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Beef and Sheep Networks Newsflash
4 March 2022
In this edition

What's On

What's New



Beef and Sheep News

Ag Recovery

Quick Links

Heading: What's On

PLEASE NOTE: The events listed below may be subject to last minute cancellation in the event of an emergency or advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

Event Details


When: 9 March

Where: Online

Time: 12 – 1.30 pm 


Online NLIS database training webinar

Agriculture Victoria is delivering online training to assist Victorian livestock producers to use the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database to meet their livestock traceability requirements. You will learn about livestock traceability, take a tour of the NLIS database, watch a live demonstration of how to transfer livestock and practise completing a transfer.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for this free event or for more information. 

Event Details


When: 17 March

Where: Cudgewa

Time: 10 am – 12.30 pm


Power your paddocks: How to manage pastures and weeds post fire

The Weed Warriors Producer Demonstration group is focused on dealing with weed issues post fire and strategies to help manage pastures.

The event will focus on weed control after fires, how to select pasture species for your property and how to accurately calibrate your spray unit.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for this free event or for more information.

Event Details



  • 18 March (Day 1)
  • 25 March (Day 2)

Where: Corryong

Time: 9 am – 4 pm


Upper Murray young farmer bootcamp

Agriculture Victoria is excited to offer this free, two-day business bootcamp targeting the Upper Murray's young producers or those new to managing a farm business and wanting to establish a long and successful career in beef, sheep, or mixed farming enterprises.

The bootcamp will help farmers understand and manage business risk, develop a business plan to grow their business and have confidence in a future in agriculture. These fun and interactive bootcamps use a series of farm case studies as real-life examples, providing participants with the skills to help them manage their farm business now, as well as planning for their business into the future.

The bootcamps are also an opportunity for young and emerging farm managers to get together with like-minded and motivated people in a social setting.

Bootcamp participants can expect to walk away with:

  • cash flow budgeting skills
  • a strong understanding of risk management and planning
  • capacity to fine-tune their business goals. 

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for this free event or for more information.

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Heading: What's New

Grant assistance is available under joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding to assist primary producers directly affected by the Victorian Floods and Storms which occurred from 9 - 11 June 2021 with costs associated with clean up and recovery activities needed to reinstate their primary production enterprise.

The maximum grant amount available under this program is $25,000 (GST exclusive). Applications for grant assistance close on 31 May 2022.

Visit the Rural Finance website for more information or phone 1800 260 425. 

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Agriculture Victoria veterinarians and animal health staff are responding to the detection of anthrax in a small number of sheep on a property near Swan Hill.

Anthrax has been identified as the likely cause of death in five sheep to date on the property which has been quarantined.

Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Graeme Cooke said thanks to the farmer’s early reporting, the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of the detection impacting more livestock had been put in place and at-risk livestock were being vaccinated.

"Anthrax is caused by a naturally occurring bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, that is known to be present for long periods in the soil in parts of northern and North-West Victoria,” he said.

"It is not unusual for incidents of anthrax to be detected in cattle and sheep in the region during the warmer months when it is drier and cattle and sheep forage deeper into the soil when grazing.

"Quarantine controls that were put in place will not affect the movement of any local people or vehicles.”

Anthrax is not a concern for the general public:

  • Anthrax does not spread rapidly and is not very contagious
  • There is little general public health risk associated with anthrax
  • Any risk is confined to people who handle dead livestock such as farmers, veterinarians and knackery workers
  • There is no impact on local produce or food safety.

Dr Cooke said while incidents commonly occur during the warmer months when it's drier, cases of anthrax have occurred, and may occur, at any time of year so continued vigilance is required.

Local farmers, veterinarians and Agriculture Victoria are well prepared to handle these incidents that occur from time to time, he said.

“This includes pre-emptively vaccinating stock each year and if there is a detection, the implementation of strict quarantine and biosecurity arrangements, the vaccination of potentially exposed stock and the destruction of the carcasses of affected animals.”

Agriculture Victoria veterinarians and animal health officers are currently working closely with livestock owners and veterinarians in the region to ensure they are aware of the signs of disease and appropriate actions to take if they are concerned.

Farmers are urged to report any cases of unexplained deaths to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

For more information, including an anthrax factsheet and a map outlining regions where anthrax has previously been detected, visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Victorian producers, staff and agents at the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange created an Australian record – with 59,487 electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tags scanned on sheep sold at the sale on 15 December 2021.

