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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 13 February, 2020
In this edition
Latest news
Looking after your best work-mate – dogs on utes
working dog

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.

Beetle along to the Sungold Field Days

The importance of dung beetles to the dairy industry and fascinating pictures of their incredible tunnels is proving a fun, yet informative part of Agriculture Victoria's exhibit at this year's Sungold Field Days.

The site - open since Wednesday - has information about Agriculture Victoria's streamlined on-farm energy grants, the latest seasonal risks and forecasts, ag-tech updates as well as help with planning for new infrastructure.

Find us at site G2 and G3 until 3 pm tomorrow (Friday), sharing with WestVic Dairy in Allansford

Victoria’s 2020 Rural Women’s Finalists Announced

Four Victorian women have been nominated for the 2020 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award to be announced in March in recognition of their innovative ideas to support Australia’s rural and regional communities.

The award encourages Australian women to develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities, including Victoria’s $14.9 billion agriculture sector.

This year’s finalists include:

  • Kerryn Wildenburg from Kyneton, who wants to create a permaculture ‘Food Forest’ to provide vulnerable community members with a place where they can learn to grow and cook nutritious food. Kerryn’s project will also make a valuable contribution to the community food bank.
  • Jackie Elliott from Byaduk, who wants to create a toolkit for other regional communities to host their own International Rural Women’s Day celebrations to connect rural women and address isolation. Jackie hosted a very successful one-day event in Western Victoria in October 2019, providing valuable networking and development opportunities for women in her region.
  • Katrina van Eyk from Pyramid Hill, who wants to expand on an affordable eight-week summer Learn-to-Swim program in regional communities that makes the most of under-utilised community pools and boosts physical and mental health.
  • Kelly Barnes from Dunkeld, who wants to establish a working dog training school that delivers practical skills but also aims to increase resilience and connectedness in rural communities.

The Victorian winner will be announced at a ceremony on 24 March and will receive $10,000 to implement her project.

The national winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Canberra on 15 September.

In addition to the Victorian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, the State Government is supporting Victorian women in agriculture with the Rural Women’s Network, working with rural women’s groups and individuals to encourage women to have a more active voice in government and community decision-making.

For more information about the award, visit

NLIS database 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 have demonstrated just how important it is to keep PIC details up to date.

Dates and locations remaining (all sessions run from 10 am to 3 pm, 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

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.

Front foot farming – carbon farming for the future

Grasslands Society of Southern Australia invites you to consider the evolving area of carbon farming and emissions for your farm business.

Carbon farming is essentially agriculture with an aim to reduce the greenhouse emissions or captures, or to hold carbon in vegetation and soils.

Over the past decade, the discussions and markets in this area have continued to evolve along with relevant on-farm technology. 

In addition, consumer demands, social license and sustainability are now overlaid with the opportunities to gain financial returns.

In 2019 the red meat industry also unveiled plans to be carbon neutral by 2030.

So how do farmers proactively approach these issues and what are the likely trends in coming years?

Held at the Hamilton Showgrounds Conference Centre on 26 February Front Foot Farming – Carbon Farming for the Future will be a one day conference to address these challenges and opportunities.

Speakers will include Richard Eckard (University of Melbourne Professor of Livestock Systems), Louisa Kiely (Director of Carbon Farmers Australia) and Doug McNichol (Sustainable Innovation Manager MLA).

In addition, the day will feature a professional farmer panel and case studies on carbon auditing and carbon mapping conducted on farms locally (including John Gardner – South Mokanger).

This is a not-to-be event by farmers, advisor and agricultural industry specialists alike.

The day is free for all current Grasslands Society Members (non-members $45).

For enquiries please contact Jonathan Jenkin on 0456 853 535 or bookings

Grasslands Society of Southern Australia has partnered with Carbon Farmers of Australia, National Landcare Program, Landcare Australia, Glenelg Hopkins CMA and MLA for this event.


