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Thursday 11 May 2023
In this edition:
Victorian flood and storm support for farmers
Text on green background; reads: application time for primary producer financial support extended.

A range of support measures are available for flood and storm-affected farmers.

Information about these measures can be found at

For any urgent animal welfare needs, please contact 136 186.  

Farmers are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Recovery team on 0427 694 185 (Mon-Fri between 8:30 am and 5 pm) or email

Technical information and decision-making support  

Agriculture Victoria is working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters (including floods and storms) through delivery of technical information and decision-making support services to help farm business recovery, including:

  • grazing, cropping and pasture management
  • irrigation and horticulture system rehabilitation
  • soil erosion management 
  • land management
  • animal health and nutrition 
  • farm mapping and planning 
  • water quality
  • weed management.

Ag recovery newsletter

Farmers and service providers are encouraged to subscribe to the Flood Recovery digital newsletter to access latest events and information.

Ag recovery events

For information on events and field days across the state please visit the Events page on the Agriculture Victoria website. 

Victorian Primary Producer Flood Recovery package

Flood and storm-affected farmers and growers are eligible to apply for financial support via the current flood recovery grants.

Applications for primary producer and rural landholder financial supports related to the October 2022 to 13 January 2023 flood and storm event have been extended to 13 July 2023.

Applications close at 4 pm on Thursday 13 July 2023.

The extension applies to:

  1. Primary Producer Recovery Grants: Up to $75,000 grants to support 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.
  2. Rural Landholder Grants: Up to $25,000 grants to support the costs of disaster impacts for small-scale producers.
  3. Primary Producer Concessional Loans: Up to $250,000 to restore or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, or to cover short-term business expenses. This loan has been amended to allow primary producers who suffered a significant loss of income as a direct result of the 2022 Victorian floods and storms but who did not suffer direct damage to assets to apply for a concessional loan of up to $100,000
  4. 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

The Rural Financial Counselling Service offers free and independent financial information, options, decision-making support and referral services to farmers and small, related rural businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. They can also assist farmers to apply for financial assistance.

To connect with your local service call 1300 771 741 or visit the National Emergency Management Agency.

National Centre for Farmer Health: flood response support
national centre for farmer health banner: supporting farmers, farm works and farming families

The National Centre for Farmer Health is committed to supporting primary producers whose properties, livestock or crops were damaged or lost in the floods and storms through the delivery of initiatives to boost farmer mental health and wellbeing, including:

  • A supportive online community through the #BuildingFarmSpirit social media campaign
  • Free access to online psychology support delivered by farmer health trained psychologists
  • Support for community events providing social connection and mental health promotion opportunities for farmers, farming families and farming communities
  • Distribution of mental health resources and support information.

More information is available on the National Centre for Farmer Health website.

Facts about Acute bovine liver disease

Dr Jeff Cave, Senior Veterinary Officer

With the abundant pasture growth of recent months, the light stocking rates on many properties, and the large amount of dry standing feed, coupled with autumn breaking rains, farmers are advised to be on the lookout for Acute bovine liver disease (ABLD).

ABLD was first noted in Tasmania in 1987, and in recent years several incidents have been seen in South-West Victoria, South-East South Australia, Gippsland, and North-East Victoria.

There has been a recent case reported on a property in North-East Victoria.

Cases can result in a catastrophic number of deaths in cattle.

It has not been described in other species.

The condition has been seen in both beef and dairy cattle.

It can show up in a range of forms.

In the worst incidents there has been a sudden onset of deaths in cattle over six months of age.

The typical signs of photosensitisation, such as depression, agitation, raised temperature, and reddening of the lighter coloured skin and udder may be seen prior to death, and are common amongst the survivors.

The pathology is consistent with an acute liver disease.

Cases are consistently linked to access to a plant called Rough Dog’s Tail (Cynosurus echinatus), also known as Manifold Grass.

It appears the plant is a likely carrier of a fungal toxin which briefly proliferates given the right set of environmental conditions.

There is no known direct cure of affected cattle.

There is some evidence, if affected cattle are treated with medication to alleviate the effects of photosensitisation, it may help.

