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Thursday 27 February 2020
In this edition

Pre lambing new predator control options

New tool to aid stripe rust in-crop decision making

Strategic summer drenching

Seasonal update resources available

Nurturing Victoria's native food industry

NLIS management workshops for livestock producers

Young farmer business network

Managing dry conditions

Drought and dry seasons workshops

Upcoming farmer workshops

Dry seasons support

What's On

Pre lambing new predator control options

Agriculture Victoria’s BestWool/BestLamb network is hosting a predator management webinar/phone seminar next week with the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions featuring some of the newest control tools available.

Project Leader Sheep Industry Development Alison Desmond said the webinar/phone seminar would draw on the knowledge of National Wild Dog Management co-ordinator Greg Mifsud.

“Greg has extensive experience working with farmers and communities on collaborative approaches to the management of predators and dealing with the impact on business and community wellbeing,” Ms Desmond said.

The one-hour online webinar/phone seminar will be used to discuss collaborative approaches to dealing with predator management.

Participants can join in via an online portal or listen to the audio on their landline or mobile phones.

“Wild dog and fox management strategies are most successful when a cooperative management plan is developed between landowners and land managers, as these animals do not recognise fences or borders,” Ms Desmond said.

“It is an important first step to scope the target, developing a plan of action, practicing that action plan and evaluating the success of those actions,” she said.
The webinar will feature an overview of ox ecology, the impact of predators on lambing percentages and farm business, applying best practice baiting techniques on farm, the use of Canid Pest Ejectors (CPEs), working dog safety and smart phone apps.

The seminar is taking place on Thursday 5 March from 7.30 pm.

Participants can join the online portal or listen to the audio via their landline or mobile.

Please register for the event by visiting .

If you have trouble registering online or need more information contact Tess McDougall on or 0409 841 492.

New tool to aid stripe rust in-crop decision making

DPIRD Principal Research Scientist Art Diggle, Agriculture Victoria Researcher Grant Hollaway and GRDC Crop Protection Manager (South) Ruth Peek

Australian grain growers can now access a new tool to support in-crop decision making for the management of stripe rust in wheat.

The StripeRustWM tablet-based app was launched this week at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update in Bendigo.

StripeRustWM estimates potential losses using information including variety resistance rating, plant growth stage, fungicide history, presence of rust either within the crop or in the district, climatic conditions, expected yield and economics.

Developed in a collaboration led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia (DPIRD), with contributions from Agriculture Victoria and New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and co-investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the app is suitable for wheat growers across Australia.

Stripe rust, caused by a fungal pathogen, is a devastating disease of wheat.

In Australia, the annual cost of yield loss caused by the disease is about $120 million, in addition to an estimated $150 million in chemical control.

In launching the app at the GRDC Grains Research Update, DPIRD principal research scientist Art Diggle said the app was designed for use during the growing season to assist crucial treatment decisions, using evidence-based information to estimate the likely returns from spraying for stripe rust for individual paddock scenarios.

“StripeRustWM is simple to use and easy to navigate, requiring the user to input individual paddock data, as well as expected weather conditions,” Dr Diggle said.

“A forecasting model is then used to generate the predicted return from a fungicide treatment, in dollars per hectare, highlighting the probability of a negative or positive return.

“The user can select from several alternative visual representation of the predicted results to suit themselves, including tables and graphs.”

The app compares expected yield, predicted loss to stripe rust and anticipated net return for the cases where fungicide is not applied, is applied once, or is applied twice.

Dr Diggle said StripeRustWM was developed using data and information from national pathology research projects over the past 30 years.

The app also builds on the pioneering work by researcher Gordon Murray and his team in developing the RustMan decision support model in the 1990s.

The app will be updated annually with the latest research findings so that new information can be utilised by industry as soon as available.

StripeRustWM is available at no cost for iPads or Android tablets from the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for StripeRustWM.

The app is a part of DPIRD and the GRDC’s collaborative Crop Management series, which also includes the BlacklegCM and SclerotiniaCM apps for canola disease management and the PowderyMildewMBM mungbean management app.

The apps are designed to help identify the most effective and profitable disease management strategies for growers.

GRDC Manager Diseases Friday Obanor said the new app would assist growers in making informed and economically feasible decisions on managing stripe rust.

“StripeRustWM is designed for quick and easy use in the field, to guide profitable decisions about stripe rust management,” Dr Obanor said.

“It will certainly give growers and consultants more confidence in determining whether to invest in spraying for this disease.”

For more details about StripeRustWM and other disease management apps, search for ‘mobile app centre’ on

Strategic summer drenching

Dr Jeff Cave
District Veterinary Officer
Agriculture Victoria

The majority of producers understand the value in having a strategic summer drenching program in place, but I want to reiterate to sheep producers - the possible need for a second summer drench.

Drenching is expensive and time consuming therefore pre drench faecal egg counts (FECs) should always be considered, and this will put some science and evidence into whether or not to drench.

Strategic summer drenching involves an effective drench at the beginning and end of the season.

This is to take advantage of the destruction of worm larvae on pasture by heat and lack of moisture.

The life cycle of the worm involves both your pasture and the animal.

While the drench fixes the animal problem, the hot, dry conditions of summer will help eliminate the pasture problem.

Ineffective chemicals and/or an inadequate drench procedure can reduce the effectiveness of summer drenching.

Worm resistance, particularly to the white and clear drenches, is common in North-East Victoria and unnecessary overuse and the incorrect use of drenches just adds to the problem.

After drenching, producers should try to put sheep onto low risk pastures.

These may be paddocks previously grazed by cattle, cut for hay or silage or grazed by low risk sheep such as older wethers.

Ewes rearing lambs and the lambs particularly after weaning are the most susceptible sheep in terms of worm burdens.

