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Thursday 23 May 2024
In this edition:
Avian influenza situation
Report sick or dead birds - emergency animal disease hotline 1800 675 888

The Avian Influenza situation in Victoria’s south west is an evolving situation and the best way to keep on top of the latest information is to visit our website Avian influenza | Poultry diseases | Animal diseases | Biosecurity | Agriculture Victoria

Consumers should not be concerned about eggs and poultry products from the supermarkets, they do not pose a risk and are safe to consume.

This situation is a timely reminder that every producer should have an on-farm biosecurity plan and know the signs of diseases that could affect their animals.

Any suspicion of an emergency animal disease (EAD) should be immediately reported to the 24-hour EAD Hotline on 1800 675 888 or to your local vet.

Protecting agriculture from animal disease threats
Biosecurity staff in PPE with sheep in an enclosure

The Victorian government is protecting Victoria’s thriving $20 billion agriculture industry – by strengthening the state’s biosecurity practices and preparedness to quickly and effectively respond to emerging animal diseases.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently released the new State Emergency Animal Disease Response Plan which builds on the first plan published in 2022 and sets out how the Government will respond to any threats.

Australia faces heightened risk of biosecurity incursions due to recent detections of emerging animal diseases in neighbouring countries - which is why Victoria needs the most up-to-date response to protect our agriculture industry.

The emergency animal diseases response plan will help to eradicate a disease outbreak in the shortest time possible while minimising the social, environmental, welfare and economic impacts on the Victorian community.

The updated plan builds on ongoing work to prepare for an emergency animal disease outbreak by setting out how the Government and agencies will respond to an emergency and outlining the action required to protect our agriculture industry.

The plan outlines step-by-step the mitigation, preparedness, response, relief and recovery arrangements for a large-scale emergency animal disease outbreak.

The updates include improving and streamlining emergency response structures and clarifying roles and responsibilities – to ensure a quick and strong response to any outbreaks.

It also creates a more robust overview of relief and recovery – outlining agency responsibilities across Government and ensuring all agencies have clear emergency responsibilities that can be activated quickly and seamlessly when required.

This plan builds on the existing work to train staff across government, with more than 750 people having completed essential training required to be deployed in an emergency animal disease emergency.

Since 2022, the Victorian government has invested $43 million to deliver the dedicated emergency animal disease preparedness program - this was reinforced in the Victorian Budget 2024/25 with $15.8 million invested to better identify and respond to biosecurity emergencies.

To learn more about emergency animal disease preparedness and the new response plan, visit

Autumn and livestock decisions that need to be made
Sheep in a paddock with hay

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

Now is the time for producers to assess their livestock situation as we wait for the autumn break.

During this time, livestock may start experiencing the effects of the shortfall of paddock feed.

To ensure livestock make it through this period, some timely and sometimes difficult decisions need to be made.

Producers need to examine all their options carefully and be confident in answering the following questions:

  • have I got enough supplementary feed on hand? 
  • if not, will I be able to source it at a reasonable price? 
  • is agistment an option, what is the cost and how far will my stock have to travel?
  • do I need to sell some stock now?

Decisions need to be made carefully. Having a well-constructed and realistic plan is a valuable tool in assisting with the decision-making process. 

By using a timeline with details such as ‘if it has not rained by this date, I need to sell 100 wethers’, often eases the pressure on producers and therefore their livestock.

Allowing livestock to starve is never an option and legislation allows the prosecution of livestock owners and managers who let this happen.

For further advice please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer, or in NSW your Local Land Services, or visit our website at Feeding Livestock website | Farm management | Agriculture Victoria.

Early bird ticket discounts end next week for the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences
bestwool/bestlamb betterbeef conference

Early bird ticket discounts end next week for the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences and dinner in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

Secure your discounted tickets by Friday 31 May.

Purchase your tickets here.

A 1-day conference ticket is only $80 and a full package 2-day conference and dinner ticket is $200.

Visit our events web page to download the program and learn more.

Expressions of interest extended for on-farm demonstrations program
People standing in a paddock talking - applications are now open for sheep and cattle producer groups interested in running an on-farm demonstration

Extended to Thursday 13 June.

Expressions of interest are open for sheep and cattle producer groups interested in running an on-farm demonstration. 

Find out more at

Or contact

This program is in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia.

Growing tomorrow’s farmers
Ag career start - producer applications open now

AgCAREERSTART is looking for employers/farmers who:

  • are able to offer a safe and positive experience for a young Australian
  • have the capacity to teach and support someone who might have limited experience in agriculture
  • are able to offer full-time paid employment for a period of 10 – 12 months in 2025*
  • can offer flexibility to your participant so they can undertake training and attend industry events
  • can provide accommodation or assist in finding accommodation off-farm.

When you sign up you will:

  • receive a $2,000 grant
  • get support from the AgCAREERSTART team to mentor and train your participant
  • gain access to industry events and the broader National Farmers’ Federation network.

For more information click here.