During December 2021, approximately one million electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags were read in Victorian saleyards and abattoirs and movements uploaded to the NLIS database demonstrating wide-spread successful adoption by the industry.

Agriculture Victoria’s Manager Livestock Traceability, Ben Fahy, said electronic identification (EID) tagging and movement recording facilitate accurate ‘whole of life’ tracking of sheep and goats for food safety, disease control and market access purposes.

“Electronic tagging is an important tool in ensuring that Victorian sheep and goats can be quickly tracked in the event of a disease outbreak or food safety issue,” he said.

“Victorian saleyards have become world leaders in this area. They have demonstrated repeatedly, and over a long time now, the ability to efficiently scan thousands of sheep on a daily basis.”

Electronic tagging has been required in the UK for several years because of the role that sheep can play in the spread of infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). But unlike the situation in Victoria, saleyards in the UK typically only sell and scan fewer than 10,000 head at a sale.

Mr Fahy said the excellent traceability of Victoria’s system was demonstrated by the SAFEMEAT sheep traceability evaluation which showed that Victorian EID tagged sheep were 99 per cent traceable, compared to 70 per cent traceability for interstate sheep that do not require electronic tags.

“The automatic verification of the presence of a sheep or goat at a saleyard following the scanning of its tag enables reliable traceback and facilitates prompt contact tracing in a disease emergency. Contact tracing where saleyards are involved in the recent movement history of sheep can only be done successfully with electronic tagging.”

“The entire livestock supply chain should be congratulated for their efforts during Victoria’s implementation of an electronic NLIS (Sheep & Goats) system.”

Since 2017, producers have purchased more than 51 million electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags, and almost 35 million sheep and goat movements have been recorded on the NLIS database.

From 1 January 2022, all sheep and non-exempt goats need to be identified with an electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag before leaving a Victorian farm.

Victorian sheep and goat producers are able to access the most affordable electronic tags in Australia with prices starting from 77 cents per tag.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website for more information on Victoria’s NLIS (Sheep & Goats) system or to order NLIS tags or phone Agriculture Victoria’s NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 during business hours.

Image with text and QR code

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Helping to strengthen Victoria’s biosecurity system for the future will be the key focus of the inaugural Victorian Biosecurity Reference Group when it meets for the first-time next month.

Eleven members with vast experience, knowledge and skills in biosecurity operations, agriculture policy, citizen expertise, community engagement, biosecurity science and managing biosecurity risks have been appointed to the new group, which has been established as part of a Victorian Government $28 million program to strengthen Victoria’s biosecurity system.

Agriculture Victoria’s Biosecurity Services Executive Director Katherine Clift said it was encouraging to see the response to the call for Biosecurity Reference Group nominees.

Dr Clift said it demonstrated how invested industry and community members are in their desire to help contribute to a stronger biosecurity system for Victoria, and to be part of the process.

“Biosecurity is key to not only protecting our agriculture sector, but also our environment, biodiversity, cultural heritage, economy and way of life,” she said.

The Biosecurity Reference Group was established in response to calls from industry and the community to establish stronger partnerships with government on biosecurity and for more formal opportunities for non-government stakeholders to have input into decision-making.

“Reference Group members will play an important role in providing feedback to Agriculture Victoria on proposed investments and activities to help ensure they are practical and relevant to industry and community,” Dr Clift said.

The Biosecurity Reference Group members are:

  • Andrew MacLean, Landcare Victoria Chief Executive Officer
  • David Reid, Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria Policy and Technical Manager
  • Danyel Cucinotta, Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Vice President, Farmers Business and Regional Development Committee Chair and third-generation egg farmer at LT’s Egg Farm
  • Gerald Leach, Victorian Rabbit Action Network Chair, VFF Land Management Committee Chair and livestock and cropping farmer
  • Dr Hugh Millar, Victorian Division of the Australian Veterinary Association President
  • Liz Summerville, Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Southern Regional Manager
  • Lyn Coulston OAM, Victorian Blackberry Taskforce Chair and Upper Murray Landcare Network Secretary
  • Jenny Treeby, Australian Table Grape Industry Development Manager
  • Dr Jessica Lye, Citrus Australia National Biosecurity Manager
  • Dr Ron Glanville, Biosecurity Advisory Service Principal Consultant
  • Professor Tom Kompas, Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (University of Melbourne) Chief Investigator.

