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Thursday 6 June 2024
In this edition:
Avian influenza – stay informed
report sick or dead birds vicemergency 1800 226 226

Movement controls are in place to prevent the spread of avian influenza in the Golden Plains and Corangamite shires.

The controls restrict the movement of birds, poultry products, poultry feed and equipment on or off properties in designated areas.

This includes a:

  • Restricted Area that covers the impacted Meredith and Lethbridge properties and a broader Control Area buffer zone, which is bound by Bacchus Marsh Road in the east and the Colac–Ballarat Road on the western boundary is in place.
  • Restricted Area covering a 5 km radius around the Terang farm with a broader Control Area buffer zone covering a 15 km radius
  • housing requirement for all birds within these areas.

Stay up to date at

‘Late break’ change to Ballarat sheep and beef event

Agriculture Victoria and its conference partners have adjusted the program for the Ballarat-based BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences on 19-20 June in response to seasonal challenges farmers are now facing.

Agriculture Victoria technical specialist Lyndon Kubeil said staff and consultants will be available throughout the conferences to assist farmers with feed budgeting.

‘We are keen to help farmers manage this drier season by supporting them to calculate feed requirements of their various classes of stock and work out how to forward plan a feeding program,’ Mr Kubeil said.

‘This is a great opportunity to work through a customised feed budget for your farm.

‘Bring along your livestock information and feed on hand inventory to discuss with experts from 8:30 am on Wednesday before the conference starts, and throughout both days.’

The BestWool/BestLamb conference will also feature a panel session led by Dr Jason Trompf, founder of the ‘Lambs Alive’ program.

Joining Jason on the panel will be:

  • Dr Jane Gaussen, The Livestock Vet, discussing sheep health concerns for pregnant and lambing ewes such as hypocalcaemia and pregnancy toxaemia
  • Tim Leeming from Paradoo Prime presenting strategies for feeding lambing ewes, wet/ drying ewes at lamb marking and early weaning
  • Rob Inglis from Elders talking about the pros and cons of feeding maize to livestock.

Agriculture Victoria BetterBeef Leader Darren Hickey said renowned veterinarian Dr Jillian Kelly’s presentation will offer producers a better understanding of rumen function, and how to ensure stock achieve maintenance and growth targets.

‘This event presents a great opportunity to network with other farmers and industry experts and be across topical information relevant to producer needs,’ Mr Hickey said.

Early bird ticket discounts have been extended on TryBooking to Friday 7 June.

See the Agriculture Victoria website events page for details on the conferences and to download the program.

Boosting winter growth
a measuring stick for nutrients in soil

Most of the state experienced an extremely dry autumn. When rain does fall, soil temperature may become the main factor limiting pasture growth.

Agriculture Victoria Livestock Industry Development Officer, Nick Linden said soil temperature, like moisture and fertility, plays a major role in controlling plant growth.

‘Covers will stop fixing much nitrogen below about 9 degrees which can provide some opportunities for response to urea.

‘Research in Tasmania shows that perennial ryegrass continues to grow down to about 5 degrees, while annual ryegrass as low as 2 degrees.

‘Australian phalaris has been shown to also grow down to about 5 degrees and a ‘guesstimate’ for more winter active cultivars is between 1.5 and 2 degrees lower,’ he said.

Mr Linden said urea and gibberellic acid (GA) provide options to increase pasture growth when nitrogen and/or soil temperature is limiting, on the proviso that good soil fertility, perennial pasture species and soil moisture are present.

‘GA is made naturally in plant roots during spring and stimulates shoot and cell elongation, promoting plant growth. The application of manufactured GA in winter stimulates plant growth and increases winter feed availability.

‘GA should be applied when air temperature is between 5 and 15 degrees, when natural levels of GA are low.

‘Several producer groups have trialled using GA with or without urea and results have varied across sites and years, so it may be worth talking to a local group or agronomist for advice on what to expect.

‘The response to urea will be slower than when pasture growth is optimal (i.e.spring) but may be worthwhile,’ he said.


Options for improving winter pasture growth presented by Lisa Warn

EverGraze calculator for responses to urea and gibberellic acid.

Agriculture Victoria gibberellic acid use in phalaris pastures.

WorkSafe – Footy's favourite farmer
Worksafe banner image

From cattle to cropping, Gippsland to the Mallee, and everything in between, we're on the hunt for this year's Footy's Favourite Farmer!

WorkSafe knows our farmers are a hard-working and humble bunch - so they'd like your help to nominate your local farmer.

All you need to do is tell us, in 50 words or less, why your nominee deserves to be Footy's Favourite Farmer in 2024.

There's over $20,000 worth of prizes for them and their club up for grabs, and just by nominating a farmer, you can win a prize yourself!

Hurry - get your entries in before Friday 2 August to be in the running.


The Fast Break – May
a landscape wide shot of the sky

The latest The Fast Break newsletter is now available.

This newsletter details oceanic and atmospheric climate driver activity over the last month and summarises 3-month model predictions for the Pacific and Indian oceans, rainfall and temperature for Victoria.

To subscribe or to view the latest issue click here.

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.

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

Supplementary feeding and the risks of grain poisoning

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

Many producers will start to consider supplementary feeding their livestock with grain or pellets.

Such feeding will bring many benefits but does also carry the risk of grain poisoning.

Grain poisoning occurs when large amounts of starch are eaten and rapidly ferments in the rumen or first stomach.

This leads to the excessive production of lactic acid, which is absorbed into the animal’s body.

Hence the condition’s other name, lactic acidosis.

Grain poisoning may occur when:

  • grain or pellets are introduced too quickly
  • there’s a sudden increase in the amount of grain or pellets being fed
  • there’s a change in type of grain or pellets being fed
  • there’s insufficient feeding space leading to the dominant animals overeating
  • producers not being aware the same precautions need to be followed when feeding pellets
  • accidental overeating due to storage areas not being sealed.