*Participants must be paid at – or above-award wages. All host farms must provide a signed employment contract to AgCAREERSTART before the placement commences.

The AgCAREERSTART pilot is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open

The VGT annual Community Grants Program is now open for 2024/25. 

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) with support from Agriculture Victoria offers funding support for community-led gorse control projects.

Community Grants program objectives:

  • Reduce the impacts of gorse on environmental, agricultural, and social values
  • Strengthen community and stakeholder connections for better gorse outcomes
  • Build community knowledge and capacity in managing gorse
  • Promote best practice gorse management.


Community groups may apply for funding up to $8,000 for on ground gorse control works on private land. All participating landholders involved may receive up to $1,500 in grant funding and must match this with their own monetary contribution.


Grants are available to all Victorian Community Group organisations that have a focus on improving natural and agricultural areas.

How to apply

Visit the website and download a copy of the 2024/25 VGT Community Grants Funding Guidelines and Application Form. 

Once you have completed your application, email to

For more information, contact the VGT on 0417 593 250 or send an email to

Minerals exploration explained
Two people in a field exploring

Resources Victoria has released the first instalment of a video series helping to explain important and sometimes misunderstood aspects of the state’s resources sector.

Minerals exploration and mining are often confused. Though both are essential stages along the path to developing a resource, the process and scale are very different.

In Minerals Exploration Explained we asked a Victorian minerals explorer to outline in their own words what they do, the techniques they use, how they select a site and how it is restored.

Mineral explorers use low-impact methods to understand local geology and look for evidence of minerals over a large area, then typically focus activities on a smaller zone. It typically involves mapping, water and soil sample testing, surveying the ground from the surface or air and targeted drilling.

If an exploration licence is granted and a commercially viable deposit identified, a separate process toward mining would involve environmental assessment and extensive local engagement.

Visit for more information and to view the video.

Applications open for Corella Management Grant Program
corellas in a tree

Applications for funding to address the impacts of Long-billed Corella and Little Corella populations on community are now open.

Local government authorities, farmers and committees of management are among those eligible to apply for grants to address agricultural, infrastructural, environmental and social impacts.

A total of $250,000 is available in Victorian Government grant funding.

The Corella Management Grants Program guidelines align with the Victorian Corella Strategy 2022-2032.

The strategy promotes a ‘living with wildlife’ approach to encourage positive attitudes to corellas, as part of a broader strategy for living with wildlife in Victoria.

Find more information about the grant program here.

Make this your moment – the Governor of Victoria Export Awards
Two people smiling at the camera, one is holding an award. The text reads: make this your moment

Get ready to shine in the spotlight!

Applications have now opened for the Governor of Victoria Export Awards (GOVEA).

Open to all Victorian exporters, regardless of business size or total export sales, winning a GOVEA isn't just about recognition; it's about catapulting your business to new heights.

GOVEA winners automatically receive a place as finalists in the National Export Awards.

Boost your brand and gain exposure to potential clients, investors, and partners, both locally and globally.

Showcase your innovation to the business community in 2024.

Apply now by visiting

Applications close 14 June.

Fox and wild dog bounty

Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March 2024.

Please continue to check our website for the latest information, collection centres and dates.

Click here.

For any assistance, please speak to our bounty collection staff on collection days or call our customer service centre on 136 186.

Free financial counselling with RFCS
A person standing in a paddock looking at the sunset. The text reads free financial counselling with the Rural Financial Counselling Service. 1300 771 741.

Have you been impacted by recent floods, storms, fires or dry seasonal conditions?

The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides a free and confidential financial counselling service to eligible farmers and small related enterprises who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can help you to access available support, analyse your business situation, negotiate with lenders and develop strategies to improve your financial position. 

To find your closest service visit the Rural Financial Counselling Service website or call 1300 771 741.

In case you missed it
Image of a sunset with the text 'in case you missed it'

Empowering Victoria's next marine biosecurity heroes

The Victorian Government is empowering the next generation to become marine biosecurity heroes through a new educational activity at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.

Read the full media release here.

Book early for Ballarat sheep and beef conferences

Early bird tickets are now available for BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences to be held on 19 and 20 June in Ballarat, at The Goods Shed.

Read the full media release here.

What's on
Image of a group of people at an event in a green paddock listening to a presenter with the text 'what's on: online and on-farm events'

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can be found in one spot on our website. Log on to the Events page to keep in touch with upcoming events.

Farm Business Resilience Program workshops - East Gippsland

Register now for our free Farm Business Resilience Program workshops.

These sessions, created in partnership with ION Group, are designed to better prepare farmers for and to manage risk, adapt to change, and strengthen their farm businesses.

Topics include:

  • Business planning and risk management
  • Farm finances and profitable decision making 
  • Managing people on-farm, farm safety and wellbeing
  • Climate adaptation and natural resource improvement including soil, water, crops and pastures.
Farm Business Resilience Workshop, East Gippsland

As part of the program, participants will have access to a one-on-one with a professional to develop their farm business plan.

  • Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 May - block one
  • Monday 17 to Wednesday 19 June - block two.

Register for the East Gippsland sessions here. 

Export Development Programme
Export Development Programme

Ready to grow your agri-food and beverage business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start? Join us for a free Export Development Programme! 

Agriculture Victoria's Pathways to Export is partnering with Export Connect to deliver a series of in-person masterclass workshops in Gippsland and Melbourne and online export strategy webinars. 

In-person sessions: 

  • Friday 24 May – 9 am – 4 pm, Agriculture Victoria Attwood Centre, 475-485 Mickleham Rd. 


  • Pitch Development: Tuesday 28 May – 2 pm – 4 pm  
  • International Buyer and Exporter Panel: Tuesday 4 June – 2 pm – 4 pm.

Register for one or more sessions here.

Stock Sense calving webinar
A cow and a calf, the cow is cleaning the calf

When: Wednesday 26 June, 6 - 7:30 pm

New to calving? Wanting to learn more? Maybe you just need a quick refresher! 

This free webinar is perfect for you. 

Get ready for the calving season with a checklist covering everything you need to know.

From when to call a vet to prepping your calving box, we've got you covered. 

Join Stock Sense and seasoned expert Rob Bananno, who brings over 30 years of farming and veterinary experience to the table. 

Don't miss out on this invaluable session!

Register here.

Stock Sense sheep and goat workshop

When: Friday May 31, 9:15 am – 1:30 pm
Where: 10 Stones Road, Dollar, South Gippsland 

Led by a veteran farmer, Martin Stone, and experienced East Gippsland vet, Dr Alison Gunn, explore everything relating to sheep and goat essentials — from welfare and biosecurity to feed and fencing — equipping you with the knowledge to ensure your farm thrives.

As a bonus, witness a live working dog demo and engage in discussions about the role of the working dog on smaller farms.

Topics covered:

  • Learn to condition score your sheep
  • Sheep and goat husbandry fundamentals
  • Pre and post lambing all you need to know
  • Working dog demonstration and discussion.

Admission is free, with lunch provided so registration is essential.

Register here.

For further inquiries, please contact Stock Sense at

Business of Farming Cost of Production
business of farming

When: Friday 31 May, 10 am to 1 pm

Where: Gippsland Agricultural Centre, Bairnsdale.

Register here.

Pastures 101 - MID, West Gippsland and South Gippsland

Join GippsDairy for a one-day workshop that will introduce farmers to dairy cow nutrition and pasture.

This practical, on-farm event is aimed at new entrants to the industry and people with little to no pasture knowledge.

Topics will include:

  • When to graze
  • Where to put the strip grazing fence
  • When to graze the paddock again
  • How to get the most production out of your pasture
  • What to do with surplus grass growing.

A light lunch will be provided. Please bring along a chair.

  • MID: Wednesday 12 June, 10 am - 3 pm - Nambrok (address provided on registration)
  • West Gippsland: Thursday 13 June, 10 am - 3 pm - West Gippsland (address provided on registration)
  • South Gippsland: Friday 14 June, 10 am - 3 pm - South Gippsland (address provided on registration).
Best Wool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef industry conference and dinner
Save the date information for the Best Wool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef conference and dinner

Early bird tickets are now available for BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences!

Early bird tickets will close on Friday 31 May.

Secure your early bird tickets here.

The Best Wool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef conference will be held over 2 days, 19 and 20 June in Ballarat. 

Stay up to date via our events page.

Grasslands Society of Southern Australia – 54th Annual Conference 

The GSSA conference at Bendigo on 17-18 July will offer something for everyone. 

The central theme will focus on ‘Evidence Based Decision Making’ and the topics have been built around what farmers need to know. 

Delegates will be able to choose from 2 bus tours. One to a property north of Bendigo integrating lucerne into a profitable livestock system and one to a higher rainfall perennial pasture property south of Bendigo. 

Topics will include: 

  • Carbon - an informed farmers perspective 
  • Carbon neutral livestock production - is it possible? 
  • Soil carbon and fertility 
  • Measuring and knowing your soil carbon levels 
  • Old clover identification and sub optimal clover nodulation 
  • Paddock livestock weighing 
  • What bugs you? 
  • Use of drones in agriculture 
  • Facial livestock recognition 
  • Remote pasture measurement 
  • Running lambs on improved varieties of perennial ryegrass vs more persistent Victorian ryegrass - animal responses above yield responses 
  • N efficiency and endophytes in ryegrass pastures 
  • Introduction to fertiliser calculator tool. 

For more information visit the website.

Southern Australia Livestock Research Council Livestock Conference
Sheep in a paddock. The text reads: save the date: livestock 2024 conference.

Livestock 2024 is the third biennial conference delivered by SALRC. This year's theme is environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Location: Atura Hotel, Albury NSW. 

Date: Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 August.

Tickets on sale soon. 

Click here to register for conference updates.

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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

All 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.


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Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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