Large reinfestation of worms can occur in as little as three weeks if your drenching program is ineffective.

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


Water hyacinth is a highly invasive weed that is choking lakes, rivers and water ways around the world and Agriculture Victoria is encouraging Victorians to report it to prevent it from taking hold in Victoria. Water hyacinth may look pretty but has a well-deserved reputation for being the world’s worst water weed. 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 email

Seasonal update resources available

Presentations from the Goulburn-Murray Seasonal Updates conducted last week can now be viewed online.

Topics include;

  • Short and long term climate outlook
  • Irrigation water resource position and outlook
  • Hay and grain situation and outlook
  • Irrigated and dryland cropping options

Useful handouts, tools and resources can also be accessed on the same web site covering climate, irrigation allocation outlook, cropping, irrigation management, groundwater, drought feeding sheep and cattle, and dry season support.

Full videos of each presentation will also be posted on the same web site shortly, along with short videos of each speaker addressing key issues in their subject area.

Nurturing Victoria's native food industry

Desert Quandong

The Victorian State Government will partner with the Federation of Victoria Traditional Owner Corporations to support the development of a native food and botanicals industry in Victoria and support local jobs.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes this week launched the Djakitjuk Djanga program, which will offer Aboriginal Victorian-owned businesses and organisations grants of up to $200,000 to help establish or expand commercial native plant production.

Djakitjuk Djanga is a Dja Dja Wurrung term that means “Country’s food.”

The program will help Victoria to capitalise on the strong interest in the use of Australian native plants like wattles, native greens, fruits and herbs in cooking, as well as the use of botanicals for cosmetics and personal care products.

However, with only a small number of Australia’s edible and botanical plants in commercial production, the industry remains in its early stages.

Funding under the Djakitjuk Djanga program can be used to hire staff, build technical expertise, or invest in stock, seeds and equipment.

The program will also promote the industry, support future research and help people involved in Native food production share their ideas with people interested in getting involved.

The program guidelines are now available, with applications open from Wednesday 4 March.

For more information, visit

NLIS management workshops for livestock producers

Agriculture Victoria is holding practical, hands-on workshops this month and next 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).

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

  • 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.

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.

Managing dry conditions
Drought and dry seasons workshops

Agriculture Victoria is working with a range of partners to provide workshops for farmers to help them make the most of seasonal conditions.

These can be part of an ongoing program or arranged specifically if the need arises.

To seek more general information about events and to discuss if it is possible to hold a session in your area, please either call your local office or departmental contact, or 136 186.

If you would like more information about activities and events that have occurred in your region, please email

Upcoming farmer workshops

One on ones consultations

Agriculture Victoria staff are offering one-on-one consultations with farmers in the Millewa and Carwarp districts.

These sessions can cover feed budgeting, stock containment areas, feed testing, livestock requirements, biosecurity and soil management. 

Our staff can also discuss other available support including grants. 

If you are interested call us on 1800 318 115 to make an appointment. 

Meetings can be held at a location to suit.

These will be available on an 'as needs' basis up until 30 June.

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

Coming up

Autumn Start-up - Murray Dairy (with Agriculture Victoria) - dates to be announced.

WaterTech: using technology to improve water productivity - February – March 2020 - dates to be announced - contact Brett Davidson (03) 5833 5206 to find out more.

Occasional Counsellor workshops - March – June 2020 - dates to be announced. Contact Sarah Clack 0417 316 345 to find out more.

Agricultural technology: pushing your water further - Agriculture Victoria, 255 Ferguson Rd, Tatura - 5 – 6 March. Contact Richard Smith on Ph: (03) 5833 5214 to find out more.

Water in Focus - April 2020 - dates to be announced - Murray Dairy (with Agriculture Victoria).

Seasonal Outlook session - Western GMID, Central GMID, Eastern GMID - April 2020 dates to confirmed.

April 2020

Murray Dairy (with Agriculture Victoria)

Seasonal Outlook session

Dry seasons support

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.

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.

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

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:

What's On
Digital opportunities roadshow
digital opportunities roadshow

Small Business Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are hosting free workshops across regional Victoria to help businesses make the most of the digital economy and reduce their cybersecurity risks. 

Topics include Developing an online presence, Understanding and using digital tools and Managing your cybersecurity and safety plan. Bookings are essential.

Workshops taking place in the Loddon Mallee include;

3 March - Daylesford

25 March - Nhill

26 March - Swan Hill

29 April - Mildura

6 May - Kyabram

6 May - Maryborough

Digital Opportunities Roadshow is delivered in partnership with VCCI. For more information contact VCCI customer service on (03) 8662 5333 or email

Upcoming webinar - Weather Forecasts, Seasonal Outlooks and Climate Change Projections - What they can and can't do

Date: Wednesday 11 March
Time: 12 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: Free

The next presentation in the climate webinar series for 2020 we will hear important background on weather forecasts, seasonal outlooks and climate change projections - and what they can and can't do.

Graeme Anderson will share insights and tips for understanding the different types of forecast products, and where and when to have more confidence in what they are telling us.

Presenter: Graeme Anderson leads Agriculture Victoria's seasonal risk team who deliver products such as The Break, Soil Moisture Monitoring, Climatedogs and regularly presents at agriculture events across Victoria.

CLICK HERE FOR Climate webinars online.

ABARES Outlook 2020

WHERE: Canberra

WHEN: 3 and 4 March

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

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.

Stock water management workshop
  • Tylden, 23 March, Tylden Community Hall

Registrations from 9.15 am for a prompt 9.30 am start.
Workshop ends 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

Traceability and NLIS Database Management – Producer webinar

Please note: This is a two-part webinar, delivered 8 - 9 pm Monday 16 March and 8 - 9 pm Monday 23 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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