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Gippsland Ag New banner; black angus beef cows looking directly
Friday 8 December 2023
In this edition:
Image of cows in a paddock with the text 'latest ag news'
Gippsland floods: report flood damage
Image of flooded paddock with hay bales floating in it

If you are farming in Gippsland and have been impacted by the recent floods and storms, you can report agricultural losses and damage via our online Impact Assessment Form.

Latest technologies featured at Gippsland farm day

National experts and specialists will present on the latest technologies being used at Jelbart Farm at a feature event near Leongatha next Wednesday, 13 December.

This free on-farm event includes a panel session, presentations from guest speakers and demonstrations of key technologies that help reduce the farms’ environmental footprint.

Agriculture Victoria Program Manager Dairy Services, Del Delpitiya said the day will focus on feed pads, renewable energy, effluent management integration and much more.

‘Participants will be taken on a tour of the farm’s technologies, giving them a firsthand experience of cost savings, environmental considerations and future plans.’

‘Tim Jelbart’s farm highlights the benefits of updating technologies to reduce your environmental footprint, such as solar energy applications.’

‘The event will also provide a great opportunity for Gippsland farmers to come together, network, share ideas and learn from national experts’, Mr Delpitiya added.

Keynote topics and speakers featured on the day include:

  • Jennie Pryce, Agriculture Victoria Principal Research Scientist - the role of genetics in sustainability
  • Karen Romano, Dairy Australia Feeding and Farm Systems Lead - Australian Guidelines for Cattle Shelters and Feedpads
  • Peter Best, Innovative Farm Services - integrated effluent management system benefits and considerations.

The day aims to help farm businesses of all kinds and sizes to increase productivity and resilience through sharing knowledge and technology on renewable energy practices.

Join Agriculture Victoria and GippsDairy, Wednesday 13 December, 9 am to 2:30 pm at Jelbart Dairy Farm, Leongatha South.

Visit this page to register for the event.

For more information or help with registering, contact Maria Rose on 0438 282 205 or

This event is delivered in partnership with GippsDairy and supported by the Farm Business Resilience (FBR) Program. The FBR aims to develop the knowledge and skills of farmers to improve their farm business and manage the impacts of drought and a changing climate.

The Farm Business Resilience Program is jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Victorian Government’s Future Agriculture Skills Capacity Fund.

For more information visit the Agriculture Victoria's Farm Business Resilience Program page.

National online biosecurity training hub now open!
National biosecurity training hub

Australia’s first one-stop shop for online biosecurity training is now open and available to anyone looking to increase their understanding about biosecurity.

Agriculture Victoria has partnered with Plant Health Australia (PHA), the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, and Animal Health Australia (AHA) to create the National Biosecurity Training Hub.

Agriculture Victoria Executive Director Dr Katherine Clift says biosecurity and emergency animal disease preparedness is a top priority for Victoria.

‘Victoria faces intensifying biosecurity risks – driven by climate change, increasing trade and travel, and changing land use,' Dr Clift said.

‘Small actions can have big impacts on preventing and managing the harms caused by pests and diseases. The things we do, or don’t do, can touch everything we value.'

Dr Clift said biosecurity was a matter for all Victorians, not just people on farms and the training hub is a great way for people to increase their understanding and knowledge.

‘We can all help prevent pests from getting into Victoria, contain outbreaks before they get out of hand, and manage established pests and weeds,’ she said.

The National Biosecurity Training Hub (the Hub) offers a central location with a database of online biosecurity training resources to help reduce the duplication of effort and costs associated with developing and delivering biosecurity training.

The Hub unifies and streamlines training to give national visibility of biosecurity-related training across government, industry and community in a single location.

The Hub is a centralised platform that supports biosecurity prevention, preparedness, response and recovery by providing users with access to the latest biosecurity-related training materials and courses suited to different industries, levels and skill sets.

Designed with learners in mind, the Hub is easy to navigate with a library of plant, animal and aquatic biosecurity training that is searchable using a topic, keyword, location, preferred method of delivery.

The quality assurance protocols in place ensures each course listed meets the required standard.

The Hub can be found at and features 64 online training courses with plans for continuous expansion.

Organisations with biosecurity training packages interested in contributing to the Hub are encouraged to make contact with PHA via

New dairy research gets to the root of soil health

The Victorian Government is working closely with Victoria’s dairy industry to improve soil health through a new innovative research program.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Michaela Settle visited Fernleigh Park Pastoral in Fiskville recently to launch the $7 million DairySoil project, coinciding with World Soil Day celebrations.