Several common features have been seen during each outbreak:

  • access to Rough Dog's Tail prior to the onset of clinical signs. Rough Dog's Tail is typically found on steep, hilly paddocks
  • access to paddocks with an abundance of dry standing feed that had been spelled for over three months
  • significant season breaking rain in late autumn or early winter at the time of the introduction of cattle onto those paddocks.

For further information please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria Veterinary or Animal Health Officer.

Training opportunities for women
Woman standing behind a conveyor belt of tomatoes

Looking for a new challenge?

We’re making it easier than ever for women across Victoria to learn new skills for their chosen career or retrain to get the job of their dreams.

Even with a previous qualification, Victorians may now be eligible for free TAFE and other government-subsidised courses, giving an additional 2 million Victorians access to more than 500 courses.

With free TAFE, you could undertake courses in community services, nursing, agriculture, early childhood, construction and more without the cost of tuition.

Want to know more?

Find the course you’re looking for at Connecting People with Skills

Subscribe to Victorian Biosecurity Matters
Victorian biosecurity matters

Agriculture Victoria has launched a new monthly e-newsletter, Victorian Biosecurity Matters, to serve as a key hub for all biosecurity-related content.

The monthly publication will cover topics such as emergency animal diseases, marine pests, pest animals, plant diseases, weeds, pest insects and mites, food safety and on-farm biosecurity plans.

Victorian Biosecurity Matters will pool together all of Agriculture Victoria’s biosecurity content into one publication, making it a valuable resource for farmers, small landholders, animal owners, veterinarians, and anyone with an interest to stay up to date with the most relevant information in relation to our agriculture industry.

It's Agriculture Victoria’s goal to ensure Victorians understand the importance of biosecurity and the role they can play in maintaining a healthy and sustainable agriculture industry.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, Victorian Biosecurity Matters has something for everyone.

Subscribing to the free newsletter is easy.

Young Farmers Scholarships closing soon
Young woman in a pink shirt and straw hat leaning on a timber fence; Reads: Agriculture Victoria Young Farmers Network

Are you a #youngfarmer looking to take your career to the next level?

Applications for the 2023 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships are now open.

The program offers scholarships of up to $10,000 to upskill and invest in your career.

To find out more and apply visit Business Victoria.

Applications close Monday 21 May.

Livestock Farm Monitoring Project looking for participants
livestock farm monitor sheep and been farm benchmarking

Spots are now available in a free and trusted sheep and beef farm benchmarking project.    

Find out how your farm stacks up against similar businesses across the state by participating in Agriculture Victoria’s Livestock Farm Monitor Project.

All information is treated as highly confidential.

For more information see the project website or contact

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open
victorian gorse taskforce community grants now open

Speak with your local community group about applying for a VGT grant.


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.


The 2023-24 Community Grants Program is now open and will close on 30 June 2023. If gorse is a problem across your area the VGT encourages you to connect with your local community group and apply now.


  • Grants are available to Victorian community groups e.g., Landcare or Friends of Groups only.
  • Funding is available for gorse control on private land only.
  • Projects must promote and carry out gorse control that aligns with the Gorse National Best Practice Manual.
  • Incentives to participating individual properties must be capped at $1,500 per property ownership.
  • Participating landholders must sign a 3-year voluntary work agreement that commits them to maintaining all necessary follow-up gorse control at their expense.

For more information about the grants, head to:

Or send your inquiry to

Fox and wild dog bounty collections for South East Victoria

Victorian fox and wild dog collections continue.

Submit entire fox scalps for a $10 reward and/or entire wild dog body parts for a $120 reward.

Participants need to register for the new digital payment system and should refresh their knowledge of the terms and conditions to ensure their submissions are acceptable.


The South East Victoria collection schedule for May is listed below:

Ellinbank collections: fox and wild dog
1301 Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank

Monday 22 May, 2 – 4 pm

Bairnsdale collections: fox and wild dog
35 Bairnsdale – Dargo Road, Bairnsdale

Tuesday 23 May, 12 – 2 pm

Maffra collections: fox and wild dog
1 Stratford Road, Maffra

Wednesday 24 May, 9 – 11 am

Yarram collections: fox only
Rodgers Street, Yarram

Wednesday 24 May, 2 – 4 pm

Woori Yallock collections: fox only
Symes Road, Woori Yallock

Thursday 25 May, 12 – 2 pm

Further collections will be held in July, September and October.

