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Gippsland Ag New banner; black angus beef cows looking directly
Thursday 14 March 2024
In this edition:
Recovery assistance – 13 February storms 

The cumulative impacts of floods and more recently storms across Gippsland in the past few months has proved challenging for the farming community.

Agriculture Victoria is continuing to support farmers with advice, referrals, and practical support.

Gippsland farmers who have experienced impacts from severe weather events can contact the Agriculture Recovery team on 0427 694 185 or at for assistance or advice, including technical support. 

When phoning or emailing, please provide details that include a contact name, phone number and locality, with a brief statement about the nature of your concerns, so an appropriate member of the Agriculture Recovery Team can contact you. 

Farmers who have urgent animal welfare needs should contact the VicEmergency Hotline on 136 186.

Facial eczema awareness
Facial eczema awareness

Very high facial eczema spore counts are currently being reported in West Gippsland and the Macalister Irrigation District.

Now is the time to take urgent preventative measures to protect your milking herd and dry stock. Contact your veterinarian or nutrition advisor about your farm's specific risk and prevention options.

For more information on facial eczema, monitoring your own pasture spore counts, and facial eczema prevention, visit the GippsDairy website.

Barber’s pole worm

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

Barber’s Pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is the most important parasite of sheep in the summer rainfall areas of Australia. 

Therefore, it is not surprising that we are seeing outbreaks of disease due to Barber’s Pole worm with the warm, moist conditions that we have recently experienced.

Adult Barber’s Pole worms live in the abomasum (fourth stomach) of sheep.

The mature female worms are visible to the naked eye. 

The gut of the worm is red, as it is full of blood. Wound around the gut is the white ovary, packed with hundreds of eggs. This red and white spiral effect gives the worm its name as it looks like the classic barber’s pole.

The adult female worms are prolific egg producers leading rapidly to a heavy pasture contamination. Recently we have seen faecal egg counts in the tens of thousands due to Barber’s Pole worm.

During warm, moist conditions these eggs hatch into larvae and are eaten by sheep during grazing.

Given their prolific production, worm numbers can build up rapidly.

Like other internal parasites, Barber’s Pole worms mainly affect weaners and lactating ewes.

Barber’s Pole worms feed by sucking blood leading to anaemia and 'bottle jaw' but not necessarily weight loss or diarrhoea. 

Just 1000 adult Barber’s Pole worms can remove 50ml of blood from a sheep per day. Therefore, Barber’s Pole worm outbreaks can lead to high mortalities in a short space of time.

Barber’s Pole worms can be detected at post-mortem, or in live animals by a faecal egg count.

As with other internal parasites, drench resistance to Barber’s Pole worm is becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, losses due to Barber’s Pole worm are currently being reported in spite of recent drenching.

For further information please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria Veterinary or Animal Health Officer, or in NSW your Local Land Services.

Prepare for hot weather
A black bull in a paddock. The text reads: avoid livestock heat stress - ensure your animals have access to sufficient shade and lots of water on extreme weather days

With parts of the state still experiencing hot weather, it’s important to ensure your animals have access to sufficient shade and lots of cool water to avoid heat stress.

Stay safe and follow VicEmergency for updates.

More information for caring for animals during extreme heat is available here

Modernising student experience for future farmers

The Victorian Government is helping more Victorians pursue a career in agriculture through the $50 million Agricultural College Modernisation Program.

New state-of-the-art facilities are now open to students of Longerenong College, one of three of Victoria’s agriculture colleges to benefit from $20 million in funding for upgrades to student accommodation and teaching amenities.

Longerenong College received $6.5 million to construct student accommodation for 45 students. The facility holds both four and seven-bedroom houses with a suite of independent and communal facilities, including a 100-seat conference centre, shared lounge rooms and an outdoor common area.

Longerenong College offers full-time courses in agriculture and agronomy and accommodates between 85 to 110 students, with the majority residing on campus.

The college delivers courses to over 70 apprentices and hosts targeted training events for universities and high schools. In 2023, over 250 high school students attended agriculture immersive camps.

Victoria’s growing food and fibre sector needs more skilled workers with a range of capabilities, including digital, business, risk and marketing skills, to take products to local, domestic and international markets.

The Agricultural College Modernisation Program is delivering on the Victorian Government’s 10-year Agriculture Strategy to support the skills of the future and help more Victorians pursue an exciting career in agriculture.

To learn more visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

What to do after a bushfire
A tractor moving bales of hay. The text reads: what to do after a bushfire. Visit our webpage for technical information about fire recovery including advice on: water quality, feed management and animal health and nutrition.

Visit our website for technical information on fire recovery. 

