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Thursday 11 May 2023
In this edition:
Ag recovery update for flood and storm-affected farmers
Image tile in dark green with white writing advertising flood and storm financial support

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
Tile of National Farmer Health Logo on blue background advertising support

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.

Last call to have your say on Drought Resilience Plans
Image of Central Highlands landscape

Agriculture Victoria has been working with members of the Central Highlands, Barwon and Great South Coast communities to co-design a draft Drought Resilience Plan for each region. 

The Drought Resilience Plans propose themes, outcomes, and actions to better prepare the region for future droughts.

From 13 April – 12 May, we invite all members of these three communities to have their say on the draft plan by visiting EngageVic website here

While visiting EngageVic, we encourage all interested parties to ‘follow’ the Regional Drought Resilience page for updates.

The Drought Resilience Plan is one of 9 being developed for Victoria as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Future Drought Fund in partnership with the Victorian Government.

For more information on the development of Regional Drought Resilience Plans contact Ralph Cotter, Regional Leader at

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.

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.

Livestock farm monitoring project
Image of Hereford cow with calf feeding and other cow in background in paddock setting

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 about the project, click here or contact

Invasive species video series
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.

Learn more here

Young Farmer Scholarship closing soon
Image of young woman in broad-brim hat

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.

MLA Producer Demonstration Site Program
Aerial image of paddock with forest in background

Do you prefer to learn by seeing, doing and getting involved?

Do you want to see new management practices and technologies in action?

The Meat & Livestock (MLA) Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) program gives producers an opportunity to discover and implement new management practices that could improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability.

To learn more and find a PDS near you go to

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.

Check out the grant guidelines here:

VGT Community Grant Guidelines 2023/2024
VGT Community Grants Application Form 2023/24

For more information about the grants, head to or send your inquiry to

Fox and wild dog bounty collection details
Image of fox outdoors with grass and flowering shrub in background.

The Fox and Wild Dog Bounty collections continue in the north-east region. 

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. 

Visit for information on other collection points and to learn more.


Ballarat Field and Game (Haddon Common Bushland Reserve)
726 Bells Road, Haddon

Collection type:
Fox only


Collection dates:

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

Time: 1 pm - 3 pm


180 Horsham-Noradjuha Road, Horsham

Collection type:
Fox only


Collection dates:

Wednesday 17 May
Thursday 15 June
Wednesday 12 July
Wednesday 9 August
Wednesday 6 September
Wednesday 4 October
Wednesday 1 November

Time: 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Gregory Street, Ouyen

Collection type:
Fox only
Wild Dog by appointment 



Collection dates:

Tuesday 16 May 
Wednesday 14 June 
Tuesday 11 July 
Tuesday 8 August 
Tuesday 5 September 
Tuesday 3 October 
Tuesday 31 October 

Time: 2 pm - 4 pm

Swan Hill

7 Quin Drive, Swan Hill

Collection type:
Fox only



Collection dates:

Tuesday 16 May
Wednesday 14 June
Tuesday 11 July
Tuesday 8 August
Tuesday 5 September
Tuesday 3 October
Tuesday 31 October

Time: 8:30 am – 10:30 am

Visit for information on other collection points and to learn more.

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More skills for women across Victoria
more skills for women across Victoria

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

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 click here.

Footy's favourite farmer
Image of farmer in peaked cap with yellow farmland background

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
Image of broadacre cropping land with stormy sky overhead

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


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 fine without conviction, with costs awarded in the sum of $278.38.


Image of Plains-wanderer bird

Volunteers needed for Plains-wanderer song meter program

Less than 1000 birds are thought to remain in the Northern Plains grasslands in Victoria, between Bendigo, Echuca, and Swan Hill. Help protect Victoria’s critically endangered Plains-wanderer by recognising its elusive call. 

This work will help locate Plains-wanderers in the wild, letting us know where they are so we can protect and enhance their threatened native grassland habitat.

To help the Plains-wanderer, sign up HERE

Further information on the Plains-wanderer Song Meter program is available HERE.

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What's On

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can now be found in one spot on our website.

Visit to find out what's on.

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

Thursday 18 May
12 pm


Want to hear how two Wimmera Development Association projects are supporting Wimmera farmers to measure and manage their emissions?

Join their webinar on Friday 18 May at 12 pm to explore the findings of the 'Road map to Net Zero Emission Grampians Agriculture Project' and 'Wimmera Broadacre Farming Net Zero Emissions Project'.

For more information and to stay up to date with our upcoming climate webinars click here.

Ewe management and feed planning

Thursday 18 May
9 am – 2:30 pm

Navarre Recreation Reserve


Sheep farmers register now for a free ‘Measure to Manage’ workshop at the Navarre Recreation Reserve on Thursday 18 May from 9 am to 2.30 pm.

When you register, you will receive a free feed quality test in the mail and you can bring your results to the workshop.

This workshop  will cover:

🐑 Assessing Body Condition Score (BCS) 

🐑 Feed on offer assessment (FOO) 🐑Ewe feed requirements before and after lambing

🐑Lamb feed requirements

Register HERE.

Contact Neil James on 0417 353 929 to learn more.

For more information go to:

Mildura Field Days
Image of Ag Vic marquee at Mildura Field Days

Friday 19 May
9 am – 5 pm
Saturday 20 May
9 am – 4 pm

Mildura Racecourse
53 Racecourse Road,
Nichols Point


Come and say g'day to Agriculture Victoria at Mildura Field Days.

