The awards night celebrates the best journalism and photography from regional and rural Victoria in 2018/19 culminating in the announcement of the prestigious Journalist of the Year, Ray Frawley Young Journalist of the Year, Photographer of the Year and Media Outlet of the Year.

Journalists and photographers have until July 19 to enter the awards. Enter here.

Date: Friday, 23 August at 7.00 pm

Location: Showtime Events Centre, South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf

Members: $110 (plus GST)

Non-members: $140 (plus GST)

Dress code: Lounge suit/cocktail dress

Queries: Please contact Laura Poole at or on 0402 046 742.

Make a booking at - individual or tables of 10.

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

FREE sheep faecal egg count tests

Sheep producers are being urged to submit worm samples for an AWI research trial to validate a more sensitive worm test.

They are asked to collect dung samples from a mob of wormy sheep on the day of drenching, then again 14 days after the drench.

Producers who submit worm samples will receive the results from the traditional faecal egg count (FEC) test for free, saving them hundreds of dollars.

For more information contact or call (02) 4655 6464.

On-farm emergency water infrastructure rebate scheme

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 the following local government areas: Benalla,Campaspe, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, Loddon, Moira, Strathbogie, Swan Hill, Wellington, Northern Grampians, Mildura, Wodonga, Alpine, Hindmarsh, Yarriambiack, Towong, Buloke, Horsham, and Indigo.

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

Energy grants for agriculture – apply now

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

Apply early so you don’t miss out.

Grants will be provided on a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ cash co-contribution basis, and recipients are required to contribute at least 50 per cent of the total cash costs of the project.

Grants are available to eligible farm businesses for projects that achieve energy efficiency or provide the business with energy productivity improvements to support longer-term sustainability.

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).

Apply for an on-farm energy assessment or an on-farm energy grant online at

Look Over the Farm Gate grants
Over the gate tile

Farmers and communities facing drought and dry conditions across northern and north west Victoria should apply now for funding under the Look Over the Farm Gate Program.

Look Over the Farm Gate events are an opportunity for farmers to take a break from the farm, reconnect with their community, access professional support and participate in mental health training.

You know what your community needs, so we encourage community groups to think creatively about what single event or series of events would be most effective.

It could be anything from a barbeque and comedy night, regular fitness meet-ups in the park, or a family movie night.

Look Over the Farm Gate is a mental health and wellbeing initiative funded by the Victorian Government and 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 still being accepted for events and are assessed on a first in best dressed basis.

For more information about eligibility and how to apply, visit the website at

What's on?
Omeo field tour and information day – Ground cover and feed crops in dry times

Southern Farming Systems, Benambra, Dinner Plain, Omeo Landcare and Agriculture Victoria have combined to hold a ‘Ground cover and feed crops in dry times’ field tour and information day at Omeo on Thursday, 25 July from 9.45 am to 3.45 pm.

The day will include:

  • Pasture assessments
  • Perennial pastures
  • Annual crops
  • Five farm walks
  • Cropping trials
  • Panel discussion
  • Plus, agronomists and seed suppliers in attendance.

The day will start with paddock walks across four properties to discuss crops – discussing what has worked, what hasn’t, then finish at Omeo Footy Club rooms for a panel discussion on seed varieties and how to run cropping trials. Lunch will be provided.

RSVP to Natalie Jenkins on (03) 5152 0612 or

East Gippsland Beef Conference
BetterBeef 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

Cost: 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

Full program details and bookings are available on Eventbrite or

Pasture drought recovery workshops in north east

TAFCO is to hold a series of two-day workshops to assist regional farmers manage pastures in drought, with only one workshop left to run in Whorouly.

Soil health scientist Cath Botta and agronomists Sue Briggs and Mark Palmer will be presenting at the two-day workshops.

Day one will include a visit to a nearby farm and an inspection of a soil pit, (subject to weather), hands on pH testing of your property's soil, developing a soil sampling plan for your business, and how to establish a paddock renovation plan including how to select the right pasture for the right situation.

If you want to participate in the pH testing, please bring along two buckets of soil, one from your best performing paddock and the other from your worst performing paddock.

