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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday, 19 March 2020
In this edition
Farmer pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges

A sheep farmer from Corack near Lake Buloke, recently pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the St Arnaud Magistrates Court for failing to appropriately care for his animals.

The farmer pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to provide sufficient feed, three charges of aggravated cruelty, and a charge for failure to comply with notices under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

The farmer was convicted and fined $5,000 and a Conditional Control Order imposed which allows an authorised Agriculture Victoria inspector to monitor compliance with the Act. 

Agriculture Victoria Compliance Manager Daniel Bode said the farmer had received a warning letter from Agriculture Victoria with respect to basic husbandry requirements for his sheep only a few months prior to the offending occurring in this matter.

The magistrate accepted the fact the farmer had taken his eye off the ball due to a difficult period, however, the consequences caused cruelty to animals.

The magistrate remarked these are living creatures and they had suffered.

Mr Bode said all farmers have a responsibility to maintain Victoria’s reputation in farming practices and the livestock industry.

“Throughout the period of offending, these sheep continued to suffer and were not provided with appropriate food or treatment, leaving no alternative for Agriculture Victoria officers but to euthanize several sheep that were severely unwell,” Mr Bode said.

“The case serves as a strong reminder that it is an offence for livestock owners to fail to provide for their welfare.”

Tractor operators – fire affected farmers need you
Tractor operators

With the fire threat eased in the Upper Murray fire-affected dairy farmers are turning their attention to the dual tasks of repairing the damage and keeping the business running.

When asked what would really make a difference in the recovery, we keep hearing that just having somebody with experience to sit on a tractor would be really welcome.

If you have the skills and time, contact Lachlan Barnes at Murray Dairy 0438 092 352 or

Farming and community group drought funding grants program now open

Victorian farming communities impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions will have more access to the information and expertise they need.

The $650,000 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding program, which is now open, provides grants of up to $25,000 for groups to engage technical experts or specialists to deliver training to farmers that is designed to help them prepare for, respond to and manage drought and dry seasonal conditions.

The program is open to community groups including Landcare and land management groups, industry groups, farming systems groups, farming discussion groups and other not-for-profit organisations.

Groups in the Millewa, East Gippsland and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District are particularly encouraged to apply.

A similar program which ran last year was extremely successful, delivering 30 activities, engaging more than 900 farmers and 200 service providers.

Farmers across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District were among those who benefited from last year’s program with Murray Dairy using the funding to support dairy businesses to tailor their business plans.

Applications for the 2020 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding opened on March 16 and will close on 1 April. Projects must be delivered between April and June 2020.

The program is part of the $81 million funding package that the Victorian Government has committed to support the state’s worst-hit farming businesses and families to recover from the impacts of drought.

For more information about the program and other assistance available to help farmers call 136 186 or visit

Young Farmers Advisory Council EOI closing soon
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.

Support to assess and manage the impacts of bushfire smoke

The Victorian Government is providing a range of measures to support the wine industry following recent bushfires. This comes in addition to the strong investment in programs and services already provided to Victorian wine makers and grape growers.

The Victorian Government will provide a rebate to support growers with the cost of testing for smoke taint from a commercial lab. The rebate is capped at $1200 per grower.

The rebate will be available to Victorian growers for samples submitted between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020.

Growers can submit receipts from the testing labs to Agriculture Victoria to receive the rebate.

Grants will be available for growers to access technical decision-making support as a follow up to laboratory testing.

Regional wine associations are also eligible for funding to support group activities, such as sensory panels or technical workshops.

For more information, contact Agriculture Victoria:

Agriculture Victoria currently provides a shuttle service to enable the movement of wine grape samples from phylloxera management zones to designated laboratories for smoke taint testing.

Frozen diagnostic samples will be picked up at regional collection points.

North East collection points

  • Rutherglen: Agriculture Victoria Rutherglen, 124 Chiltern Valley Road.
  • King Valley: Brown Brothers, 239 Milawa-Bobinawarrah Rd, Milawa.

For more information, contact Agriculture Victoria or
North East Victoria – Andy Clark on 0436 804 656 or in southern Victoria – Yan Lai on 0436 830 944.