The full schedule is available here

Watch our invasive species videos
new video available: monitoring pest animals

Rabbits, foxes and feral pigs pose a major threat to our environment and agricultural production.

Monitoring pest animals before, during and after control efforts using activity plots, remote cameras, spotlighting and other methods can save you time, money and improve pest animal control on your place.

Click here to learn more.

Victorian pet owners to receive affordable desexing boost

The Victorian Government is providing free or low-cost pet desexing services to Victorians in need through a new round of animal welfare grants.

Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney recently launched the third round of the Pet Desexing Grants, which is funded through the government’s Animal Welfare Fund (AWF).

The new round of grants will deliver $500,000 across eligible councils and not-for-profit organisations to deliver free or low-cost desexing programs for cats and dogs – greatly improving animal welfare outcomes and reducing the number of unwanted pets.

The latest round of funding will also provide support to organisations that rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses, with $330,000 allocated to Equine Rehabilitation Grants.

Since 2021, the Pet Desexing Grants have provided almost $1.1 million to 32 organisations across the state, while the AWF Grant Program has awarded more than $8.2 million in funding to not-for-profit animal shelters, foster care organisations and community vet clinics.

The government’s work to modernise the state’s animal care and protection laws to replace the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is progressing.

Draft legislation will be released later in 2023, for further industry and community consultation.

In addition, the government is working on reforms to improve pet rehoming outcomes, in response to recommendations from the Taskforce on Rehoming Pets.

Applications for Pet Desexing Grants and Equine Rehabilitation Grants are open until Wednesday 7 June.

To find out more and to apply visit

AgVic Talk on all things AgTech and Energy
animated graphice with a road down the centre, solar panels to one side and hills in the background; text reads: Ag Tech and Energy

AgVic Talk podcast is back for season five, this time talking about the future of Agricultural Technologies (AgTech) and Energy.

From solar-powered poultry farms to on-farm drone trials and the difficulties of connectivity in rural and remote areas, this season covers everything you need to further understand the evolving world of AgTech and Energy.

The series will help farmers learn what AgTech is, what energy solutions are available and how they can use them to improve productivity and efficiency on-farm.

These 14 episodes are the latest in the AgVic Talk series, which began as a pilot in August 2020 to cover contemporary commentary on how members of the agricultural community recover, grow, modernise, protect, and promote Victorian agriculture.

You can subscribe and listen to AgVic Talk wherever you get your podcasts:

  • Subscribe to AgVic Talk on Spotify
  • Subscribe to Apple podcasts.
Footy's favourite farmer
we're on the hunt for footy's favourite farmer

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!

Last year, Ricky Allan was a worthy winner, displaying leadership in multiple roles at the Wycheproof Narraport Football Club, such as the presidency, senior and juniors' coach and more, all while supporting his family and the community as a farmer.

Who do you think deserves the 2023 title as Footy's Favourite Farmer?

There's over $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs - for the farmer and their local club, and you could even win a spot prize yourself!

Nominate your favourite farmer today.

The Very Fast Break
the very fast break

The latest Very Fast Break seasonal climate outlook for Victoria is now available.

After a sensational start in many areas, but the northwest could do with some good follow up, let’s see where the rain fell in April.

Click HERE

In case you missed it

Invasive aquatic plant a no-no for home gardens

Victorian gardeners are urged to keep watch for the highly invasive weed water hyacinth following a recent discovery in a residential garden pond.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officer Kaitlin Wright said over 90 of the aquatic plants had been removed from a Williamstown premises following an anonymous report from an astute gardener.


Goulburn Valley farmer fined for neglected pigs

An animal welfare case against a Girgarre farmer has been resolved following a plea in the Shepparton Magistrates Court recently.

Due to a lack of prior criminal history, an early plea of guilty, plus the accused Grant Haydn Smith, being no longer involved in farming pigs and in the process of selling the property and stock, the Magistrate imposed a $3,000 without conviction, with costs awarded in the sum of $278.38.