We will have staff available from grains, irrigation, horticulture and research divisions to respond to your queries and Rural Financial Counselling Service in attendance.

Federal agency Murray Darling Basin Authority will also be sharing our site. 

The H2Cuts Trailer at the Mildura Field Days will be providing free hydrogen powered haircuts at the Ag Vic tent. Drop in for a free cut and improve your understanding of hydrogen and other new technologies.

A short presentation will be given at 11 am and 2 pm explaining the hydrogen fuel cell as well as a range of energy topics. 

For further information contact Maxine Schache on 0428 507 855 or email.

Mallee Regional Water and Irrigation 2023-24


Tuesday 23 May
9 am
2 Greentek Ct, Koorlong


Tuesday 23 May
3 pm
Nangiloc Tavern
2674 Kulkyne Way, Nangiloc


Wednesday 24 May
9 am
Dual Chelate
Robinvale Irrigation District Section D, Robinvale

Boundary Bend

Wednesday 24 May
2 pm
Boundary Bend Hall, Boundary Bend 

Lindsay Point

Thursday 25 May
11 am EST
Laragon Almonds Cracking Plant
Lindsay Point


Attention all Irrigators

Have your questions answered and find out all you need to know about water this year. Join other growers, water authorities and agencies for an update over morning or afternoon tea. 

Topics discussed will include:

  • What is the outlook for water allocations and trade opening in the year ahead?
  • How does extraction share work and shortfalls?
  • What is the risk of a shortfall next year?
  • What is place of take?
  • What’s new in irrigation efficiencies and what incentives are available?

Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and Agriculture Victoria bring you the latest water and irrigation information from Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW), Lower Murray Water (LMW), Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and Department Environment Energy and Climate Action (DEECA) (formerly DEWLP).

Factory Tours
This year we have added in some exclusive access factory tours at our Robinvale and Mildura events.  Come along and find out how chemical fertiliser products are produced in our region.

For further information visit


Precision Agriculture One Day Corporate Training Course

23 May
9 am – 4:40 pm
24 May
9 am – 4:40 pm
25 May
9 am – 4:40 pm

Longerenong College
229 Longerenong Rd, Longerenong


Intensive industry participant training suitable for agronomists, rural merchandise employees as well as sales staff and management.

  • Learn how to utilise the data sets being accessed/generated by your clients to their full potential such as yield maps, satellite imagery etc.
  • Gain a greater understanding around the importance of machinery calibration via a live demo in the yard
  • Get hands-on experience with using SMS software to manage and analyse spatial data sets by using Longerenong College farm data in the computer lab
  • Explore the application of ag tech devices such as soil moisture probes, weather stations, gate sensors, leaf wetness sensors, inversion towers etc. through a tour of the Longy DATA Farm

To register call 03 5362 2222 or email

Half Day Drip Maintenance Course
Image of irrigation dripper surrounded by grape vine prunings

31 May
8:30 am – 12:30 pm

308-390 Koorlong Ave


Get the most out of your system and join us for a free half day session on drip maintenance aimed at maximising farm profitability and efficiency.

Topics include:

  • drip irrigation specifications – understanding design and specification sheets
  • drip system monitoring – measuring pressures and discharges
  • drip system maintenance – flushing, chlorination, acid injection

To register or for more information, please contact Maxine Schache on 0428 507 855 or email

Please RSVP by 26 May and bring a copy of your irrigation design to this course.

Irrigation Monitoring and Maintenance Course
Image of people looking at a trench in an orchard

Tuesday 6 and Tuesday 20 June
9 am to 5 pm

308-390 Koorlong Ave



  • soil water principles
  • irrigation of Mallee soils
  • readily available water holding capacity
  • irrigation system performance
  • leaching efficiency and nutrient management
  • irrigation scheduling
  • evapotranspiration graphs
  • water trading issues.

To register or for more information, please contact Maxine Schache on 0428 507 855 or email

Young Farmer Business Bootcamp: Build better business skills

1 June and 8 June
9:30 am to 3 pm

Netherby Hall
5 William Street


Agriculture Victoria is offering young farmers and those new to farming the opportunity to take part in a Young Farmer Business Bootcamp, the next one to be held in Netherby in March.

These bootcamps are targeting young farmers impacted by flood and storm events, as part of Agriculture Victoria’s technical and decision-making support program. The workshops will help to grow the resilience of young farm businesses and prepare them for future events.

Over the two-day business bootcamp participants will develop:
• cash flow budgeting skills
• strong understanding of risk management and planning
• capacity to fine tune their business goals.

Register here for your preferred bootcamp or contact Adam Buzza on 0419 571 208 or email

Save the Date BestWool/BestLamb Bendigo Conference
Image of sheep in paddock and Best Wool Best Lamb logo

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.

For the conference program and registration click HERE.

For more information contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or

Future Drought Fund's 2023 Science to Practice Forum

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.

Monitoring Wind Erosion in the Victorian Mallee

Tuesday 13 June
12 - 1 pm


Join Agriculture Victoria's Mallee monitoring wind erosion project team and seasonal risk agronomist Dale Grey to hear about:

  • What crops were grown in the Mallee in 2022
  • How satellite technology is used to monitor groundcover and obtain crop type estimation 
  • An overview of the Victorian Mallee seasonal outlook for 2023

CLICK HERE to register or contact Rebecca Mitchell on 0438 111 994 or email to learn more.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The session will be recorded for those who register but are unable to attend.

Supported by Mallee Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

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All contact points can be found at:

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