Find advice on: 

  • Water quality 
  • Feed management 
  • Animal health and nutrition 
  • Pasture recovery 
  • And farmer health and wellbeing.

Click here to read more.

Episode 4: On the right track to recovery with Simone Murdoch and Darryl Pearl
Episode 4: On the right track to recovery with Simone Murdoch and Darryl Pearl

Future planning and controlled traffic farming can help mitigate natural disasters and their long-term effects.

In this After the flood podcast episode, Simone Murdoch chats about how her family made key decisions during a flood by removing emotion from the conversation.

Darryl Pearl, from Agriculture Victoria, also gives some tips on controlled traffic farming and how it can benefit properties in the long-term.

Listen via the AgVic website.

Reminder – phaseout of 3G network
agcloud gateway cameras

Victorian farmers are reminded of the upcoming phase out of the 3G network.

Starting from 30 June the 3G network will be phased out in rural Victoria. 

If you use devices that rely on a 3G SIM card for connectivity, it's important to understand how this may impact your farm operations. 

Reach out to your technology providers to ensure your devices are compatible with the upcoming changes. 

Stay ahead of the transition to ensure seamless connectivity on your farm.

AgTech Innovators season 2, episode 3: Adventures in AgTech with Sarah Nolet
AgTech Innovators podcast. Adventures in AgTech with Sarah Nolet

When Tenacious Ventures make an investment, they consider three crucial factors: the team, the technology, and the traction. 

Co-founder Sarah Nolet says assessing these elements can be challenging, however, if they make the right choices, it can have a significant impact on the success of an AgTech startup.

Listen online via the AgVic website.

The Horticultural Netting Program
Nets over an orchard

Grants of up to $150,000 are available to eligible producers of commercial horticulture crops, excluding wine grapes, to purchase and install new netting over established production areas. 

The program now includes a self-installation allowance if you wish to self-install netting.

Applications close 8 April.

For more information about the program visit the Horticultural Netting Grants for Victorian Horticulturalists page on our website. 

This program is delivered by the Victorian Government on behalf of the Australian Government.

Consultation on animal welfare laws closing soon
A blue background with the V for Victoria made out of various animals. The text reads Help shape Victoria's new animal care and protection laws.

The Victorian Government has extended the consultation period on the draft Bill for the new animal care and protection laws.

Victorians now have until Monday 25 March to have their say on the Bill – which will replace the current Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA Act).

Executive Director of Animal Welfare Victoria, Dr Trevor Pisciotta, said the extension gives interested people and organisations more time to make a submission, following recent extreme weather events.

‘We’ve been committed to engaging with key stakeholders and the Victorian community throughout these reforms – this is the third and final round of consultation.’

‘Regional communities have already strongly influenced the form of the Draft Bill, which will help to maintain the trust of our trading partners, consumers and the community in Victoria’s animal-based activities and industries’, Dr Pisciotta said.

In addition to the 3 consultation rounds, Agriculture Victoria has consulted with more than 50 organisations representing people involved with animals or with an interest in animals and the law. The feedback has been carefully considered and contributed to the reform process to date.

Dr Pisciotta said the POCTA Act is nearly 40 years old and does not always reflect current community expectations, developments in animal science or changing industry practices.

‘Demonstrating a high standard of animal welfare is critical in supporting Victorian industries to maintain access to important markets. For most Victorians, there will be no major changes to the way they operate daily.’

‘These laws will strengthen Victoria’s reputation as a humane and responsible producer of food – while being fit-for-purpose for modern day farming practices’, Dr Pisciotta said.

Key changes include minimum standards of care and requirements around husbandry procedures – which already feature in the existing codes of practice and Australian Standards and Guidelines for Animal Welfare.

The proposed laws recognise animal sentience – that animals can have positive and negative experiences. Being explicit about this won't change how Victorians need to treat their animals, or whether they can be owned or used by humans. It won't create any legal rights for third parties, and it won't give animals legal rights.

Dr Pisciotta encourages interested community members, groups and organisations to make a submission and complete a survey about future regulations.

‘Please visit the Engage Victoria website, where you will find supporting materials to help you make a submission, including a guide to the draft Bill and a list of Frequently Asked Questions,’ Dr Pisciotta said.

For more information and to make a submission visit

Additional support available for timber communities

Additional support is being provided through the Forestry Transition Program to East Gippsland communities impacted by the end of native timber harvesting in Victoria.

Although native timber supply officially ended on 1 January 2024, the programs and support for timber workers, businesses and communities continues.

As part of that support, a new Forestry Information Coordinator is now based at Orbost to provide an additional point of contact for the local community.

