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Thursday 30 May 2024

In this edition

Avian influenza information
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Movement controls remain in place for areas surrounding two avian influenza infected properties near Meredith and Terang.

The controls restrict the movement of birds, poultry products, poultry feed and equipment on or off properties in designated areas.

These include:

  • A restricted area covers a 5 km radius around the Meredith farm with a broader Control Area buffer zone in the eastern part of Golden Plains Shire Council. The western boundary of this area is the Colac-Ballarat Road.
  • A Restricted Area covering a 5-kilometre radius around the Terang farm with a broader control Area buffer zone covering an area of 15 kilometres.
  • A housing requirement for all birds within these areas.

Stay up to date HERE

Investing in the future of Victorian AgTech
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The Victorian Government is driving innovation in the agriculture sector by supporting more tech startups to create new technologies that will help farmers improve their efficiency and adapt to new challenges in the industry.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently announced $1 million for the AgTech Grants program which will invest $50,000 in eligible startups looking to build their business capability.

Delivered in partnership with LaunchVic, the grant provides founders with dedicated mentoring from startup experts to build their businesses and seize new opportunities. They can also support activities that help create new jobs and support Victoria’s economic growth.

The agriculture sector is critical to the Victorian economy, however changing conditions means that the sector needs to continuously adapt to new challenges. AgTech startups will help drive this adaptation and provide farmers with the tools, data and knowledge they need to improve productivity and sustainability.

Since 2023 the AgTech Grants Program has awarded grants to 19 startups providing services in supply chain efficiency, farming automation, soil sensing intelligence and pollination management systems, among others.

The success of the first round of the grant program has led to this additional investment of $1 million to continue to fuel technological advancements in the sector.

A notable recipient of the first round is Drone-Hand, the first commercially available, user-friendly, AI driven, automated flight-app for livestock monitoring.

Applications are open and will remain open until 30 June 2025 or until funding is exhausted. To read more about past recipients and to apply for new grants click here.

For more information on the AgTech Grant program click here.

New hog deer DNA technology targets poachers
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The Game Management Authority (GMA) is using new DNA profiling technology to help determine if people are poaching or in illegal possession of Hog deer.

The technology was used in an investigation on six taxidermied Hog deer heads and two capped skulls.

GMA officers suspected a man to be in illegal possession of the items, which were seized after a search warrant was executed on a man’s property near Launching Place.

The man pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of Hog deer in the Ringwood Magistrates Court last December.

He was put on a good behaviour bond and the Hog deer heads and capped skulls were forfeited as the man could not prove he had obtained them legally.

The new technology analyses hair and tissue samples extracted from Hog deer to determine which discrete Victorian population the deer originated from, providing evidence of where they may have been taken.

Compliance and Intelligence Director, Zac Powell said the man did not have a valid Game Licence endorsed to hunt deer, had not received Hog deer tags and had not been authorised to participate in Victoria’s balloted Hog Deer season.

'Even though some of the seized heads were 15 years old, DNA samples were analysed, and the results showed some of the Hog deer had been illegally taken from Snake Island in Gippsland, which can only be hunted during the annual ballot period using assigned tags,' Mr Powell said.

'People hunting Hog deer during the season or ballot period must have a valid Victorian Game Licence for deer and obtain Hog Deer tags to affix to each deer harvested.

'Those who break the law face significant fines and penalties, including prosecution, and having equipment confiscated. In some cases, offenders may face jail terms.'

Hunters and the community are urged to report illegal hunting to the GMA through its website at or by calling 136 186. If an urgent response is required, call 000.

The GMA assesses all reports of illegal behaviour and works closely with its partner agencies, to conduct enforcement and compliance operations across Victoria.

The DNA profiling system was developed for both wildlife forensic science and population research by a PhD candidate at La Trobe University who was co-funded by the GMA.

Victoria is one of the few places where wild populations of Hog deer can be hunted free-range on public land. Hog deer are a highly valued game species in Victoria, with licensed hunters permitted to harvest one stag and one hind during an annual hunting season.