A further two members representing the aquaculture and grains sectors will be added soon.

Dr Clift said the establishment of the Biosecurity Reference Group was an important step towards a stronger biosecurity system that can reduce, respond to and manage increasing biosecurity risks.

“The work of this group will ensure the system is better prepared, more adaptive, and resilient – ultimately protecting Victoria’s economy, environment, and people,” she said.

“Importantly, the Biosecurity Reference Group will also ensure industry and community views continue to shape the future of biosecurity in Victoria.”

The first meeting of the Biosecurity Reference group will be held on March 28.

For more information about the Biosecurity Reference Group visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

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More decision-making support for dryland cropping and livestock farming enterprises in the Mallee is now available in the form of a climate eBook.

The ‘Past, Present and Future Climate eBook for the Victorian Mallee’ gathers together key tools and resources on historical rainfall and temperature data, climate trends and projections.

Agriculture Victoria Climate Change Service Development Officer Heather Field said Mallee farmers should find the eBook valuable and feedback about how the new product might be improved and what other information could be included is welcome.

“The Mallee is getting warmer and possibly drier and already has a variable climate. This variability will likely continue, with greater extremes,” Ms Field said.

“Providing local climate information, data, tools and resources will assist farmers in making informed decisions for their business and increase the resilience of dryland farming.

“The future climate will lead to challenges for both cropping and livestock farm businesses in the Mallee over the coming decades and there are many things that can be done to prepare and adapt.”

The eBook shares some of these potential climate impacts and useful resources, including:

  • Past and recent rainfall and temperature trends
  • Historical growing season rainfall
  • Climate driver influence on growing season rainfall
  • Historical temperature extremes
  • A guide to using seasonal forecasts
  • Projected changes in rainfall, temperature, and season length
  • Potential climate impacts and useful resources
  • Products and information on climate and adaptation.

Comments and feedback from users of the new eBook can be made to Heather Field at email or Melissa Cann at email.

Past, Present and Future Climate eBook for the Victorian Mallee is available online

The eBook sources climate data and analysis relevant to the Mallee region from Agriculture Victoria, Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Protecting Victoria’s agriculture sector and improving its resilience to external threats such as climate change, pests, disease, natural disasters and resource scarcity is a key pledge under the 2030 Agriculture strategy.

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Heading: BestWoo/BestLamb

BestWool/BestLamb is a partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Australian Wool Innovation Limited, which provides a network facilitating information exchange that enables producers to implement improvements in key aspects of their business.

Lyndon Kubeil, Senior Sheep Specialist 0418 532 085 or email

Alison Desmond, Project Leader Sheep Industry Development 0409 424 274 or email

BWBL Lamb logo, AWI logo

Lisa Warn (Ag Consulting Pty Ltd) and Helen McGregor (Redefining Agriculture)

A new producer-led program is offering sheep producers practical support to transition to a non-mulesed flock and is funded by Meat & Livestock Australia’s Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) program. The project came from an open call for PDS applications.

‘Towards non-mulesed sheep’, utilises the principles of a PDS to guide producers through the design of a property-specific plan using existing tools and management strategies to reduce the reliance on mulesing.

Producers are being invited to take part in the program across sites in Victoria and southern NSW, where it is being delivered by independent local consultants, Lisa Warn (Lisa Warn Ag Consulting), Helen McGregor (Redefining Agriculture) and Sally Martin (SheepMetrix).

Ms Warn, Ms McGregor and Ms Martin, who have over 60 collective years of experience in the Australian sheep industry and combined expertise in profitable sheep production, welfare, nutrition, disease management and genetic improvement, will deliver a program tailor-made for participating producers.

Project lead, Lisa Warn, said many producers were keen to transition to a non-mulesed flock but were looking for guidance.

“Many producers indicate they would like to cease mulesing, but they lack the confidence to do so and are fearful of not being able to manage without it,” she said.

“This program was developed in response to their concerns to cover all aspects of sheep management and breeding, with regional relevance,” said Ms Warn.

Sally Leigo, MLA Program Manager – Adoption, said a feature of the project was the opportunity for producers to learn from one another and address producer-led priorities.