The DairySoil project will introduce cutting-edge farming practices to help reduce industry’s use of synthetic fertiliser, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and increase productivity and resilience to climate change.

This program will utilise state-of-art sensors to measure, map, retain and recover the moisture and nutrient levels needed to produce reliable and sustainable soil.

In partnership with Dairy Australia and the Gardiner Foundation DairySoil is spearheading the initiative as part $42.5 million DairyFeedbase23-28 program. The DairyFeedbase23-28 project is supporting transformational programs across soils, forages and animal nutrition over the next five years.

From researching soil health and pasture composition changes, to measuring and reducing methane emissions, the DairyFeedbase program will aim to increase the profitability and productivity of dairy farms while minimising their impact on the environment.

The projects will also link to other national research underway and make the most of Victoria's world-class facilities at Agriculture Victoria’s Ellinbank and Hamilton SmartFarms and the AgriBio Centre for AgriBiosciences in Bundoora.

For more information visit,

After the flood podcast introduction episode
Victoria’s Rural Assistance Commissioner, Peter Tuohey leaning on a fence. The text reads: Ag Vic Talk

Welcome to After the flood: stories of farmer recovery and resilience, season 7 of AgVic Talk.  

This season zeroes in on the practical aspects of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters.  

In this introduction episode, Victoria’s Rural Assistance Commissioner, Peter Tuohey, says listeners will hear from farmers who’ve weathered floods, how they’re recovering and what they’ve learned along the way.   

The series has been produced by Agriculture Victoria in partnership with the National Centre for Farmer Health. 

Listen online via the AgVic website.

New community forestry support offered to workers

The Victorian Government is giving community foresters and their workers access to more transition support, with the Community Forestry Support Package now open to help workers transition out of native timber harvesting.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently announced the support package, which gives Forest Produce Licensees and firewood operators Timber Sales Agreements compensation for undersupply since November 2022.

The package will also compensate operators for plant and equipment no longer required and reimburse businesses in full for worker redundancy payments.

Community forestry workers, including seed collectors and chip-truck drivers, can also access Worker Support Payments, including redundancy top-ups and a $3,000 one-off hardship payment, via the Victorian Forestry Worker Support Program.

Businesses can choose whether they want to exit straight away or nominate a date up to 30 June 2024 and continue working until then.

Any businesses that are not eligible for the Community Forestry Support Package, but are heavily dependent on the native timber industry, will be able to access plant and equipment compensation and reimbursement in full for worker redundancies through the Forestry Business Support Package due to open by the end of the year.

Over the next six months, the Victorian Government will also update Forest Produce Licenses which will include the consideration of licenses for limited and very small-scale felling for niche industries such as instrument making.

Accessing the Community Forestry Support Package now does not prevent businesses from undertaking any future community forestry activities.

For more information on how to get local support, please visit or contact the Forestry Transition Hotline on 1800 318 182.

To register for the Victorian Forestry Worker Support Program call 1800 177 001 or visit

A taste you can trace – Episode 8
A taste you can trace podcast episode 8, a small cartoon truck drives along a path past the stops of farm, food transformation, wholesaler, distribution, retailer and consumer.

Having a good traceability system in place means that if a food safety issue were to occur, your business can respond quickly and more efficiently. 

In this episode, Dr. Adele Yates from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) explores food safety standards and the difference between recalls and incidents, using examples of recent food safety events.  

Listen online via the AgVic website.

Episode 1: From crisis to cash flow with Chris Steele
Chris Steele from Ulunja farm. Ag Vic Talk.

A realistic cash-flow budget, a good recovery plan (and a fair bit of built-in resilience), helped Ulunja farm – a 95-hectare Manuka tea tree plantation on the Murray River - navigate the October 2022 floods.  

Despite the blow of losing most of the plantings, the farm’s manager Chris Steele has remained positive about the future of the First Nations agriculture enterprise. 

Listen via the AgVic website.

More work for our harvest workforce

The Victorian Government is investing in Victoria’s forest contractor workforce – creating more regional jobs and further strengthening the state’s bushfire management.

Minister for Environment Steve Dimopoulos recently announced the Victorian Government will offer VicForests harvest contractors with secure five-year Forest and Fire Management Services Agreements, starting from 1 July 2024.

Harvest contractors opting to take up the five-year contracts will carry out critical Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) bushfire risk reduction works – better protecting Victoria’s regional communities and natural landscapes from fire.