Upskilling the future of our agriculture industry

The Victorian Government is investing in the future of agriculture in Victoria by ensuring young farmers across the state can gain valuable new skills and investment towards their future.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently launched the 2024 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship Program, encouraging the next generation of farmers to apply and receive the skills they need to thrive in Victoria’s vibrant agriculture sector.

The program offers scholarships of up to $10,000 with each recipient reimbursed up to $5,000 to support their training and study, and up to $5,000 to invest in putting their new skills into practice.

Successful applicants can receive training to build their knowledge and expertise in areas such as irrigation, agronomy, conservation and land management, as well as core business skills in areas including accounting, human resources and marketing.

Once they have completed their studies, applicants can invest in modern technology and equipment, on-farm strategies and planning, and their own professional development to kickstart their career as a farmer.

Since 2015, the Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship Program has successfully supported 117 young farmers from a range of agriculture industries.

Megan Cooper is a wool grower from the Wimmera region who used her scholarship to upskill and complete a remote pilot licence training and a Certificate IV Wool Classing course.

Megan also invested in infrastructure to improve her stockyards.

Albert Nunn from Central Western Victoria who is a mixed beef, sheep and grain farmer used the program to complete a diploma of agriculture through South-West TAFE and then invested in a portable sheep handler.

Applications are open to farmers aged between 18 and 35 who have been working in farm businesses for at least three days a week for the past three months, with at least two years total experience on-farm.

Applications will close on 17 June.

To learn more about the program and to apply for a scholarship, visit

Subsoil help for dryland grain growers
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Grain growers considering subsoil amelioration on their farms are encouraged to visit Agriculture Victoria’s new dedicated webpage and support guide to help navigate the decision-making process.

Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Adam Buzza said subsoil amelioration is a land management practice where organic matter is typically injected into the subsoil using a specialised deep ripping machine.

‘Our online resources provide decision support on when to consider subsoil amelioration, when it's least effective, what it costs and guides on how different subsoil types respond,’ Mr Buzza said.

‘Subsoil amelioration aims to improve nutrient availability, water movement and root development for better crop growing conditions and a higher yield at harvest time.

‘Research shows that subsoil amelioration can increase grain yields by an average of 12% but its effectiveness is dependent on factors such as average annual rainfall, subsoil type and any constraints such as salinity or water logging.

‘It’s important to note that amelioration upfront costs can be above $2000 per hectare and for some subsoils this is not a cost-effective option,’ he said.

Mr Buzza said the decision support guide is available in the grains, pulses and cereals section of the Agriculture Victoria website.

The resource was developed with the support of the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative - and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

WorkSafe – Footy's favourite farmer
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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!

WorkSafe knows our farmers are a hard-working and humble bunch - so they'd like your help to nominate your local farmer.

All you need to do is tell us, in 50 words or less, why your nominee deserves to be Footy's Favourite Farmer in 2024.

There's over $20,000 worth of prizes for them and their club up for grabs, and just by nominating a farmer, you can win a prize yourself!

Hurry - get your entries in before Friday 2 August to be in the running.


Growing tomorrow’s farmers
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AgCAREERSTART is looking for employers/farmers who:

  • are able to offer a safe and positive experience for a young Australian
  • have the capacity to teach and support someone who might have limited experience in agriculture
  • are able to offer full-time paid employment for a period of 10 – 12 months in 2025*
  • can offer flexibility to your participant so they can undertake training and attend industry events
  • can provide accommodation or assist in finding accommodation off farm.

When you sign up you will:

  • receive a $2,000 grant
  • get support from the AgCAREERSTART team to mentor and train your participant
  • gain access to industry events and the broader National Farmers’ Federation network.

For more information click here

*Participants must be paid at – or above-award wages. All host farms must provide a signed employment contract to AgCAREERSTART before the placement commences.

The AgCAREERSTART pilot is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Fox and wild dog bounty

Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March 2024.

Please continue to check our website for the latest information, collection centres and dates. CLICK HERE

For any assistance, please speak to our bounty collection staff on collection days or call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Expressions of interest are open for sheep and cattle producer groups
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Extended to Thursday 13 June.

Expressions of interest are open for sheep and cattle producer groups interested in running an on-farm demonstration.

Find out more HERE or contact

This program is in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) with support from Agriculture Victoria offers funding support for community-led gorse control projects.