“The program will include discussion groups and on-farm demonstrations to allow producers to identify management changes they might need to ultimately be able to cease mulesing across their flock.”

“The groups will also include producers who have at least 10 years’ experience running a non-mulesed flock. By sharing the challenges they faced, their know-how in overcoming these challenges and the opportunities they have captured, these producers will provide valuable practical expertise that is regionally-relevant,” said Ms Leigo. 

The program runs across two years and groups meet throughout the year, on-farm, for sessions to improve knowledge and skills, discuss seasonal issues and use a range of industry tools to develop and implement their plans.

Discussion group members also have the option to run a small trial with their own sheep to evaluate their chosen strategy.

Workshops/session content includes:

  • identifying factors contributing to risk of breech flystrike for your flock
  • management and genetic strategies to combat the main risks for flystrike in your region
  • using visual breech scores, Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) and DNA Flock Profile to assist breeding less susceptible sheep
  • use of Flyboss and Wormboss tools
  • calculating cost benefit of ceasing mulesing for your business.

There are currently ’Towards non-mulesed sheep’ discussion groups running in southern NSW, western Victoria, north-east Victoria, and north-west Victoria.

If you would like more information about the program, be kept up to date on the on-farm demos or would like to explore the possibility of joining a discussion group in your region, contact one of the project team.

Western Victoria and northeast Victoria – Lisa Warn on 0418 748 607
Northwest Victoria – Helen McGregor on 0421 052 302.

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Ryegrass staggers PRGS is seen when sheep graze tall, dry ryegrass (Lolium perenne), in late summer and autumn, and often following sufficient rain to stimulate limited pasture growth.  This occurs when endophytes (fungus) are established in older stands of perennial ryegrass pastures. The endophytes produce a toxin that protects the plant from insects and helps with establishment, but also interferes with the nervous system of sheep.  This is currently the case in some parts of Victoria, so farmers with particularly the older varieties of perennial ryegrass, should watch for symptoms and act quickly if observed.

To view this article in full visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Agriculture Victoria has developed a factsheet detailing the nutritional value of stubble to sheep and how to assess this on your farm. It also provides tips on the optimal timing of grazing, the importance of licks and supplements and potential health issues associated with grazing stubble. The factsheet highlights the importance of maintaining sufficient ground cover in paddocks to prevent the loss of topsoil.

View the factsheet on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Heading: BetterBeef
BetterBeef logo

BetterBeef is an Agriculture Victoria coordinated producer and service provider network with a focus on increasing the profitability and sustainability of beef enterprises. It aims to grow and support a strong producer network featuring genuine partnerships with the private sector in co-design and delivery.


Amanda Davis, Acting BetterBeef Project Leader
0407 947 580 or email


Cathy Mulligan, Livestock Industry Development Officer 

Reproductive performance is a major driver of profitability in a beef cow/calf enterprise.

The key factors that affect reproductive performance are:

  • the growth path of heifers from weaning to the onset of puberty
  • heifers achieving critical mating weight at joining
  • heifers and mature cows getting back in calf after their first calf to maintain a 365-day calving interval 
  • the proportion of breeders conceiving by the end of the second cycle in the joining period.

Read the full technote on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Victoria is fortunate to be free of most of the serious diseases that affect animals in other parts of the world.

A subsidy is available for cattle, sheep, goat and pig owners to reduce their costs when they engage a vet to undertake a significant disease investigation.

Engaging a vet to undertake a significant disease investigation attracts a subsidy of $200. This subsidy is for the vet's consultation, disease investigation (necropsy) and travel costs. It excludes medications and is provided in the form of a deduction from the vet's fee. The vet will then be reimbursed by the department.

The subsidy is only applicable for significant disease investigations authorised by Agriculture Victoria following application from a vet. To be considered 'significant' several criteria must be met for the disease event. The number of such subsidies paid is subject to an annual cap.

For more information on the SDI program visit the Agriculture Victoria website or contact your local Agriculture Victoria veterinary officer on 136 186.

If you suspect an exotic or emergency animal disease, immediately contact your private veterinarian, or call the all-hours Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888. 

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Integrity Systems Company – red meat customer assurance.

For Rockhampton beef producer Matt Brown, National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tags provide the information he needs to verify and progress the genetics and eating quality of his herd for maximum profit. 