Day two will consist of soil test interpretation based on your own properties soil analysis, ground cover and pasture management including species selection and grazing management to achieve persistence and maximize utilisable dry matter.

Cost is $20 per property and includes soil pH testing, a minimum of one free soil sample and one tissue sample per property, and lunch on both days.

Where and when

  • Whorouly, Monday 22 July and 21 August, REMEL 185, 399 Whorouly Road, 9 am-4 pm

This workshop is supported by Agriculture Victoria and Farming and Community Group Drought Funding Program.

To register, please contact TAFCO on 5752 1800 or to book your place.

Webinar: Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of calf scours

Join our phone seminar/webinar to get the latest information on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of calf scours on Thursday 25 July from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm, online or phone in.

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 at

2019 Stonefruit Research Roadshow
Stonefruit image

The 2019 Stonefruit Research Roadshow will be held in the Riverland, Sunraysia and Goulburn-Murray regions across a series of events in August.

The roadshow is an opportunity to meet with growers and industry to discuss the latest results from Agriculture Victoria’s Profitable Stonefruit Research Program undertaken at Tatura and at AgriBio at Bundoora.

This year's roadshow presenters and topics include:

  • Industry updates – Trevor Ranford, Summerfruit Australia CEO
  • Harvest maturity impacting fruit quality – Christine Frisina, Agriculture Victoria
  • Irrigation management impacts on fruit quality – Dr Mark O'Connell, Agriculture Victoria
  • Observations from monitoring export fruit: sea freight and air freight – Glenn Hale, Agriculture Victoria
  • Stonefruit cultivar performance during export and predicting shelf life – Dr John Lopresti, Agriculture Victoria
  • New fruit quality monitoring technology – Dr Dario Stefanelli, Agriculture Victoria
  • Profitable Stonefruit e-newsletter, plus new website features – Mark Hincksman, Agriculture Victoria.

Visit the 2019 Stonefruit Research Roadshow at:

  • Renmark at 7.00 pm, Tuesday, 13 August, Renmark Hotel, Murray Avenue, Renmark, SA
  • Swan Hill at 7.00 pm, Wednesday, 14 August, Murray Downs Golf and Country Club, Murray Downs Drive, Murray Downs, NSW
  • Cobram at 7.00 pm, Thursday, 15 August, Grand Central Hotel, 36 Punt Road.

For more information please contact Mark Hincksman on 0437 254 913 or at

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

Dairy seasonal updates – the Murray regional outlook for 2019–20
Dairy cows

Gear up for next season with expert analysis of the latest market, climate and water outlooks, and what this means for dairy businesses in the Murray region.

Farmers and service providers are invited to sessions throughout July for an update on:

  • Global and national milk price settings
  • Supply and demand for hay and grain
  • Climate indicators
  • Seasonal water determinations
  • Scenario planning.

Monday, 22 July

  • Echuca Hotel at 7.00 am includes breakfast
  • Cohuna NDCHS at 10.45 am includes lunch
  • Kyabram Fauna Park Education Centre, 6.45 pm includes dinner.

Tuesday, 23 July

  • Shepparton Park Lake, Room 1 at 7.00 am includes breakfast
  • Numurkah Recreation Reserve at 10.45 am includes lunch.

Wednesday, 24 July

  • Finley RSC at 10.45 am includes lunch
  • Wodonga Clubhouse Bar and Bistro at 6.45 pm includes dinner.

There is no cost to attend these events, but RSVP's are essential.

For further information or to RSVP please contact: Murray Dairy on (03) 5833 5312 or

Sheepvention – 4 to 6 August, Hamilton
Sheep and lamb

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 and 77 and 87 - 90.

For full event details please visit

Innovation Generation
Innovation Generation 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 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.

To register go to

Grey box grassy woodlands wander

Join Paul Foreman, a field botanist and ecologist, on this visit around the significant grassy woodland sites of Murchison on Tuesday 10 September at 9:30 am.

Meeting place: Murchison Golf Club

A light lunch will be provided on the day.

Please bring sturdy walking shoes, a drink, hat and writing materials.

To register your interest please contact Carolena on 0408 618 204 or

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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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