Time is running out to apply or nominate in the Great South West Dairy Awards, with applications closing on Friday 14 February.

In addition to the prestige of winning an award, this year five award winners will receive a travel voucher worth $1,000.

WestVic Dairy’s Lindsay Ferguson explains: “Due to the great support we have received from our valued sponsors, this year we are able to offer $1,000 in travel vouchers for the winners of five categories.

WestVic Dairy awards – applications closing soon

"The categories are Dairy Farm Business Management, Employee, Young Dairy Leader, Natural Resource Sustainability Management and Service Provider.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who are doing great things in our industry.

“Those wishing to get involved can either apply directly by visiting the WestVic Dairy website and downloading the application forms, or they can nominate those they believe worthy of recognition by contacting our office,” Mr Ferguson said.

Applications for the Farm Photo Award and nominations for the Western Victorian Dairy Industry Honour Board are also being sought.

The winners will be announced at the gala dinner which will take place at the Wannon Function Centre, Warrnambool on 25 March.

Tickets are now available at Eventbrite.

The cost of $60pp includes a three-course dinner and a drink on arrival.

For assistance with applying, nominating or purchasing tickets, call the WestVic Dairy office on 5557 1000 or email

What's on

Banking autumn savings using stock containment areas
Event Details

Tuesday 18 February
9.30 am to 1 pm (lunch provided)

Glenthompson (register for directions)

RSVP: Register online by Monday 17 February at Eventbrite



  • Siting and design of stock containment areas
  • Feeding and nutrition of sheep in containment
  • Producer’s first-hand experience - design and use of stock containment areas
  • Benefits and uses of stock containment areas (including autumn saving of pastures, drought feeding, weaning, biosecurity and quarantine).


  • Clem Sturmfels – Land Management Extension Officer, Agriculture Victoria
  • Nerida Evans – District Veterinary Officer, Agriculture Victoria
  • Russell and Fiona Mitchell – farm owners, ‘The Ranch.

For more information please contact Nerissa Lovric, Agriculture Victoria on 0475 986 314 or email

NLIS management workshops – Camperdown, Hamilton and Ararat
Event Details


Tuesday 18 February
9.30 am – 3 pm

WestVic Dairy
5 Cressy Street

Register on Eventbrite here.


Thursday 20 February
9.30 am – 3 pm

Agriculture Victoria
915 Napier Road

Register on Eventbrite here.


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.

Agriculture Victoria’s 2020 lunchtime climate webinar series

Agriculture Victoria's climate webinars for 2020 have now commenced. Subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out. The next webinar will be held on Monday 24 February - details below.

The 2020 lunchtime climate webinar series will give participants the opportunity to hear the latest science, insights and innovation from a range of expert speakers.

For more information and to subscribe to stay up to date with these upcoming climate webinars visit: or contact Heather Field on 5336 6607 or

Event Details

Monday 24 February
12 – 1 pm

Presenter: Dr Luke Shelley, Bureau of Meteorology

Click here to register online.


Inside the Bureau's Climate Guides Project

The purpose of the Climate Guides is to help farmers understand and manage their climate risk, by providing regionally focused climate and weather summaries that detail historical observational information available from Bureau of Meteorology weather stations.

Presenter: Dr Luke Shelley joined the Bureau in 2008 after completing a PhD on ‘Biodiversity of Macroinvertebrates in the Kerang Lake’.

Over the last two years, Luke has been involved in 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 Climate Guides.

Luke will walk us through the inception of the project, what we did, how we created the outputs, and key learnings from the project.

Front foot – carbon farming for the future
GRDC Grains Research Update – Bannockburn
Event details

Thursday 27 February
9 am – 1 pm

Cultural Centre
27 High Street


The GRDC Grains Research Update events cater for agronomists, consultants, researchers and growers. They allow them 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.

Register here.

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Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

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contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or

A full list of our contact points can be found at:

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