Together with business partner Lisa Lonsdale of Lonsdale Agribusiness, Matt and his wife Maree Bowen operate Heartline Grazing – a beef business with a herd of 300 crossbred and fullblood Wagyu cattle agisted across 10 properties near Rockhampton and Biloela in central Queensland.

Ensuring their herd attracts high prices for their strong genetics and eating quality has long been a key goal of the business. Now, thanks to NLIS, Heartline now has the data that reveals their herd’s value to prospective buyers.

Read the article in full on the Integrity Systems Company website.

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Heading: Beef and Sheep News

Dr Jeff Cave, Senior Veterinary Officer

The recent weather conditions may provide valuable green feed; however, livestock producers need to keep close watch on their stock to avoid health problems.

Livestock could be affected by the wet, humid conditions and the associated increase in toxic weeds, mould and fungi, plus fly and internal/external parasite populations.

While summer rain is beneficial to pasture and crop growth, it also assists the germination of a number of weeds that are toxic to livestock, including Heliotrope and Panic grass, which can both cause liver damage.

There is the potential for moulds and fungus to grow in dry standing feed. Diseases due to toxic fungi include facial eczema and ergot poisoning. Any dry standing feed may have also lost its nutritional quality.

Sheep producers in particular need to check their stock more regularly than normal in order to prevent specific health problems.

Flystrike can be a major concern in humid conditions. Plus, you may also find a summer footrot eradication program will now be less successful.

There is the chance of increased internal parasites, particularly Barber’s pole worm, and you need to keep in mind that normal worm control programs may now be less effective. The best way to be sure your worm control program is performing is to organise faecal egg counts.

The long grass and prolific fly numbers could also cause pinkeye infections to spread easily through cattle herds.

For further information or advice please contact your local veterinarian or one of our veterinary or animal health officers by calling 136 186.

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Getting the right ration that meets livestock requirements can be done easily using some ‘back of the envelope’ sums or using digital calculators.   

For example, protein needs can be hard to meet over summer where there is little or no green pasture.  As supplements can be expensive and high rates wasteful, using a simple tool to get the right ration can be easy and provide cost effective options. 

The Pearson square is one example of a tool available to work out the right proportion of two feeds for any animal requirements. We have provided a short video showing how to calculate the ration for protein – both on an ‘envelope’ and using the Pearson square. The calculator can also provide the amount to feed to provide the energy needed.

Visit the Feeding Livestock website to download and use the Pearson square tool.

Livestock requirements for all classes of beef cattle and sheep are available on the Feeding Livestock website. The drought feeding books on the website also contain livestock feeding requirements (Cattle: chapter six  and Sheep: chapter three). 

Other feed budgeting and calculator tools are also available on the Feeding Livestock website.

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Infographic of summer soil moisture across Victoria

Agriculture Victoria collates soil moisture from meters installed on 22 grazing farms across Victoria.  Eight sites are represented here as ‘soil cores’ overlaid on the Australian Water Outlook soil moisture deciles map.  The Agriculture Victoria soil moisture data reflects the variation of summer rainfall across the state shown by the deciles map. 

For more information and to see all pasture and cropping soil moisture monitoring sites visit the Agriculture Victoria led ExtensionAUS website.

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As an experienced farmer of livestock, you are invited to complete this anonymous survey to help us understand the on-farm issues and challenges that negatively impact on livestock outcomes.
This survey forms part of a larger PhD thesis being completed by Dr Natarsha Williams from the Melbourne Veterinary School, University of Melbourne.
The survey does not require you to provide your name, contact details or any other identifying details, it is anonymous. The only person that will know that you have participated, is you. Participation in the survey is voluntary but your support would be greatly appreciated.

QR code

Participation in the survey is voluntary but your support would be greatly appreciated.

It’s easy to do and can be completed on a computer or smart phone. Either scan the QR code and complete it on your phone, or complete the survey online. The survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete.

For further information please contact Natarsha Williams on email.

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Image of serrated tussock.

The coming months are an important time to check for new serrated tussock germinations, which occur after summer and autumn rains.

Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) Community Engagement Officer, Ivan Carter said recent summer rains and predicted moisture in autumn was good for broadacre crops, but unfortunately, will also be good for the growth of serrated tussock.

“We’re urging landowners to use any spare time they might have to survey their properties for serrated tussock plants in late summer and autumn.

“Controlling serrated tussock before the plant goes to seed is critical to prevent further spread, lost productivity and increased cost of control,” Mr Carter said.

