Forward this email | View in web browser
Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 25 May 2023
In this edition:
Flood recovery loans webinar - Wednesday 31 May
primary producer concessional loans information webinar

Join a webinar on Wednesday 31 May at 11 am to learn about Concessional Loans that are currently available for primary producers impacted by the October 2022 to January 2023 flood and storms event and the 23 March 2023 hailstorm event.

If you have questions, here is your chance to ask them.

Presenters from Agriculture Victoria and Rural Finance will discuss the guidelines and application process.

Applications close on 13 July for the Primary Producer Flood Recovery concessional loan (for floods and storms between Oct 2022 to Jan 2023) and 14 November for the Hailstorm Recovery Concessional Loan (for the hail event on 23 March 2023).

Register online

For further information, email or call 0427 694 185

Ag recovery update for flood and storm-affected farmers
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 ag 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
supporting farmers, farm workers 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.

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.

Biosecurity boost for Timor-Leste

Agriculture Victoria scientists are working with our close neighbour, Timor-Leste, to boost local animal health and help safeguard Australia from exotic animal diseases.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has funded Agriculture Victoria $3.5 million over 5 years to extend biosecurity training to scientists, technicians and farmers in Timor-Leste, building on work undertaken over the past 3 years.

The project, which initially focussed on diagnosing and managing African Swine Fever, has been extended to look at a range of diseases including classical swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, and lumpy skin disease, and will include testing of all livestock species.

Agriculture Victoria Research Leader Grant Rawlin said the biosecurity and emergency animal disease work supported by Agriculture Victoria has enabled Timor-Leste to diagnose and control disease outbreaks which may have otherwise cost the agriculture industry up to an estimated $90 million.

'Agriculture Victoria is proud to have supported Timor-Leste’s ability to successfully diagnose and control several animal disease outbreaks within 48 hours.

'The timely diagnosis and control of animal disease outbreaks means less livestock are impacted, the disease doesn’t spread as far, and farmers can quickly resume their operations', Dr Rawlin said.

Dr Rawlin was on-the-ground during the 2019 African Swine Fever outbreak in Timor-Leste and recently spent a month leading a team training local veterinarians on how to use a range of diagnostic tools, including a real-time method for detecting different microbial agents in animal samples, and a highly specific, low cost, fast and portable test for pathogenic viruses.

'The collaboration has bolstered the local agriculture industry’s response efforts and deepened our relationship with Timor-Leste. It also gave our experts invaluable insight into on-the-ground emergency animal disease management and control.'

Caitlin Wilson, Chargé d’Affaires at the Australian Embassy Dili said the initiative demonstrated Australia’s deep and enduring commitment to supporting Timor-Leste’s food security and economic priorities.

'Maintaining a healthy, productive and profitable livestock industry not only contributes to jobs and economic development for Timor-Leste, but also helps meet domestic demand for nutritious protein,

'Australia is proud to be working with our Timor-Leste partners to strengthen their biosecurity systems as part of regional efforts to combat exotic animal pests and diseases such as african swine fever, foot and mouth disease and Lumpy skin disease.'

The program also includes sponsorship of Timorese veterinarians and researchers to visit Agriculture Victoria research sites in Australia to undertake research alongside our staff and expand their knowledge. Vets and scientists are visiting AgriBio over the next few months.

The Australian Government investment of $3.5 million was launched at the Timor-Leste Veterinary Medicine Association Conference in Dili in March.

Dignitaries and delegates from 7 nations gathered to celebrate the program's success to date and look forward to making further advancements in protecting agriculture from biosecurity threats.

For more information about our research visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open
victoeian 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.

Read more information about the grants or EMAIL your inquiry.

Keep supporting the ‘Bucks for brains’ project

Dr Jeff Cave Senior Veterinary Officer

I’m sure most farmers have heard of the Bucks for Brains initiative, which provides generous incentive payments for livestock owners who submit eligible sheep and cattle brains for testing.

In doing so, this ongoing testing helps Australia maintain market access for its livestock industries.

To be considered eligible, the animal must be alive at presentation to a veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria staff and showing neurological signs, which include circling, blindness or abnormal behaviour.

Bucks for Brains is a vital initiative of the National Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Surveillance Project (NTSESP).

NTSESP is tasked with confirming Australia’s proof of freedom from rare fatal brain and other central nervous system diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs).

The damaging effects that TSEs can have on a country's livestock industry and economy were made clear during the outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’, in the United Kingdom, and following detection in Canada and United States.

BSE is a disease that emerged in the 1980s through the feeding of meat meal contaminated with an infectious agent known as a prion.

The disease causes an untreatable, progressive, degenerative condition of the brain leading to a range of neurological signs – therefore gaining the name, mad cow disease.

With cases in the UK and several European countries, plus the prior export of meat meal from Europe to other countries, it is not clear how far the disease may have spread.