Native timber workers, businesses and community members can contact Forestry Information Coordinator, Cory Lindfield, for assistance with:

  • information about forestry transition programs and progress of initiatives for workers and businesses
  • information about community transition opportunities underway in East Gippsland and how they can get involved
  • information about business transition programs, including the Transition Fund.

For more information visit or contact Cory Lindfield during business hours Monday to Friday on 0400 776 040.

Gippsland farm forestry grants are now available

The Victorian Government is again offering grants to landholders in Gippsland to assist in establishing trees for timber, as part of a broader program to encourage and support the establishment and management of plantations on farms to contribute to future timber supply.

Timber plantations can be established as woodlots, shelterbelts or wide-spaced plantings (or any combination of these) and be ideally placed within the context of a whole farm plan.

The minimum eligible plantation establishment area for a grant application is 3 hectares.

An opportunity also exists to apply for a one-off consultancy grant, to assist landholders should they require specialised and specific advice in designing and planning a plantation establishment project.

Grant applications opened on 4 March 2024 and will close on 7 March 2025.

During this open period, grants will be assessed and administered with the interested landholders progressively.

If you’re involved in a group or organisation (eg. Landcare) and would like more information about the grants or farm forestry generally, one of our Farm Forestry Officers would be delighted to present in a group setting. 

Further information, including grant forms and guidelines is available at the VicForests website and on request via email

Fox and wild dog bounty resumes
A fox. The text reads: fox and wild dog bounty resumes. Victoria's bounty collections will resume on 4 March 2024.

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'

Fall armyworm commands growers' attention

Victorian agronomists and growers should be vigilant in crop surveillance for Fall armyworm (FAW), following the impacts the pest is having on crops in Queensland.

Fall armyworm has rapidly spread across Australia after being found in Queensland in January 2020 and is now established in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia and parts of Victoria.

Read the full media release here.

Churchill Fellowships 2024 open now

Churchill Fellowships for 2024 opened on 1 March, offering people the opportunity to travel overseas for four to eight weeks to explore a topic or issue that they’re passionate about, and come back and share knowledge to improve their community.

Applications close 1 May at 5 pm.

Read more here.

Cat desexing grants for Victorian councils now open

The Victorian Government has committed $300,000 to run a trial program to increase cat desexing rates, address cat over-population and support vulnerable cat owners.

Councils can now apply for grants of up to $25,000 to deliver targeted cat desexing programs within their community.

Read the full media release here.

Expanded eligibility for power outage payments

The Australian and Victorian governments will continue to support Victorians impacted by severe weather this summer.

The eligibility criteria for the Prolonged Power Outage Payments (PPOP) is being extended to reflect the unique nature of 2 extreme storm events in short succession.

Read the full media release here.

$21M for council clean-up and assistance after Victorian storms and floods

The Australian and Victorian governments are continuing to support disaster-impacted communities, with more than $21 million in assistance to support immediate and long-term recovery following the storms and floods which commenced on 24 December 2023 through to mid-January 2024.

Read the full media release here.

Help implement Victoria’s new Biosecurity Strategy

Agriculture Victoria is calling for applicants to join the Biosecurity Reference Group and help implement Victoria’s new Biosecurity Strategy.

Agriculture Victoria Executive Director Katherine Clift said the Biosecurity Reference Group would play a vital role in ensuring Victoria’s biosecurity response reflects the entire system.

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.

The on-farm practicalities of renewable energy options

When: Wednesday 20 March, 10:30 am. Morning tea from 10:15 am 

Where: Ellinbank SmartFarm, 1301 Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank.

Register here

This on-farm session will focus on renewable energy options and include an update from senior technical officer Greg Morris on the current generating electricity research projects occurring at the Ellinbank SmartFarm. 

Greg will take attendees through a range of alternative options including solar, wind and bio-digestion focusing on their on-farm practicalities.

The morning will also include travelling to Rob Bayley's piggery where a methane digester has been successfully operating for over 5 years.

Stock sense farming essentials webinar series

When: Wednesday 20 March, 6 - 7:30 pm

Register here.

Join a 6-part webinar series on the essential elements of farm ownership. Each session offers practical insights and expert advice to empower you on your farming journey.

Topics include: 

  • Owning or buying a farm: assessing what you want and have
  • Farm layout and essential facilities
  • Buying animals: what you need to know
  • The first few months – a critical period
  • Animal health, nutrition and welfare
  • The long-term plan – sustaining your farm.
Joel Williams Roadshow - Flynn, Yarram, Bairnsdale, Orbost and Omeo
Joel Williams Roadshow

Joel Williams from Integrated Soils is visiting Gippsland in March. He is an independent plant and soil health educator with an interest in designing farming systems. 