Serrated tussock can germinate at any time of the year after rain, but mostly in autumn and again in spring.

Plants and new seedlings can be removed manually using a pick or shovel or spot sprayed using a registered herbicide, depending on the size of the infestation.
Newly germinated seedlings will appear bright green, be erect and will stand out from the other grasses in a pasture.

The VSTWP has developed an online video and information sheets to help landowners identify this noxious weed, which can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Mr Carter said 'before flowering in spring, serrated tussock has a lime green appearance. When flowering, the flower-heads have a distinctive purple colour developing as the seeds ripen in late spring and early summer.

These features help serrated tussock stand out from the native tussock grasses.

Serrated tussock has a fine leaf and will roll smoothly between the index finger and thumb, while native Poa tussocks feel as though they have flat edges.

It is vital to check for new germinations and remove them before they set seed, as a mature serrated tussock plant can produce thousands of seeds in a season, blowing up to 20 kilometres from the parent plant.

Summer and autumn is also a good time to prepare for improving ground cover and competition for serrated tussock.

Having a healthy pasture and competitive ground cover is one of the most important aspects to weed management and serrated tussock is a prime example of a weed that does not like competition and well-established pastures.

For more information on serrated tussock identification and management visit the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party website.

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The rates of child farm-related injury in rural Australia have remained constant over the last 20 years, despite ongoing efforts to reduce them.

The National Centre for Farmers Health is conducting a study that will give important insight into the context of children’s experiences on Victorian farms and help develop targeted ways to prevent fatal and non-fatal child injuries.

To access the survey or for more information visit the National Centre for Farmer Health website.

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Heading: Ag Recovery Support

An updated recovery guide is now available to help farmers rebuild and provide a one-stop reference to the support available. The guide includes steps to take immediately after the fire and for short-term recovery and longer-term rebuilding. It covers re-fencing, dealing with erosion and flooding, pasture recovery, pest and weed control and preparing for the next season.

The printed booklet is available from Agriculture Victoria, by contacting our agriculture recovery managers (details noted below) or phone 136 186 or digital version online.

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The Victorian and Commonwealth Government are supporting landholders impacted by fires and floods across Victoria.

For more information on bushfire recovery programs or recovery from floods/storm events, visit the Agriculture Victoria website or phone 136 186.

Regional Agriculture Victoria Recovery Managers;

  • North East – Kylie Macreadie 0428 975 728 or email
  • Gippsland – Darren Hickey 0457 609 140 or email

Visit the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website or 1800 560 760.

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Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) have an experienced team ready to assist primary producers and small rural business in recovery planning. Financial counsellors can help develop financial forecasts and business plans required for lenders or investors, plus connect with support agencies and services. RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. They can also assist with filling in forms and grant applications. For more information or to book an appointment call RFCS Gippsland on 1300 045 747 or RFCS North East on 1300 834 775.

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The Regional Weather and Climate Guides project is part of the Commonwealth Government Drought Assistance Package. The project aims to improve the resilience of farming businesses by providing localised facts about the likelihood, severity, and duration of key weather variables in regions across the country.

The weather and climate information will be delivered through a set of guides corresponding to Australia's Natural Resource Management regions. The project is a collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, and FarmLink Research. The guides have been developed in collaboration with representatives from each NRM region to ensure the information is tailored to the needs of local farmers and agribusinesses.

For more information visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

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Agriculture Victoria’s Ag Recovery Team can provide support to producers following the June storms and floods across Victoria.

There is Agriculture Recovery support available in each of the regions affected including Central and southwest Gippsland, Central Highlands, Macedon Ranges and Yarra Valley and surrounds, to provide support with issues in livestock, dairy, cropping, irrigation and horticulture.

Agriculture Victoria can offer technical advice on:

  • pasture recovery and grazing management
  • soil erosion management
  • animal health, nutrition and feed budgeting
  • whole farm planning
  • water quality, budgeting
  • farm water reticulation and dam management
  • farm business planning.

Producers and growers are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Victoria Ag Recovery Team on 0427 694 185 or email

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Grants of up to $25,000 are available to help reimburse primary producers for clean-up and recovery activities as a direct result of the Severe Weather Event on 9 - 11 June 2021.