Community grants program objectives:

  • Reduce the impacts of gorse on environmental, agricultural, and social values
  • Strengthen community and stakeholder connections for better gorse outcomes
  • Build community knowledge and capacity in managing gorse
  • Promote best practice gorse management.

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.

Grants are available to all Victorian Community Group organisations that have a focus on improving natural and agricultural areas.

How to apply
Click here to download a copy of the 2024/25 VGT Community Grants Funding Guidelines and the application form.

Once you have completed your application, email to

For more information, contact the VGT on 0417 593 250 or at

The Pinches – National Centre for Farmer Health
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We're often able to carry one or two challenges at a time and carrying a heavy load for short periods may be okay.

But the compounding effect of constant and multiple stresses at once can wear us down and impact not only our livelihoods but also our mental wellbeing.

No matter what our situation, we all feel the impact of external stressors.

While these may be out of our control and frustrating, it’s important to acknowledge them, regain a sense of control through managing what we can and prepare for what lies ahead.

Alongside our social media series, a great resource to look at is our free and very popular Managing Stress on The Farm Booklet (MSOF).

MSOF talks through the common causes of stressors on farms and offers practical ways to deal with them.

We develop interventions to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Australian farmers, farm workers, farming families and agriculture-dependent communities focusing on prevention and early identification of risk factors associated with farming populations.

Key focus areas include chronic disease prevention and management, mental health, and occupational health and safety.

It includes the Steering Straight plan - an action plan to help you work through challenges and plan activities that help you feel better with practical, useful steps.

You can find this and other support resources here

Make this your moment – the Governor of Victoria Export Awards
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Get ready to shine in the spotlight!

Applications have now opened for the Governor of Victoria Export Awards (GOVEA).

Open to all Victorian exporters, regardless of business size or total export sales, winning a GOVEA isn't just about recognition; it's about catapulting your business to new heights.

GOVEA winners automatically receive a place as finalists in the National Export Awards.

Boost your brand and gain exposure to potential clients, investors, and partners, both locally and globally.

Showcase your innovation to the business community in 2024.

Apply now by visiting

Applications close 14 June.

In case you missed it

Building a stronger farm business for tomorrow

Supporting growers to build their knowledge and skills to strengthen their farm business and be better equipped to manage the risks of a variable climate.


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.

Tatura horticulture event – Building a stronger farm business for tomorrow

Register now – you are invited to join other horticulture growers for a free short business course over May and June at the Tatura SmartFarm.

Goulburn Murray Horticulture Farm Business Resilience program is supporting growers to build on their knowledge and skills to strengthen their farm business and be better equipped to manage the risks associated with a variable climate.

These sessions will focus on building and strengthening your business productivity, rather than on individual business information e.g. finances.

Technical specialists will present:

Wed and Thurs 29-30 May on:

  • Identifying and managing risks
  • Managing people on-farm, succession planning and farm safety
  • Onsite biosecurity planning.

Wed and Thurs 12-13 June on:

  • Climate risk and natural resource management
  • Cost of production, financial management, budgeting.

To register click here 

For more information contact Andy Clark on 0436 804 656 or at

Are you a young farmer in horticulture that’s looking to upskill?
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Agriculture Victoria is running a horticulture business bootcamp focussed on the horticulture industry that aims to support the next generation of growers, business owners and managers to improve their skills and management practices.

The bootcamp will be delivered by Agriculture Victoria and Ion Group.

2-day in-person workshop on 12-13 June from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

Location TBC pending interest as Yarra Valley or Werribee

Online session
21 June, 10-11 am


  • In-person day 1: Farm business performance and profitable decision making
  • In-person day 2: Risk, resilience and adapting to change
  • Online session: Natural resource management.

The bootcamp is free to all participants but places are limited.

A free one-on-one session with an Ion Group consultant is available to participants who register for both the in-person workshop and online session.

To secure your spot for this bootcamp, click here to register or contact: Tanya Dobrijevic on 0429 353 649 or at

Export Pricing Webinar
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Ready to grow your agri-food and beverage business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start?

Join us for a free Export Development Program.