Aquatic outbreak resources now available

Vets, fish farm workers, fisheries staff and scientists could gain valuable insights into aquatic animal disease events thanks to a new book and online courses from Agriculture Victoria.


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.

Youth AgriTech Expo - Bairnsdale

When: Wednesday 17 May

Where: The Hub, Bairnsdale

Time: 9 am - 3 pm

Book online 

Student sessions on:

  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Agritech Roadshow
  • Farm Safety (secondary only)
  • Immersive Ag Experiences (AR/VR)
  • Food Futurist presentation.
Swan Reach Demonstration Site field day

Parramatta Grass management for more productive pastures

The TopSoils Swan Reach Demonstration Site was established in 2016 to trial methods of reducing Parramatta Grass within the existing pasture and improve productive capacity.

You are invited to attend this field day at the Swan Reach demonstration site to view the success of the various treatment options including fodder crops, pasture renovation and/or grazing management.

There will also be a demonstration of the MLA Pasture Paramedic, which is a decision support tool to assist with pasture management and determining when pasture renovation is necessary.

Topics covered:

  • The impacts of different management practices used at the site for eradicating Parramatta Grass and other weed species
  • Managing pastures into winter
  • The productivity of the site
  • MLA Pasture Paramedic decision-making tool (tool available to take home).

DATE: Tuesday 16 May

TIME: 10:30 am – 1 pm

LOCATION: Swan Reach Demonstration Site, Howlett’s Lane, Swan Reach

COST: Free, includes morning tea and lunch


Please contact James Paulet by 9 am on Monday 15 May on email or call/SMS on 0447 695 839.

This project is supported by the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Good biosecurity is paramount to protecting Victoria. Please ensure your footwear is free of mud, dirt and manure. A footbath will be mandatory for farm entry.

Developing a biosecurity plan for dairy farmers – Gippsland workshops
Black and white dairy cows

Everyone has a role in minimising biosecurity risks and impacts to the industry.

Agriculture Victoria is delivering biosecurity workshops for Victorian dairy farmers to help develop biosecurity plans which can be used in conjunction with current milk quality and LPA requirements.

Details of Gippsland workshops are as follows: 

When and where: 

  • ORBOST, 16 May, 10 am – 2 pm, Snowy Rovers Football and Netball Club, Lochiel Street, Orbost
  • SALE, 17 May, 10 am – 2 pm, Sale Greyhound Club, Champions Room, Maffra-Sale Road, Sale
  • LEONGATHA: 18 May, 10 am – 2 pm, Leongatha RSL, corner Smith Street and Michael Place, Leongatha.

The workshop will provide farmers with increased knowledge of how to better protect their livestock from pests and disease and how simple, practical, low cost, good biosecurity practices can be built into daily farm activities.

Topics include:

  • Developing a biosecurity plan
  • Designing a farm map
  • Implementing a biosecurity plan – what you can do now.

A light lunch is included. If you feel unwell, please do not attend this event.

Note: If you have already commenced a biosecurity plan, please bring it and your laptop along to the workshop.

For more information and to register to attend visit the Agriculture Victoria events page, email Richard Smith or call 0436 803 765.

Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) field days

There are now 17 soil moisture probes across central and east Gippsland.

These sessions will explore how soil moisture probes can be a tool to make more informed/timely management decisions.

What’s on the agenda?

  • Getting to know the demonstrations site and project. 
  • Trigger points in farm management: What do you use? What do you need to know?
  • Soil Moisture Probes – what, how and where?
  • The potential to use soil moisture probe data to manage seasonal variability.

The three sites will explore how information from soil probes can benefit seasonal management decisions.

MLA’s PDS program supports producers to adapt, validate and demonstrate the value of integrating new management practices into local farming systems.


WHAT: Soils, Pastures and Soil Moisture Probes
WHEN: 17 May, 9 -11 am
WHERE: Omeo Trial Site (8930 Great Alpine Road, Omeo).


WHAT: Soils, Pastures and Soil Moisture Probes
WHEN: 23 May, from 3 - 5 pm
WHERE: Gippsland Research Farm, 345 Bengworden Rd, Bairnsdale.


WHAT: Soils, Pastures and Soil Moisture Probes
WHEN: 24 May, from 10 am to 1 pm
WHERE: Buchan Pub.

