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Gippsland Ag News
Thursday, 8 December 2022
In this edition:
Flood information
Recovering bogged farm machinery
Waterlogged paddock

Have a plan for recovery before starting work in the paddock:

  • check conditions before entering areas where the ground could be boggy
  • assess the situation: can you wait for drier conditions? can you dig out the farm machinery?
  • think about maps to show boggy areas to contractors and employees
  • reduce or remove weight from the machinery
  • use suitable recovery equipment – check the ratings of straps and shackles so you know the working load limit (WLL) and break strength, and how to interpret for recovery
  • minimise people in the recovery area
  • check the communication between machinery operators, for example, use a phone or UHF radio
  • use appropriate anchor points
  • consider where (if any) weight can be added to the recovery vehicle
  • consider which direction to tow the bogged machinery
  • consider how the recovery vehicle will be positioned
  • place a dampener onto the recovery equipment.

More information on recovering bogged machinery is available on the WorkSafe website.

Increased risk of Japanese encephalitis
Image of two pigs in hay. Image text reads Japanese encephalitis, flood waters have increased the risk of Japanese encephalitis for animal health

Flooding and heavy rainfall have increased the risk of a range of mosquito-borne diseases in Victoria, including Japanese encephalitis (JE).

JE can cause illness in susceptible animal species including horses and pigs.

In pigs, the most common clinical signs are mummified and stillborn or weak piglets while horses usually show no signs of illness but can present with fever, jaundice, lethargy, neurological signs and anorexia.

For mosquito control advice visit the Farm Biosecurity website.

Plus, for information about protecting yourself from JE, please follow the Victorian Department of Health or visit Better Health.

Chemical safety after floods
Chemical storage bins

Landholders in flood affected areas may face a range of issues related to the storage and use of chemicals:

  • Weed, pest and fungicide spraying may increase after floods. There may also be increased need for chemicals used on livestock, for diseases such as flystrike. Follow the label and ensure you don’t use chemicals past their expiry date.
  • Floodwaters may result in different pests or diseases to those you usually manage. To minimise risks please only use chemicals according to the label instructions.
  • Comply with any “DO NOT” statements, including those relating to spraying near waterways or on saturated ground.
  • Be cautious when using spraying equipment on flood-affected areas as it may be less stable than normal.
  • As large areas are saturated there may be an increased need for aerial spraying. 
  • If chemicals are contaminated or damaged due to flood waters, dispose of them appropriately e.g. via subsidised programs like ChemClear (contact 1800 008 182).

For more information on dealing with floods visit

Financial support for flood-affected farmers
hay rolls submerged in floodwater; text: Primary producer recovery grant available now

A support package is available for flood-affected farmers:

  • Primary Producer Recovery Grants: Up to $75,000 grants to cover the cost of recovery and get businesses up and running again. Note: This replaces the $10,000 Primary Producer Flood Clean-Up, Relief Grants announced on 19 October. Producers that have received a Primary Producer Flood Clean-Up Relief Grant of $10,000 can now apply for up to a further $65,000 under the Primary Producer Recovery Grant, bringing the total to $75,000.
  • Rural Landholder Grants: Up to $25,000 grants to cover the costs of disaster impacts for small-scale producers.
  • Primary Producer Concessional Loans: Up to $250,000 to restore or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, or to cover the short-term business expenses.
  • Primary Producer Transport Subsidies: Up to $15,000 to support the transport of emergency fodder or stock drinking water, and the movement of livestock.

To apply for support or for more information, visit the Rural Finance website

Rural Financial Counselling Service
Map of Victoria

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) has an experienced team ready to assist primary producers and small rural businesses in recovery planning.

Additional funding has been made available for these services as a result of the floods, and the significant impact on the agricultural sector.

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 find your nearest RFCS HERE - Rural Financial Counselling Service locations | National Emergency Management Agency (

Taking care of yourself
Farmer health banner image

Have you been taking care of yourself?

During an emergency, people tend to exist in a survival state to get through the incident, using up considerable emotional reserves. 

If you’ve been working hard for long periods, missing meals and sleep, take some time to take care of yourself.

Recognise the signs of stress and reach out for support if you need it.

For a comprehensive list of health support agencies, click here

Practical tips for flood-affected farmers
Image of flooded paddock with hay rolls submerged

Go to our website for a range of practical flood recovery information for farmers, and helpful information on what to do immediately after a flood, including the following:

Managing animals in wet conditions

Floods resource directory                                                

Check out the following flood recovery webinar recordings:

More flood recovery information is available on the Agriculture Victoria website.                            

Sign up for the flood recovery newsletter

We are providing regular updates on upcoming events, past webinar recordings, resources and support available to flood-affected Victorians via our flood recovery, events and resources newsletter.

Image of computer screen with pic of hay rolls in floodwater featured

Sign up HERE to receive the newsletter.

Call for producer help – Anthrax ICT kit project for sheep

Agriculture Victoria is calling on the support of private veterinarians and sheep producers to supply samples from cases of sudden death in sheep as part of the anthrax immunochromatographic test (ICT) validation project.