Harvest and Haulage contractors will also be able to undertake forest and fire management works through three seasonal work packages until 30 June 2024 – ensuring our contractors have work until the Agreements have been finalised.

The Summer 2023/24 and Autumn 2024 packages are set to follow this year’s Spring package, which will focus on strategic fuel breaks and storm debris removal.

A Harvest and Haulage Support Package has also been released to support contractors to take up a new contract or exit the industry. The package includes compensation for equipment, loss of income and will reimburse businesses in full for worker statutory redundancy payments.

The new contracts and support packages bring the Victorian Government’s total support for the forestry transition to more than $1.2 billion.

To learn more about the Forest and Fire Management Services Agreements and the Harvest and Haulage Support Package, visit or contact the Forestry Transition Hotline on 1800 318 182.

Harvester and crop fires
Machinery on farm, it has been burnt. The text reads: avoid crop fires. Think twice before using farm machinery on hot, dry, windy days.

We know farmers want to protect their communities as well as their own equipment and harvest, so we urge them to consider these tips before undertaking work this weekend:

  • Postponing paddock work during the highest fire-risk periods
  • Run regular maintenance checks on farm machinery
  • Monitor weather conditions throughout the day and stop operations if it changes.

You are required by law to have a nine-litre water-pressured extinguisher on hand.

Visit the CFA website for more information on preventing harvester fires

Sign up to MyCFA to get local information on how to plan and prepare for fires and other emergencies in your area.

Please note: For emergency warnings always go straight to VicEmergency.

Matching soil performance indicators to farming systems survey

Researchers at Federation University Australia in partnership with the Soil CRC are looking into decisions that farmers in different areas make about soil indicators to inform and support their farming practices. Farmers are invited to participate in a survey that will help this research.

A short video introducing this research is available here.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. 

Further information about the research is available here: Plain Language Information Statement. 

Enquiries or to request a hard copy of the survey please contact Dr Nathan Robinson, Federation University Australia by email or telephone (03) 5327 8436.

Free financial counselling with RFCS
A person standing in a paddock looking at the sunset. The text reads free financial counselling with the Rural Financial Counselling Service. 1300 771 741.

Have you been impacted by recent floods, fires or dry seasonal conditions?

The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides a free and confidential financial counselling service to eligible farmers and small related enterprises who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can help you to access available support, analyse your business situation, negotiate with lenders and develop strategies to improve your financial position. 

To find your closest service visit the Rural Financial Counselling Service website or call 1300 771 741.

Irrigation incentives available in Central Gippsland (MIA)

Funding is now available for initiatives that help you achieve water, labour and cost savings along with wider environmental benefits.

The proposed irrigation upgrade must be on an approved farm plan to be eligible.

Eligible projects:

Re-use systems: 

  • Maximum size 1 ML for every 10 ha of catchment
  • Incentive of $400/ha (ex. GST) up to a maximum 50% of project costs.

Best practice surface irrigation: 

  • Incentive of $200/ha (ex. GST) up to a maximum 50% of project costs.

Flood to pressurised (spray) irrigation conversion: 

  • $600/ha incentive (ex. GST) up to a maximum 50% of project costs.

Check out this chat with Rob Hornby, who recently converted his farm from flood irrigation to a system using pipe and riser technology.

For more information please contact one of our irrigation extension officers:

Alexis Killoran: 0428 387 869 or

Caelan McIntosh: 0476 885 716 or

In case you missed it
Image of a sunset with the text 'in case you missed it'

Recording: Managing fire risk on farms - tools, tips, resources and a seasonal update

Every farm and farming business is unique, and being well prepared for bushfires can assist farm businesses to recover faster.

Planning and preparing for the bushfire season includes identifying risks and undertaking tasks to prepare your farm ahead of the season.

Watch the recording here.

Stories of recovery and resilience told in new podcast series

Agriculture Victoria’s new podcast ‘After the flood: stories of farmer recovery and resilience’ explores the recovery required after a natural disaster, the support provided and the resilience of Victorian famers, including how different industries are recovering.

Read the full media release here.

Sign up to the Weed Spotter newsletter

The Weed Spotter newsletter provides updates on the latest in weed news in Victoria, recent infestations found and removed, and where to go to report suspected weeds in your area. 

Subscribe to the Weed Spotter newsletter here.

Unlocking the keys to soil carbon

A new round of soil research is underway as part of a long-term Agriculture Victoria experiment based at Longerenong which hopes to resolve soil carbon decline in cropping systems.

Read the full media release here.

New grants set to tackle weeds and pests

The Victorian Government is delivering a new round of grants that will help Victorian farmers manage established weeds and pest animals.