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 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

GMID farmers - use the drought resilience grant to restore your pastures!
Resilience grant

Farmers in the GMID are reminded that the $5000 On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant can be used to purchase seed and fertiliser to restore dry pastures.

With recent rainfall in the region, now is a good time to invest in on-farm infrastructure that will improve drought preparedness and better position your farm business into the future.

The infrastructure component of this grant must have been purchased or undertaken on or after 2 October 2019.

For more information and to access the grant call Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit

For more information about other drought and dry seasonal conditions support from Agriculture Victoria go to or call 136 186.

2020 Fox and Wild Dog Bounty
Fox and wild dog bounty

The Victorian Government’s fox and wild dog bounty has resumed in March 2020.

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.

Benalla collections (fox only) Depot, 89 Sydney Rd, Benalla
Time: 10 am – noon

  • Wednesday, 1 April
  • Wednesday, 29 April
  • Wednesday, 27 May
  • Wednesday, 24 June

Broadford collections (fox only) 5 Mollinson St, Broadford
Time: 10.30 am – 12.30 pm

  • Thursday, 2 April
  • Thursday, 30 April
  • Thursday, 28 May
  • Thursday, 25 June

Ovens collections (fox and wild dog), 5338 Great Alpine Rd, Ovens
Time: 1.30 – 3.30 pm

  • Tuesday, 31 March
  • Tuesday, 28 April
  • Tuesday, 26 May
  • Tuesday, 23 June

Mansfield collections (fox and wild dog), Depot, 128 Highett St, Mansfield
Time: 2 – 4 pm

  • Wednesday, 1 April
  • Wednesday, 29 April
  • Wednesday, 27 May
  • Wednesday, 24 June

Tatura collections (fox only) Depot, 255 Ferguson Rd, Tatura
Time: 11.30 am – 1.30 pm

  • Monday, 30 March
  • Monday, 27 April
  • Monday, 25 May
  • Monday, 22 June

Wodonga collections (fox and wild dog), 14 Moorefield Park Drive, Wodonga
Time: 9 – 11am

  • Tuesday, 31 March
  • Tuesday, 28 April
  • Tuesday, 26 May
  • Tuesday, 23 June

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?
Drought Drop-ins at Echuca and Shepparton saleyards

Farmers in the GMID, do you want to know more about drought support? Confused about wat you might be eligible to apply for?

Come along to find out more about drought grants, animal feed requirements, managing stock water and use of stock containment areas to help you manage and make decisions for autumn.

  • Echuca Saleyards, 520 McKenzie Road on Monday 6 April from 10.30 am to 2 pm
  • Shepparton Saleyards, 48 New Dookie Road on Tuesday 7 April from 7.45 am to 1 pm.

For more information contact Richard Smith, Agriculture Victoria Tatura on 0436 803 765.

Bookings are not required.

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

NLIS workshop series

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.

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).

  • Echuca  Wednesday 25 March at Agriculture Victoria, Corner Ogilvie Ave/Annesley Street.

Plus, if you are unable to attend one of our workshops, there will be a webinar – Monday, 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.

Webinar – Tools for better irrigation scheduling

The next presentation in the climate webinar series for 2020 will focus on irrigation scheduling tools to achieve top yields and water use efficiency.

Rob O'Connor will provide information on Evapotranspiration (ET) tools and services available to irrigators and will share results and learnings from using soil moisture monitoring equipment for more informed irrigation decision making.

Presenter: Rob O'Connor is a Senior Irrigation Extension Officer with Agriculture Victoria.  Rob has a long history working with farmers on irrigation related issues.  For the past five years, Rob has specialised in the area of irrigation scheduling.

Date: Wednesday, 25 March
Time: 12 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: Free
Register to attend

For more information about these webinars, please email

GBCMA event
Free digital workshops for small businesses in regional Victoria
Digital opportunities

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.

  • Kyabram, 6 May from 5.30 – 7.30 pm
  • Shepparton, 26 February from 9 – 11 am

To find out more and to book, click here

To subscribe to Northern Ag News

Click here

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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