Agriculture Victoria's Pathways to Export is partnering with Export Connect to deliver online export strategy webinars.

Final webinar:

  • International Buyer and Exporter Panel: Tuesday 4 June – 2 – 4 pm.

Register here

Tatura dairy event – Catch the latest dairy updates

Goulburn Valley dairy producers are encouraged to come along and hear from expert presenters on the latest dairy genomic research and livestock supplements to address climate and emissions.

The event will be held at the Agriculture Victoria Tatura SmartFarm on Thursday 6 June, starting at 10:30 am.

There will be three specialists presenting, including:

  • Ainslie MacDonald, Research Fellow with the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre at Melbourne University. Ainslie will provide an update on supplements that inhibit methane production and explain the efficiency, safety, costs and impacts of methane mitigation options.
  • Agriculture Victoria’s Research Director Dr Jennie Pryce will share her extensive knowledge in and updates on dairy genomic research and development.
  • PhD student Laura Jensen, who will present her PhD project on heat tolerance Australian Breeding Value (ABV) and the use of sensor data.

Please note as lunch and refreshments will be provided, registrations are required.

If you would like to register to attend or would like more information, contact Richard Smith 0436 803 765 or at

Pyramid Hill Seasonal Outlook
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Kerang and Numurkah Centre Pivot and Lateral Move workshops

Agriculture Victoria is running a two-day workshop on centre pivot and lateral move (CPLM) irrigation systems facilitated by Peter Smith, Sapphire Irrigation Consulting.

The workshop is targeted at farmers and service providers involved with the design and installation of CPLM systems or aiming to optimise the performance and management of an existing system.

Participation will be free of charge.

Participants will learn and understand:

  • the key design considerations for an efficient CPLM system with uniform application
  • the financial considerations associated with the purchase and operation of a CPLM
  • planning considerations when installing a CPLM
  • the key measures and indicators of CPLM system performance
  • technology options including variable application rate, end guns and sprinkler packs
  • irrigation scheduling and operation for improved agronomy
  • energy efficiency considerations.

Kerang workshop

Dates: Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 26 June - 8:30 am to 4 pm
Location: Kerang Agriculture Victoria Office
Contact: Adam Taylor - 0439 412 366
RSVP: Wednesday 19 June.

Numurkah workshop

Dates: Thursday 27 June and Friday 28 - 8:30 am to 4 pm
Location: Shamrock Hotel Numurkah
Contact: Chris Pollard - 0473 085 873
RSVP: Wednesday 19 June.

Bridgewater Run4Resilience on May 27
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Choose your distance to register and help build stronger and more resilient farming communities!

Run it, walk it, push it!

For more information or to register click here

GRDC Grains Research Update - aerial application, drones and market access to EU canola markets

4 June
10 - 11:30 am




Come and listen to the experts and join in the discussion on three topics: Aerial application, drones and market access to EU canola markets.

Topics and presenters:

  • increasing momentum behind on-farm sustainability accreditation and developing market signals. ISCC canola standards and market access issues when selling canola overseas. Rosemary Richards (Sustainable Grain Australia)
  • aerial application in broadacre crop production. Scott Mackie (South East Air Ag)
  • drones for spraying, weed mapping and other uses - licensing, uses and limitations. Tristan Steventon (Stevtech) and Aaron Parker (Aussie Drones).

Register here

GRDC Farm Business Update

18 June
9:30 am to 3:15 pm

40 Silverwoods Boulevard

19 June
9:30 am to 3:15 pm

All Seasons Resort
171 McIvor Highway


The GRDC Farm Business Update events drive innovation and adoption of improved farm business management practices across the grains industry.

Contact Jane Foster on (03) 5441 6176 or at to learn more.

Cost: $30

Yarrawonga: register here.

Bendigo: register here.

Bridgewater – Seasonal Outlook
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Natural Capital Forum at Bendigo
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‘Natural capital’ is the latest innovative thinking about our environment and how it relates to the economy, and the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) wants to give local farmers and businesses an opportunity to benefit from it.