The anthrax ICT is a well-established and reliable tool for field diagnosis of anthrax in cases of sudden death in cattle. 

This important project, funded by the Victorian sheep and goat industries, will allow the validation of the use of ICT kits in sheep to be completed. This will further support their use in routine field (pen-side) investigation of anthrax in cases of sudden death in sheep, as is currently the situation for cattle.

Private veterinarians are being provided with a financial incentive to conduct this work. Furthermore, Agriculture Victoria’s animal health and welfare staff may approve further financial support for the disease investigation, including a producer subsidy through the Significant Disease Investigation Program.

Samples from up to 10 sheep that have experienced sudden death can be submitted. Only carcasses that are less than 48 hours old can be sampled. A sampling of multiple carcasses per investigation is strongly encouraged.

Please contact your local Agriculture Victoria District Veterinary Officer or Animal Health Officer if you have any questions about the ICT validation project in sheep or the Significant Disease Investigation Program.

Traceability Hub Launch
green vine with text: join us for the online luanch of the Traceability Information Hub; Register Now

Are you an agribusiness looking to build or improve your supply chain?

Join us for the online launch of the Agriculture Victoria Traceability Information Hub.

Where: Online
When: Friday 16 December from 10-11 am

The Hub is a new resource for industry to access traceability information. It provides a central, online place to inform, educate and connect businesses along the supply chain.

Register NOW to attend

Free biosecurity learning modules for farmers
Image of a finger pointing at a digital screen; Text; Biosecurity eLearning modules for farmers

Farmers across Victoria will benefit from a series of free online learning modules, helping them protect their animals from diseases and biosecurity threats.

Available through Agriculture Victoria’s website, the three learning modules have been released: foot and mouth disease awareness, lumpy skin disease awareness and come clean, stay clean, go clean – when visiting farms.

Each module should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

For further information about the online learning modules CLICK HERE.

Livestock Biosecurity Funds Grants – applications close 23 December
Face of a sheep; text: Livestock Biosecurity Grants Funds

There’s still time to apply for our Livestock Biosecurity Funds Grant Program.

Victoria’s Livestock Compensation Committees are seeking projects that boost biosecurity for the cattle, sheep and goat, swine and honey bee industries.

Applications close Friday 23 December. 

Discover more about the grants on the Agriculture Victoria website

East Gippsland Revised Draft Rural Land Use Strategy

East Gippsland Shire Council's revised draft Rural Land Use Strategy is open now for community and stakeholder feedback between 16 November 2022 and 3 February 2023. 

The details including how to make a submission can be found at Rural Land Use Strategy - Final Draft | Your Say East Gippsland.

Based on feedback from previous community consultation in 2021, the revised draft RLUS has been amended to improve readability of the document, update statistical evidence (where available) and refine proposed zone and overlay controls.

The revised draft RLUS aims to provide a framework for consistent Council decision-making that:

  • Identifies and protects agricultural land
  • Directs residential development to towns and settlements
  • Supports rural tourism and rural industries in appropriate locations
  • Recognises the need to support population retention in remote settlements
  • Protects our natural environment and manages risks from natural hazards.

Council is also preparing a Housing and Settlement Strategy (H&SS) that will be available for community feedback at the same time as the RLUS.  The H&SS includes an assessment of the need for residential development in the Rural Living Zone. Additional information regarding the H&SS can be found at Housing and Settlement Strategy - Discussion Paper | Your Say East Gippsland.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the revised draft Rural Land Use Strategy or Housing and Settlement Strategy, please contact East Gippsland Shire Council at


Blue-green algae in farm water supplies

The recent flooding event combined with warmer weather conditions has produced favourable conditions for blue-green algae to thrive in farm water supplies and standing flood water.

Senior Veterinary Officer Dianne Phillips said livestock owners need to remain alert – ingestion of blue-green algae can result in the poisoning of livestock.


Managing mastitis in wet, muddy conditions

With the muddy conditions from the floods and the ongoing wet conditions, producers need to be aware of an increased risk of mastitis in their cows.

Agriculture Victoria Dairy Industry Development Officer Richard Smith said cows standing in wet paddocks and moving through muddy and damaged laneways have an increased risk of mastitis.


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.

Energy Webinar – Smarter electricity management: Doing more with less
Farmer on-farm image

Do you want to find more practical ways to reduce your electricity costs?  We are hosting an online forum to explore practical measures for increasing energy productivity and reducing your electricity bill.

When: Wednesday 14 December, 11.30 am.

Smarter electricity management - see how your smart meter data can help you find for your farm (and home):

  • cheaper electricity deals
  • awareness of your electricity tariff to save money
  • how best to use solar and batteries
  • energy saving opportunities.

Join our webinar to find out all this and more money saving ideas.

Energy expert David Coote will be presenting on energy saving opportunities and best use of solar and batteries and much more.

Please register here or contact Kelly Wickham for information on 0456 772 641 or

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