In Australia, we are in the fortunate position of being considered one of the least likely countries in the world to have BSE.

To firmly claim our livestock are free of BSE, we are required to have a surveillance system to demonstrate that declaration.

The surveillance program is based on the post-mortem examination of sheep over 18 months of age and cattle over 30 months that show neurological signs, to demonstrate and confirm they do not have BSE and to give another explanation of their symptoms.

The suspect animal is put down humanely, then the Ag Vic veterinary officer or private veterinarian will perform the autopsy and take the necessary samples for analysis.

An incentive of $100 for sheep and $300 for cattle is available to livestock owners to help ensure we continue to demonstrate our freedom. In addition, all laboratory investigations and costs are covered as part of the scheme.

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

Free online training modules for Emergency Animal Disease awareness
online training emergency animal disease awareness

Farmers across Victoria are encouraged to complete a series of free online training modules to help them protect their animals from diseases and biosecurity threats.

Agriculture Victoria’s online training modules aim to give farmers an overview of the risk and impacts of an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak.

They raise awareness of Foot-and-mouth disease and Lumpy skin disease, what a livestock standstill means for the industry and how people can visit farming properties safely.

The four modules include:

  • Foot-and-mouth disease awareness
  • Lumpy skin disease awareness
  • Come clean, stay clean, go clean - when visiting farms
  • Livestock standstill for Foot-and-mouth disease.

Each module takes about 15 minutes to complete.

To get started, click here.

Fox and wild dog bounty collection details

Ballarat collections fox only
Address: Ballarat Field and Game (Haddon Common Bushland Reserve) 726 Bells Road, Haddon.

Time: 1 – 3 pm


  • Monday 5 June
  • Monday 3 July
  • Monday 31 July
  • Monday 28 August
  • Monday 25 September
  • Monday 23 October.

Geelong collections  fox only

Address:16 Cadman Terrace, North Geelong.

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 am


  • Tuesday 6 June
  • Tuesday 4 July
  • Tuesday 1 August
  • Tuesday 29 August 
  • Tuesday 26 September
  • Tuesday 24 October.

Colac collections  fox only

Please note: Bounty collections at Colac have been relocated to 23A Hugh Murray Drive, Colac East.

Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm


  • Tuesday 6 June
  • Tuesday 4 July
  • Tuesday 1 August
  • Tuesday 29 August
  • Tuesday 26 September
  • Tuesday 24 October.

Warrnambool collections - fox only
Address: 703 – 709 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool.

Time: 8:30 – 10:30 am


  • Wednesday 7 June
  • Wednesday 5 July 
  • Wednesday 2 August
  • Wednesday 30 August
  • Wednesday 27 September
  • Wednesday 25 October.

Hamilton collections  fox only

Address: Depot, Hamilton Centre, Research Station Road,

Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm


  • Wednesday 7 June
  • Wednesday 5 July
  • Wednesday 2 August 
  • Wednesday 30 August 
  • Wednesday 27 September
  • Wednesday 25 October.

For more information visit:

Recording: Supporting farmers to measure and manage their emissions - A Wimmera broadacre case study
climate webinars agriculture victoria

Presented by:

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

This webinar recording explores the findings from two recent Wimmera Development Association projects and discusses:

  • 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.

View the recording

Duration: 64 minutes (including questions)
Passcode: Climate

This webinar was originally presented on Thursday 18 May 2023 at 12 pm AEST.

All climate webinar recordings can be found on our website 

Feedback on biosecurity reform discussion paper
Two people walking through a vineyard

A summary of feedback received on the Reforming Victoria’s biosecurity legislation discussion paper has been released.

The feedback will help government to better understand stakeholder and community views and will inform any future reform.

Read the Discussion Paper and Engagement Report  on the Engage Victoria website

Feral pig monitoring videos
new invasives species videos available

Feral pigs are becoming an increasing threat to biosecurity, agricultural production and the natural environment in Victoria.

Click here to learn more about feral pigs and control methods. 

AgVic Talk on all things AgTech and Energy
ag tech and energy season 5 agriculture victoria

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.

Hurry - get your entries in before Wednesday 26 July to be in the running.


Drones taking agriculture sky high

In Australia, drones are increasingly being used to carry out agricultural operations such as crop monitoring and spraying, livestock management and land surveying.

We’ve compiled some useful tips on the drone safety rules and how they apply in different agricultural applications.


Understanding chemical impact on beneficial insects in grain paddocks

However beneficial insects also play an important role in farming and now understanding how and what chemistries to use to protect these 'paddock helpers’ is easier than ever.


Retiring grain scientist’s career celebrated

One of Agriculture Victoria’s most respected researchers, Dr Joe Panozzo recently retired after more than 35 years of service with Agriculture Victoria.