Read the full media release here.

2023/2024 State and Territory Landcare Awards

Nominations for the 2023/2024 State and Territory Landcare Awards are now open!

In each state and territory, the Landcare Awards will be granted to recognise the achievements that encompass climate action, environmental leadership, sustainable agriculture, First Nations, Women in Landcare, youth, Coastcare and children.

Nominating is free. You can nominate yourself, or you can nominate someone you know who should be recognised.

Nominate here.

What's on
Image of a group of people at an event in a green paddock listening to a presenter with the text '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.

Yarram Discussion Group - Summer nutrition with Matt James

When: Tuesday 12 December, 10:30 am - 2:00 pm
Where: On-farm in Won Wron
Register here.

Come along for an opportunity to discuss how you can maximise milk production and profit by nailing summer dairy cow nutrition.

Matt James from Browns Stockfeeds will discuss our host-farm's summer nutrition strategy, answering your questions along the way.

Getting the most out of the Bureau of Meteorology and Agriculture Victoria’s seasonal climate forecasts products
A tractor in a paddock, the clouds are dark and grey and there is a rainbow in the sky. The text reads: plan, prepare and respond: 5 seasonal climate forecasting tools webinar.

Understanding the likelihood of an extreme weather event can assist farmers to plan, prepare and respond through better on-farm decision making.

The Bureau of Meteorology has 5 seasonal climate forecasting tools to provide more insight on the chance of extreme weather events.

In this webinar, Dale Grey, Seasonal Risk Agronomist, will share the 5 new tools which can provide information on the chance of unseasonal and extreme temperatures and rainfall for the weeks, months or seasons ahead and how farmers can use them to plan operations.

Graeme Anderson, Climate Specialist, will highlight Agriculture Victoria's climate update information, newsletters, soil moisture monitoring reports and climate and weather courses.

When: Wednesday 13 December, 12 - 1 pm.

Register here.

Feed pads, renewable energy and more!
Cows in a paddock. The text reads: feed pads, renewable energy and more! Join national experts and specialists on the latest key technologies seen on-farm. Wednesday 13 December, 9 am to 2:30 pm. Jelbart Dairy, Leongatha South.

Join national experts and specialists on the latest key technologies seen first-hand on-farm. 

When: Wednesday 13 December, 9 am – 2:30 pm

Where: Jelbart Dairy, Leongatha South (exact location provided on registration). 

Register your place here.

This free event will include interactive elements involving our special guests – short talks, a visit to 3 locations on the property and a panel session.

Topics covered will include:

  • Reducing the environmental footprint
  • Technologies and programs in reducing methane emissions
  • Australian guidelines for loose housing, cattle shelters and feed pads
  • Related climatic past and future trends.

Our guest speakers:

  • Tim Jelbart – Jelbart Farm
  • Jennie Pryce – Agriculture Victoria
  • Karen Romano – Dairy Australia
  • Peter Best – Innovative Farm Services. 
Farm Safety Dining Table Talks webinar

When: Wednesday 13 December, 6:30 - 9 pm

Register here.

Farmers are invited to join MOFS Senior Farm Safety Advisor John Darcy, for a webinar version of his sought after Farm Safety Visit Dining Table Talk.

This is a free online event for all Victorian farmers. VFF members and non-members are all welcome.

John will deliver his full dining table presentation, covering the following topics and many more:

  • How to use OH&S policies and procedures in your business
  • How to involve your employees in establishing a good safety culture
  • Understanding your legal duties, and how you can tackle them in a practical and methodical way.      

For more information email

MID Discussion group - Market update and Christmas break-up

When: Thursday 14 December, 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Where: Macalister Demonstration Farm, 285 Boggy Creek Road, Riverslea

Register here.

Come along and hear from Market specialists from both Commonwealth Bank and Dairy Australia on the current state of the market and what next year might look like. Christmas lunch included. 

Australian Dairy Conference – February 2024

Australia’s premier dairy event will return to the Victorian capital of Melbourne in February 2024 from 12-14 February.

Program details and more information to be released throughout 2023.

Find out more here.

Raising the Roof 2024 – save the date
Cows feeding from a trough with the text: raising the roof 2024, save the date. Hunter Valley, New South Wales. 27-29 February 2024.

Presented by Dairy Australia and Agriculture Victoria, Raising the Roof is the only Australian dairy industry event dedicated to intensive farm systems.

When: 27 – 29 February, 2024

Where: Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Tickets available here.

For more information email

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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.


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