RSVP and for more information

Janice Dowe on 0437 282 315 or email 

Supporting farmers to measure and manage their emissions - A Wimmera broadacre case study


Date: Thursday 18 May
Time: 12 pm (AEST)
Duration: One hour
Cost: Free
Go online to register your attendance on Zoom.


  • Pru Cook, Director of Nine Creeks Consulting
  • Craig Hurley, Lecturer, Federation University
  • Ashleigh Brooks, Consultant Agticulate.

This webinar will explore the findings from two recent projects and discuss:

  • The emissions profiles of three Wimmera case study broadacre farms - what are the major emissions sources, and where can reductions be gained?
  • Data collection experiences – reflections from the farm data collection process
  • Current farmer awareness of and interest in measuring and managing emissions.

The Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions Grampians Agriculture Project (funded by AgriFutures and led by Wimmera Development Association) developed an extension and adoption framework to identify ways to support Wimmera farm businesses in measuring and managing their emissions.

The Wimmera Broadacre Farming Net Zero Emissions Project aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of carbon emissions calculators, the potential application to broadacre Wimmera farms and highlight the future opportunities available with these tools in supporting farm business strategy.

GippsDairy Muster

When: Wednesday 7 June

Time: 9:30 am to 3 pm

Where: The Regent Theatre, 210 Commercial Road, Yarram

Dinner:  A networking dinner with the topic "The Human Agronomy of Farming" is also on offer from 6:30 pm to late, Yarram Football Club Rooms, Railway Reserve, Yarram.

RSVP: Places are filling fast, please register for this event by Wednesday 31 May by clicking HERE.

2023 BestWool/BestLamb Conference
bestwool/bestlamd industry dinner and conference 2023

The Ag Vic 2023 BestWool/BestLamb Conference will be held at the Bendigo Showgrounds on Tuesday 20 June.

A pre-conference dinner will take place on Monday 19 June at the All Seasons Resort Hotel in Bendigo to celebrate 25 years of the BestWool/BestLamb program.

Our dinner guest speaker will be Mark Wales, former SAS and winner of TV series Australian Survivor.

The line-up of conference speakers is sure to inform, challenge and excite participants with the most up to date sheep industry research and information.

Early bird registrations are now on sale until 31 May.

Click here for the conference program and registration.

For more information contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or

Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum – registrations now open

Registrations are now open for the Future Drought Fund’s 2023 Science to Practice Forum, 6–8 June 2023.

The annual forum is a showcase of the innovative tools and practices helping Australian farmers and communities respond to a changing climate and prepare for future drought.

Award-winning television journalist and presenter of ABC TV’s Landline, Pip Courtney, will host this year’s online forum and facilitate engaging discussions, with each day focussed on a particular theme:

  • Tuesday 6 June – Research and Development: Data-driven projects, stories around research trials and outcomes, future-driven content and content relevant to opportunities under the Future Drought Fund for Natural Resource Management, farming systems groups and research bodies.
  • Wednesday 7 June – Farmers, Producers and Agricultural Advisors: Stories of drought and preparing for it, ‘call-to-action’ presentations, content relevant to opportunities under the FDF for producers and their communities, farmer and farm-advisor delivered stories.
  • Thursday 8 June – Community and Policy: Community and social projects, including presentations on farmer wellbeing and community resilience in the context of drought, policy discussions and input from FDF network partners.

The forum connects participants to research and activities building the sustainability of Australian agriculture and is an opportunity to collaborate and network with like-minded people.

Register for the 2023 Science to Practice Forum via Eventbrite.

Ellinbank SmartFarm Energy Demonstrations

WHEN: Wednesday 14 June

TIME: 10 am - 1 pm (this includes a farm walk and optional extras)

RSVP: By 10 June to

Agriculture Victoria is presenting a tour of the on-farm energy demonstrations at the Ellinbank SmartFarm on Wednesday 14 June.

This tour will showcase renewable energy technologies with learnings that apply to all farming sectors.

A presentation on energy upgrades in the dairy is offered as an optional extra.

Join other industry stakeholders and farmers to see how these energy technologies work, and hear about the issues experienced, the real costs and savings achieved.

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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 Twitter @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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