The Exceptional Circumstances Recovery Grants can be used to cover activities including removing fallen trees, removing silt and debris, specialist support for landslip and erosion remediation.

The support can also contribute to the cost of repairs or replacement of damaged farm infrastructure such as fencing and equipment.

To apply for a grant or to see if you are eligible, visit the Rural Finance website.

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An Agriculture Recovery Team is working to support farm businesses as they recover from the recent grass fires in Western Victoria.

The recovery effort, which includes one-on-one technical advice and support, is being delivered by Agriculture Victoria technical specialists led by an Agriculture Recovery Manager.

Farmers requiring ongoing support will be assigned an agriculture recovery team member who will work closely with them to provide advice and support.

Agriculture Victoria extension staff can provide primary producers with information and advice on:

  • feed budgeting
  • livestock health
  • pasture recovery
  • soil and gully erosion
  • fencing repair and replacement
  • land classing
  • sediment management and removal from farm dams to maintain water quality.

To contact the Agriculture Recovery Team on 0427 694 185 or email.

For more information on managing recovery after fire visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

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On 5 January a severe localised weather event affected the Ballarat and Creswick areas, with hail and heavy rainfall of up to 170mm, resulting in flooding, building damage, fallen trees and crop damage and losses.

The most heavily impacted areas in the Central Highlands include Newlyn, Dean, Mollongghip and Clarkes Hill.

Agriculture Victoria is working with primary producers, landholders, local government and service providers across the three affected shires which includes Hepburn Shire, City of Ballarat and Moorabool Shire.

Agriculture Victoria has appointed an Agriculture Recovery Team, led by an Agriculture Recovery Manager to coordinate support for local producers, providing technical information and referrals to other available support.

Agriculture Victoria can provide primary producers with information and technical advice on:

  • soil management
  • sediment and run-off issues
  • water quality management
  • pasture recovery
  • fencing repair and replacement
  • livestock health and feed budgeting
  • business decision making support.

To contact the Agriculture Recovery Team on 0427 694 185 or email.

Information on managing storm or flood recovery can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Heading: Quick Links
Feeding Livestock Website

For tools, calculators, resources and livestock feed planning guides, visit the website.

Logo: feeding livestock website
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) wool market review
Image: AWI logo

For weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists, visit the website.

Market reports and prices
image: MLA logo

Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA's) market information service provides producers with accurate, timely and independent market information, allowing them to make profitable business decisions.

For the latest cattle market reports, visit the MLA website.

AgVic Talk Podcast

This podcast series delivers knowledge and information in a format that suits the way farmers and agricultural professionals work and live today. Episodes cover contemporary problems and solutions on how members of the agricultural community recover, grow, modernise, protect, and promote Victorian agriculture.

Episode 23: Putting the black dog behind you – acknowledging and getting help to manage depression with Matt Wilson.

Visit Agriculture Victoria website to listen to the latest episode.

AWI podcast - The Yarn No. 211

The world's biggest sheep experiment

The Merino Lifetime Productivity Project or MLP is a decade long project assessing the lifetime genetic merit of 5700 sheep.

Hear how the first results are breaking some long held myths and uncovering new knowledge of the animal that helped build modern Australia.

Tune in weekly to gain insights into what AWI and Woolmark are doing across research and development and marketing.

Listen to The Yarn podcast.

Follow AWI on social media for the latest on sheep and wool.

@Facebook, @Twitter and @Instagram

Image: The Yarn - AWI podcast
The Fast Break Seasonal Climate Update

For the latest edition of The Fast Break - an update of seasonal climate drivers and outlooks.

The Fast Break details oceanic and atmospheric climate driver activity over the last month and summarises three month model predictions for the Pacific and Indian Oceans, rainfall and temperature for Victoria.

Image: The Fast Break
Livestock and animals
Agriculture Victoria logo

Visit Agriculture Victoria’s website for the latest information and resources relating to livestock and animals.

Workshops and events

Agriculture Victoria is delivering workshops, farm walks and online information sessions. Visit the Agriculture Victoria website for a list of upcoming events.

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. Counsellors can also assist applicants to apply for the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).

For more information visit the RFCS website or contact your local recovery support officer by searching the RFCS online directory

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) provides health and safety education and advice to farmers and their families via the Online Ag Health program. 

For more information visit the National Centre for Farmer Health or contact Cecilia Fitzgerald on (03) 5551 8533

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