  • Friday 15 March, 5 - 9 pm - Gippsland Agriculture Centre
  • Monday 18 March, 9:30 am - 1 pm - Orbost Football Club - Lochiel Park
  • Tuesday 19 March, 9 am - 1 pm - Omeo Recreation Reserve.

Register here.

Today, Tomorrow and Beyond - Genetics Australia Conference
GA 2024. 18 & 19 March 2024, GMHBA Stadium, Geelong. Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.

Where: Monday 18 March - 9:30 am – Tuesday 19 March 4 pm

Where: GMHBA Stadium, 370 Moorabool Street, South Geelong.

Register here.

The conference will host a diverse audience of local and international speakers, farmers, and industry delegates from the dairy and beef sectors.

The theme of the conference centres around the future of cattle breeding, incorporating cutting-edge technologies, and showcasing new industry research and ideas.

Agriculture Victoria Research Director, Professor Jennie Pryce will present on breeding for sustainability and resilience, while Research Scientist Dr Jo Newton will talk on the role of genetic improvement in creating greater integration between our dairy and beef industries.

Sheep projections webinar

When: Tuesday 19 March, 10 am

Register here.

The MLA invite you to join this webinar to look at the February 2024 Sheep Industry Projections report.

The report provides a comprehensive outlook on the sheep industry, including forecasts for the national flock, sheep and lamb supply and carcase weights.

Key points will include:

  • the sheep flock is expected to reduce slightly driven by record lamb slaughter and elevated sheep turnoff
  • lamb slaughter is projected to reach record levels two years in a row, climbing to 23.7 million in 2024
  • sheep slaughter to remain high, driven by a large and productive breeding flock.
MLA Goat Roadshow: webinar + Q and A
MLA Goat Webinar and Q&A

Are your goats fit to load? Are you planning to sell goats soon?

Make sure you understand your roles and responsibilities in ensuring animals are fit to travel before you start loading.

This free Meat & Livestock Australia Goat Roadshow webinar is designed to provide useful and practical insights on how to ensure your goats are fit to load before transport.

When: Tuesday 19 March - 7 pm.

Register here.

Women in Agriculture - Business of Farming
Women in agriculture, business of farming

When: Thursday 21 March 9 am - Friday 22 March 3:30 pm

Where: Lake Tyers Caravan Park

Price: $50 pp. 

Register here.

Business of Farming is a two-day workshop on preparing the books for June 1.

The event will focus on budgeting, bookkeeping, finance, and more. An added bonus is the opportunity to network with fellow women farmers and learn from their experiences.

The two days include shared accommodation and meals.

Come say hi at Farm World
Our sheep biosecurity art sculpture painted by Melbourne artist, Joy Chiang, standing in a green paddock.

When: Friday 22 to Sunday 24 March, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Where: Lardner Park. 

Come and say hi to us in the General Interest Pavilion (sites 19-21 and 47-48).

Talk to our dairy and animal health staff about farm biosecurity and emergency animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

Discuss your on-farm biosecurity management plan and pick up a biosecurity sign. Also talk to our staff about climate resilience and recovery, and farm safety.

Receive a free Health and Lifestyle Assessment from the National Centre for Farmer Health or learn about Q Fever from staff from the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit.

The Victorian Farmers Federation, Southern Rural Water, Rural Financial Counselling Services and Services Australia will also be on site.

Come and see our sheep biosecurity art sculpture painted by Melbourne artist, Joy Chiang.

Carbon Accounting with Richard Eckard
Carbon accounting workshop with Richard Eckard

Calling beef and sheep producers - join Gippsland Agricultural Group for this workshop on the MLA Carbon Emissions Calculator with Richard Eckard. 

When: Tuesday 26 March, 9 am to 4 pm

Where: Wellington Shire Offices, Level 2, 70 Foster street Sale.

Register here.

East Gippsland Field Days

When: Friday 5 and Saturday 6 April 

Where: Bairnsdale Aerodrome. 

Find out more here.

Come chat with us at the East Gippsland Field Days. 

Talk to our dairy and animal health staff about farm biosecurity and emergency animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

Discuss your on-farm biosecurity management plan and pick up a biosecurity sign. Also talk to our staff about climate resilience and recovery, and farm safety.

Learn about Q Fever from staff from the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit and chat with team members from GippsDairy. 

Come and see our sheep biosecurity art sculpture painted by Melbourne artist, Joy Chiang.

2024 Landcare forum

The 2024 Landcare forum will take place on Wednesday 8, Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May in Bendigo.

Find out more here.

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

Save the date!

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

Further details to come. 

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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.


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