The clinical signs of grain poisoning usually become apparent within 24 to 36 hours after the initial access to grain or pellets.

In mild cases, cattle and sheep may show a lack of appetite and appear quieter than usual.

In more severe cases, cattle and sheep may show weakness, lameness, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea ranging from porridge to water consistency, depending upon the severity of the condition, leading to dehydration.

Grain poisoning can be fatal to livestock.

Reducing the animal’s access to grain or pellets and increasing the availability of roughage can treat mild cases.

More severe cases may need to be drenched with sodium bicarbonate to neutralise the lactic acid.

Severely affected animals are unlikely to respond well to treatment.

Following treatment, affected animals may develop hoof problems and lameness due to hoof damage caused by grain poisoning.

Like in so many conditions, the best form of treatment is prevention.

Key to prevention is to gradually increase the proportion of grain or pellets at a rate which the animal’s body can acclimatise.

Feeding guidelines are readily available in drought feeding guides for sheep and cattle.

Drought feeding guides are freely available from the Agriculture Victoria website.

For further advice please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer.

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 continue.

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.

Man caught with illegally shot Brown Quail
a GMA car parked in a paddock

A man from Williamstown in Victoria recently admitted in the Echuca Magistrates Court to illegally shooting a Brown Quail at Gaynors Swamp State Game Reserve near Stanhope.

The man was ordered to pay a total of $300 in court fines and was placed on a diversion program with conditions of good behaviour.

The Game Management Authority’s (GMA) Director of Compliance and Intelligence, Zac Powell, said GMA officers approached the man during a routine patrol of the area.

'GMA authorised officers inspected the man’s bag and found he was in illegal possession of a Brown Quail (non-gamebird) and did not have a Game Licence endorsed to hunt gamebirds. Officers immediately seized the firearm and the Brown Quail,' Mr Powell said.

'People hunting Stubble Quail need to have a valid Game Licence endorsed for hunting gamebirds and positively identify their target. Remember, if you are not sure, don’t shoot.'

'Those who break the law face significant fines and penalties, including losing their Game or Firearms Licence and having equipment confiscated. In some cases, offenders may face jail

'The GMA continues to patrol both private and public land across Victoria to enforce game hunting laws. If hunting on private property, hunters must ensure they have the owner’s/manager’s permission.'

Hunters and the community are urged to report illegal hunting to the GMA through its website at or by calling 136 186. If an urgent response is required, call 000.

The GMA assesses all reports of illegal behaviour and works closely with its partner agencies, to conduct enforcement and compliance operations across Victoria.

For more information on Stubble Quail hunting in Victoria, visit our Stubble Quail hunting page and view our interactive Quail Hunting Basics education module.

The 2024 Stubble Quail season closes on Sunday, 30 June.

The bag limit is 20 birds per day.

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.

Investing in farm safety and diversity in agriculture

The Victorian Government is supporting key agriculture industry bodies to improve farm safety and support cultural safety and diversity for workers across the sector.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently announced 3 grants totalling $1.25 million have been provided to the Victorian Farmers Federation, Gardiner Foundation, and Fruit Growers Victoria.

The funding will help extend existing safety programs and contribute to new initiatives that will support cultural diversity in the agricultural workforce.

The Victorian Farmers Federation will receive $600,000 to support the continued delivery of its Making Our Farms Safer program which aims to deliver free farm safety tools and services that are accessible to all Victorian farmers.

This includes the continuation of in-person farm safety advisory services and the development of a farmer mental health handbook.

The Gardiner Foundation will receive $610,000 to increase the engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in agricultural regions.

Gardiner Foundation will match this investment, with $1.22 million going towards developing a regionally-specific approach to reaching CALD communities that can be replicated across the industry.

The project will focus on the Goulburn Valley and Gippsland regions, reflecting the labour demand in the dairy and horticulture sectors in these areas.

Fruit Growers Victoria will receive $49,402 to deliver farm safety videos relating to cool stores and working from heights in multiple languages targeting CALD workers, and a mental health webinar for fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley.

The Farming Safe and Well Program is part of the government’s Backing Victoria’s World Class Producers to Grow commitment in the 2023-24 Victorian Budget.

This investment delivers on the government’s commitment to make the Victorian agriculture sector safer and to attract and retain new cohorts into the industry.

For more information about how the government supports farm safety visit


Detection of avian influenza at fourth poultry property

Avian influenza virus has been confirmed at a fourth Victorian poultry farm.

Tests have confirmed the high pathogenicity H7N3 strain at this property which is located within the current Restricted Area in the Golden Plains Shire, where movement restrictions were already in place.


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.

Are you a young farmer in horticulture that’s looking to upskill?
Hort bootcamp image

Agriculture Victoria is running a horticulture business bootcamp focussed on the horticulture industry that aims to support the next generation of growers, business owners and managers to improve their skills and management practices.

The bootcamp will be delivered by Agriculture Victoria and Ion Group.

2-day in-person workshop on 12-13 June from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

Location TBC pending interest as Yarra Valley or Werribee.

Online session
21 June, 10-11 am


  • In-person day 1: Farm business performance and profitable decision making
  • In-person day 2: Risk, resilience and adapting to change
  • Online session: Natural resource management.

The bootcamp is free to all participants but places are limited.

A free one-on-one session with an Ion Group consultant is available to participants who register for both the in-person workshop and online session.

To secure your spot for this bootcamp, click here to register or contact Tanya Dobrijevic on 0429 353 649 or at

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 17 to Wednesday 19 June - block two.

Register for the East Gippsland 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.

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).
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.


Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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