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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 5 March, 2020
In this edition
Segregating for grain quality on-farm using new technologies
Grain quality

Agriculture Victoria researchers are developing new sensor technologies that will enable growers to segregate pulse grains on-farm.

This research, which is being carried out through Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Victorian Grains Innovation Partnership, could help farmers to capture higher prices by segregating grain based on quality before it leaves the farm.

Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Cassandra Walker, who is leading the project, said new imaging technologies are currently under development which can rapidly measure grain quality and will ultimately deliver significant benefits to growers.

“We are aiming to transfer these developments from within the lab to grain processing systems that can be used during harvest, allowing growers the option to segregate grain prior to delivery.”

In recent years there have been significant advances in technology which can measure the quality of cereals at harvest, such as grain moisture and protein. 

Dr Walker said the project aimed to expand this concept by developing new systems that could measure quality traits of lentil, chickpea and field pea to enable growers to capture the maximum value for their pulse crops.

“We are particularly keen to take new laboratory-based segregation tools and demonstrate their value on-farm,” she said.

“To achieve this our grain quality and field scientists are working closely with the precision ag industry and growers to demonstrate the potential value at farm scale.”

The research is being undertaken in Horsham, at Agriculture Victoria’s Grains Innovation Park where new high through-put spectral imaging systems are being used to develop grain quality algorithms. 

“This is world-class research and is highly specialised,” Dr Walker said.

“The program will test the ability of this technology to segregate grain for quality defects due to frost, heat, disease, and contaminants such as snails or foreign seed – but the real value will be tested on-farm.”

Ashley Wallace, a research agronomist working on the program, said the research was also investigating quality degradation of grain during storage.

“This will provide industry with the knowledge to limit loss of quality associated with the storage of pulses, maximising the value of the product at the time of sale,” he said.

GRDC Manager Pulses and Oilcrops, Dr Francis Ogbonnaya, said the findings of this research presents huge opportunities for growers.

“Growers will be able to add additional value to crops through objective segregation of high value grains to maximise their returns,” Dr Ogbonnaya said.

“Ultimately, if sensor-based technologies can be successfully employed on-farm, this will optimise the quality segregation process of grains and maximise grower returns.”

Young Farmers Advisory Council EOI now open
Young Farmers Advisory Council

Expressions of Interest are now open to join the Young Farmers Advisory Council.

The Victorian Government is seeking enthusiastic, skilled and dynamic young people, from all agricultural industries and regions, to join the Young Farmers Advisory Council.

Council members represent the interests of young farmers and provide advice to government on issues and program delivery affecting young people in agriculture.

For more information and to express your interest go to

Expressions of Interest close on 22 March 2020.

Working in dairy communities small grants program - applications now open

Applications are open for the ‘Working in Dairy Communities’ – Small Grants Program offered by the Gardiner Foundation in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

The grants provide up to $5,000 in funding for grass-roots community projects that strengthen dairy communities.

Applications close on Monday 16 March.

Application guidelines, eligibility criteria and an application toolkit are available online at the Gardiner Foundation website

Digital opportunities roadshow
Engaging young people in managing invasive species

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 across Barwon South West, include;

11 May – Colac

11 May – Lorne

28 May – Camperdown

28 May – Portland

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

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 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

2020 Fox and Wild Dog Bounty
Fox and wild dog bounty

The Victorian Government’s fox and wild dog bounty has now resumed.

Effective fox and wild dogs management requires an integrated approach utilising all available management practices including poison baiting, trapping, exclusion fencing, fumigation and appropriate animal husbandry. Hunting can play an important role in supporting an integrated management approach.

Ballarat collections (fox only), 25 Vickers St, Sebastopol
Time: 1 – 3 pm

  • Tuesday, 10 March
  • Monday, 6 April
  • Monday, 4 May
  • Monday, 1 June
  • Monday, 29 June

Colac collections (fox only), 23a Hugh Murray Drive, Colac East
Time: 1.30 – 3.30 pm

  • Wednesday, 11 March
  • Tuesday, 7 April
  • Tuesday, 5 May
  • Tuesday, 2 June
  • Tuesday, 30 June

Geelong collections (fox only), 16 Cadman Terrace, North Geelong
Time: 9.30 – 11.30 am

  • Wednesday, 11 March
  • Tuesday, 7 April
  • Tuesday, 5 May
  • Tuesday, 2 June
  • Tuesday, 30 June

Hamilton collections (fox only), Depot, Hamilton Centre, Research Station Road, Hamilton
Time: 1.30 – 3.30 pm

  • Thursday, 12 March
  • Wednesday, 8 April
  • Wednesday, 6 May
  • Wednesday, 3 June
  • Wednesday, 1 July

Warrnambool collections (fox only), 703–711 Raglan Pde, Warrnambool
Time: 8.30 – 10.30 am

  • Thursday, 12 March
  • Wednesday, 8 April
  • Wednesday, 6 May
  • Wednesday, 3 June
  • Wednesday, 1 July

For full details on bounty collection times and locations, terms and conditions, and frequently asked questions, visit or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

What's on?
Upcoming webinar – Weather Forecasts, Seasonal Outlooks and Climate Change Projections – What they can and can't do
Climate webinars

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.

More information here.

Dung beetles field day at Cashmore
Dung beetles

The South West Prime Lamb Group (SWPLG) is hosting demonstration sites to learn about dung beetles and their benefits to sheep farms in south west Victoria.

Come along to their field day to learn more about dung beetles and what the group are finding locally.

Topics include:

  • Benefits of dung beetles for grazing systems and how to encourage them
  • How do we know if we have dung beetles and what type they are?
  • What species are we finding locally?
  • Local dung beetle projects including a dung beetle breeding program and demonstration
  • Opportunity to bring along dung beetles for identification.

Guest speakers include:

  • Dr. Bernard Doube – Dung Beetle Solutions
  • Dr. Russ Barrow – Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers project (DBEE), Charles Sturt University

DATE: Thursday, 26 March

TIME: 9.30 am to 2.30 pm, lunch provided

Where: Cashmore (register for directions)

RSVP: Please register online (for catering purposes) by Wednesday March 23 or contact Bindi Hunter, Agriculture Victoria, on 0428 589 016 or or Kate Joseph, SWPLG, on 0428 541 158 or

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.

NLIS management workshop at Ararat
Event Details


Wednesday 25 March
9.30 am – 3 pm

Agriculture Victoria
Shire Hall, Barkly Street

Register on Eventbrite here.


Topics include:

  • Setting up, navigating and using the NLIS database – practical exercise. Computers will be provided on the day or you can bring along your own laptop
  • Management of livestock movements onto your property
  • Property to Property (P2P) transfers on the NLIS database.
  • Sessions will run for up to 5.5 hours, with light meal and refreshment provided.

Numbers are limited to allow for a hands-on practical session.

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

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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:

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