The forum will be held at Bendigo’s Capital Theatre on June 13, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Topics and speakers include:

  • ESG Insights: From Global Trends to On-Farm Practices - Katie McRobert, General Manager / Acting CEO, Australian Farm Institute
  • Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounting - Jim Radford, Associate Professor, Department of Environment and Genetics, School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment, La Trobe University
  • Enhancing farm profitability, resilience and sustainability - Angela Hawdon, Strategic Engagements Manager, Farming for the Future
  • Understanding On-Farm Emissions - Alison Kelly, Farm Emissions Specialist, Agriculture Victoria
  • Farmers Insights - Hear from farmers who have engaged with natural capital and carbon markets.

The forum will help people understand what natural capital is, what it means for farm businesses, and weight up the opportunities and the risks.

For bookings and more information, go to North Central CMA Events page.

Tickets are $25 and are limited.

For more information and/or to register click here

Animal health planning workshop at Osbornes Flat
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BWBL and BetterBeef conferences
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Early bird ticket discounts end next week for the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences and dinner in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

To secure your discounted tickets click here

A one-day conference ticket is only $80 and a full package two-day conference and dinner ticket is $200.

Visit our events web page to download the program and learn more.

Barnawartha Stock handling workshop

Friday, 21 June, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Experience Stress-Free Stock Handling at Barnawartha!

Join us for a hands-on session led by the Stock Sense team and expert Stock Handler, Jack Briscoe.

Plus, Trucksafe Director Peter Callanan will talk on common issues around Fit to Load. Learn invaluable techniques to care for your cattle with minimal stress and maximum safety.

Topics Include:

  • Stockmanship: Understand livestock behaviour for reduced stress and improved handling.
  • Low-Stress Handling Demonstrations: Witness safe handling practices for enhanced yard safety.
  • Practical Sessions: Gain special techniques for drenching, vaccination, and ear tagging.
  • Biosecurity Insights: Explore vital biosecurity practices and the importance of quarantine.

Don’t miss this free opportunity to boost your stock handling skills and ensure healthier, happier livestock.

Admission is free with lunch provided so registration is essential.

To find out more, or to register, click HERE

For further inquiries, please contact Stock Sense on

Stock Sense calving webinar
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New to calving? Wanting to learn more? Maybe you just need a quick refresher

This free webinar is perfect for you.

Get ready for the calving season with a checklist covering everything you need to know.

From when to call a vet to prepping your calving box, we've got you covered.

Join Stock Sense and seasoned expert Rob Bananno, who brings over 30 years of farming and veterinary experience to the table.

Don't miss out on this invaluable session!

DATE: Wednesday 26 June

TIME: 6:30 - 7 pm


Grasslands Society of Southern Australia – 54th Annual Conference
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The GSSA conference at Bendigo on 17-18 July will offer something for everyone.

The central theme will focus on ‘Evidence Based Decision Making’ and the topics have been built around what farmers need to know.
Delegates will be able to choose from two bus tours.

One to a property north of Bendigo integrating lucerne into a profitable livestock system and one to a higher rainfall perennial pasture property south of Bendigo.

Topics will include:

  • Carbon - An informed farmers perspective
  • Carbon neutral livestock production - is it possible?
  • Soil carbon and fertility
  • Measuring and knowing your soil carbon levels
  • Old clover identification and sub optimal clover nodulation
  • Paddock livestock weighing
  • What bugs you?
  • Use of drones in agriculture
  • Facial livestock recognition
  • Remote pasture measurement
  • Running lambs on improved varieties of perennial ryegrass vs more persistent Victorian ryegrass - animal responses above yield responses
  • N efficiency and endophytes in ryegrass pastures
  • Introduction to fertiliser calculator tool.

Click here for more information - 2024 GSSA Annual Conference

Livestock 2024 Conference – August, Albury NSW
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The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) is excited to announce their third biennial Livestock Conference with the overarching theme of Environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Sessions will include keynote speakers and group workshop activities and cover the following:

  • improving land, air and water
  • solutions for human capacity
  • economic considerations and market impacts.

Click here for more information about the upcoming conference.

If you would like to register for conference updates you can join the mailing list here.

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Contacting Agriculture Victoria

Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or

All contact points can be found at:

Don't forget to check out Agriculture Victoria's social media sites for up-to-date information and news.



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