Primary producer loans and more disaster recovery assistance for hail-impacted Victorians

Victorian primary producers in the City of Greater Shepparton and the Yarra Ranges Local Government Areas can now apply for concessional loans of up to $250,000 following a hailstorm event on 23 March this year.

The loans are part of a range of assistance jointly funded by the Australian and Victoria Governments through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.


Applications open for Dairy Australia Board positions

The Dairy Australia Board is seeking directors to fill upcoming vacancies and to be appointed at the November 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM).


What's on?

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can now be found in one spot on our website. Log on to to find out what's on.

Feed budgeting workshop - Hamilton

This practical workshop on pasture budgeting for prime lamb producers, presented by Dr Steve Cotton of DynamicAg, will help you make informed, timely grazing management and livestock feeding decisions, improving your business productivity and profitability.


WHEN: Tuesday 30 May
TIME: 8:30 am – 3 pm
HERE: Chrome Sheep stud – shearing shed, 6132 Dartmoor-Hamilton Road, Hamilton.


Register for the workshop using the Eventbrite link

Identification and management of worms in sheep workshop – Cavendish

This practical workshop on worm management, presented by Dr Andrew Whale of Livestock Logic, will show you how to identify and measure the worms in your flock and develop a strategic management plan to reduce their impact on your business productivity and profitability.


  • Identifying worms – what species are in your area; is Barbers Pole a risk?
  • Measuring and monitoring worms – when and how to collect accurate Worm Egg Count (WEC) samples
  • Strategic management of worms – using drench selection, grazing management and genetics to reduce production impacts and costs
  • Biosecurity – practical activity developing a quarantine procedure for introduced animals.

Participants will receive a free WEC sample kit and test.

DATE: Friday 26 May

WHERE: 32 Barker Street Cavendish

WHEN: 8 am - 1 pm

COST: Free


For more information

Contact Chris Blore, Industry Development Officer on 0428 155 781 or email 

Book now for 2023 BestWool/BestLamb conference
bestwool/bestlamb industry dinner and conference 2023

Agriculture Victoria invites sheep producers and the broader sheep industry to join us at the 2023 BestWool/BestLamb conference and pre-conference dinner in Bendigo on Monday evening and Tuesday, 19-20 June.

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

Mark Wales, former Special Operations Commander and winner of TV series Australian Survivor, will be the special dinner speaker.

As a former special operations commander, Mark is used to operating in dynamic, high stress situations where personal and team performance means the difference between life and death.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Technical Specialist Lyndon Kubeil said it’s a chance to hear how Mark was able to use his experience leading an elite special forces team in combat to drive decision making and personal performance.

‘The line-up of speakers the next day at the conference will inform, challenge and excite participants with the most up to date sheep industry research and information, as well as provide a great opportunity for networking.

‘The format is a one-day event featuring concurrent sessions so participants can attend sessions that are relevant and of interest to them, plus trade displays and the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) shearing race delivery demonstration,’ Mr Kubeil said.

Presentations will include Dr Alex Ball, who will take a look back at the last 25 years of the sheep industry and provide his insights going forward for the next 25.

Will Barton from Gundagai Meats will challenge those attending with lamb production of the future and Chris Howie will make them think about the agent of the future and the producer/agent relationship, ensuring it adds value to your business.

Prof. Phil Hynd will update the audience on the latest developments with the wool bio-harvesting project and explore if this could be part of the solution?

Mr Kubeil said it’s hard to highlight only a few of many great presentations, however also of note, Jim Walsh will give the latest on the brand-new oral lice control product, which could be an absolute game changer.

‘Traditionally, the annual Bendigo conference attracts well over 300 participants, so we recommend you book early,’ he said.

Early bird registrations are on sale until 31 May.

Visit TryBooking to view the conference program and register.

For more information, please contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or email

Stock Sense - Colac cattle workshop

This time we're talking #biosecurity planning, colostrum management and calving preparation!

DATE: Thursday 1 June

TIME: 11:30 am - 2 pm

WHERE: Colac Neighbourhood House

Make sure to register.

Stock Sense - Warrnambool sheep workshop

DATE: Wednesday 7 June

TIME: 9:30am - 12 pm (Morning tea included)

VENUE: Brother Fox Deakin University, Building H, Cafeteria Lane, Warrnambool

Topics include: On-farm biosecurity management, Barbers pole and parasite management.


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.

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.

Second International Symposium on Precision Management of Orchards & Vineyards

Mark your calendars!

From 3-8 December scientists, industry experts and leading horticultural and viticultural growers will converge on Tatura for the Second International Symposium on Precision Management of Orchards & Vineyards (PMOV23).

Agriculture Victoria is accepting Abstract Submissions for PMOV23 until 31 May.

More information will be available in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled!

Subscribe to Barwon South West Ag News

Enjoying the Barwon South West Ag News? Then why not forward to a friend or subscribe yourself.

It's easy – simply click this link.

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. 


Privacy | Email: