Forward this email | View in web browser
Recovery and Resilience Farm Business Resilience Program
Monday 18 December 2023

In this edition

Latest news

  • Stories of recovery and resilience told in new podcast season
  • Flood recovery farmer perspectives video

Events, programs and workshops

  • How good is this year's fodder? Free feed testing: new dates – register by 12 January


  • New feeding livestock 'how to' videos available
  • Managing fire risk on farms – tools, tips, resources and a seasonal update webinar recording
  • Farm fire preparedness toolkit
  • Feed testing: calculating the benefits
  • Farm Fitness Checklist
  • Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool
  • My Climate View


  • Victorian flood and storm support for farmers
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • National Centre for Farmer Health
  • Health and personal wellbeing
  • Farm Business Resilience Program

Latest news
Stories of recovery and resilience told in new podcast season
Simone Murdoch, Tanya, Claire Harrison, Natalie  Sommerville (AWiA president), Bianca Jones and baby Bonnie, Dr Natalie Doran-Browne

The podcast season is being launched at a series of community events. Pictured here are some members of the group who shared their stories at the Australian Women in Agriculture conference dinner: Simone Murdoch (podcast participant), Tanya Dobrijevic (Ag Vic), Claire Harrison (podcast participant), Natalie Sommerville (AWiA president), Bianca Jones and baby Bonnie (podcast participant), and Dr Natalie Doran-Browne (podcast participant).

'After the Flood: stories of farmer recovery and resilience' is a new podcast season on the AgVic Talk channel.

The season follows the challenges faced by farmers who experienced the October 2022 floods and storms, as well as the many other recent challenges of bushfires, droughts, and even the impact of COVID-19.

To develop the season the Agriculture Victoria flood recovery team joined with the National Centre for Farmer Health and their #BuildingFarmSpirit program to approach farmers and community members to talk about their flood experiences, how they're recovering and what they've learned along the way.

The season comprises 10 episodes, and the introduction and first 3 episodes are now available, featuring:

Find AgVic Talk on your favourite podcast platform like Spotify or Apple Podcasts or go directly to the Agriculture Victoria AgVicTalk webpage.

Please feel free to rate and review our episodes and share them with your friends and family.

Flood recovery farmer perspectives video
Blue background with map of Victoria; Text reads: Flood recovery farmer perspectives

In the months following the floods, the National Centre for Farmer Health’s #BuildingFarmSpirit team spoke to more than 50 farmers, health professionals and industry advisors across Victoria about the impact the unusual season had on their health and wellbeing.

The video they compiled provides an insight to the different experiences and responses to the October 2022 floods and storms. Watch it here.

Events, programs and workshops

How good is this year's fodder? Free feed testing: new dates – register by 12 January

How does this year's fodder stack up for energy and protein?
Will it meet your livestock’s need?

Agriculture Victoria, Murrindindi Shire Council and Towong Shire/Riverine Plains are offering two free feed quality tests for farmers to check the quality of their feed sources. There is a limited number of tests available, so we’re encouraging farmers to register now.  

After the results have been returned, Agriculture Victoria will host a webinar (Towong) and workshop (Molesworth) to discuss options to keep your stock as productive as possible.

Have your feed tested and attend the webinar or workshop to learn about: 

  • Feed test result interpretation
  • Feeding Livestock website
  • Basic feed budgeting
  • Flood recovery support.

Locations and dates:

Towong Shire feed testing

  • Register here by 12 January for a free feed test
  • Follow up webinar, Wednesday 24 January, 12:30 pm

Murrindindi Shire feed testing

  • Register here by 12 January for a free feed test
  • Feed test workshop at Molesworth Hall, Tuesday 23 January, 5:30 pm 

More information: email Toni Dakis or call 0428 975 728.

Picture of Nick Linden in a red shirt, pointing to a white board showing calculations; text reads: Feeding Livestock 'How to' videos

New feeding livestock 'how to' videos available

A series of short ‘How to’ videos that work through key considerations for feeding livestock are now available on the Feeding Livestock website.

The calculations are ‘back of the envelope’, easy to follow and can be readily adapted to a range of feeding scenarios for cattle or sheep.

In the 4 videos, Livestock Industry Development Officer Nick Linden demonstrates how to calculate ‘what to feed’, ‘costing out your feeds’, ‘how much to feed’, and ‘estimating animal performance’.

  • ‘What to feed’ looks at the key considerations in choosing supplements for stock by calculating their requirements and the energy density of feed against its cost.
  • ‘Costing out your feed’ shows you how to make sure what you’re feeding to your animals is the most cost-effective option.
  • ‘How much to feed’ looks at getting the balance right in developing a feed budget by avoiding the pitfalls of too much or too little feed.
  • ‘Estimating animal performance’ covers the calculations to use in determining what level of performance you can expect from your cattle in comparing a couple of different feed stuffs.

The videos have been produced as part of Agriculture Victoria’s 2022–23 Flood and Storm Recovery Project.

Managing fire risk on farms – tools, tips, resources and a seasonal update webinar recording

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.

In this webinar recording, Land Management Extension Officer Kylie Macreadie highlights farm preparedness activities, along with tools and templates available in the new Fire Preparedness Toolkit.

Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey discusses what the current drier climate drivers of the El Nino and the positive Indian Ocean Dipole are up to as well as current soil moisture, remote sensed plant growth and grass curing.

Listen to the recording here, using the passcode Climate. The webinar runs for 63 minutes (including questions and answers).

Are you interested in more climate webinars?

The recordings are available on the Agriculture Victoria website and you can sign up for future climate webinar notifications here.

Woman kneeling in a paddock with hay, sheep grazing on hay in the background. Text reads: Now's the time to prepare your farm for the fire season

Farm fire preparedness toolkit

Agriculture Victoria’s new Fire Preparedness Toolkit is designed to assist farmers and land managers to prepare their farm for the fire season.

The toolkit contains checklists and templates to help farmers prepare their farm business, livestock, staff, and infrastructure ahead of the season.

Learning from the experiences of farmers that have been impacted by fire, the checklists and templates published in the toolkit were developed with input from farmers.

It incorporates key things that, when documented or identified as part of a preparedness plan, can ease the process of recovery after a traumatic bushfire experience.

The Fire Preparedness Toolkit and other bushfire resources are available on the Agriculture Victoria website and should be used in conjunction with existing information and resources from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and your local council.

Feed testing: calculating the benefits

Feed is more than just hay or grain, it is the energy and protein content that is most important. It is critical to purchase feed that is appropriate for your stock and meets their nutritional requirements. A simple visual assessment of feed is not sufficient to determine quality.

By doing a ‘feed test’, you take the guess work out of feed supplementation and can accurately calculate the suitability of your feed.

A feed test will provide an analysis of the nutritional composition of your feed (be it hay, silage, grain or pasture). Metabolisable Energy (ME) is a critical component required by livestock and is one of the primary determinants of feed quality.


Farm Fitness Checklist

The Farm Fitness Checklist helps farmers assess where their business is at currently, and to identify areas and opportunities to strengthen their farm business.

It covers subjects including people management, skills and training, business planning and financial performance, emergency management, infrastructure, water supply, natural resource management, risk management, succession planning, off-farm activities and more.

Download the Farm Fitness Checklist from the Agriculture Victoria website.

Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool

Farmers can use the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool (DR.SAT) to further assess their farm business resilience.

The tool includes climate projections and farm business resilience resources to support farmers strengthen their farm business.

My Climate View

The My Climate View tool helps farmers understand the historical, seasonal and future climate at their location to help them make informed decisions for their farm business.

It provides farmers with historical data (1961-2021), seasonal forecasts (1-3 months) as well as future climate projections based on the 15 years before and after 2030, 2050 and 2070, for a given location.

Victorian flood and storm support for farmers

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. 

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.

Since the flood and storm event began in October 2022, Agriculture Victoria has delivered 365 recovery activities, engaging 3,898 farmers impacted by the 2022-23 flooding and hail events. Delivery includes 196 community meetings and 190 technical events.

These activities have provided tangible support and information to farmers recovering from floods and storms in a range of areas including grazing, cropping and pasture management, irrigation and horticulture system rehabilitation, land management, animal health and nutrition, climate and seasonal outlook and pest and weed management.

Farmers are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Recovery team on Phone: 0427 694 185 (Mon-Fri between 8.30 am and 5 pm) or Email

Rural Financial Counselling Service
Man standing in a paddock looking across at the sunset; text reads: Free financial counselling with the Rural Financial Counselling Service

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

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) 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.

Find your closest service here or call 1300 771 741.

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) is committed to supporting primary producers whose properties, livestock or crops were damaged or lost in the floods and storms. There are a number of resources available on the NCFH website to support farmer health, wellbeing and safety.

Managing stress on the farm

Click to read or download this Managing Stress on the Farm book from the National Centre for Farmer Health website. You can also request free hard copies from the website.

Health and personal wellbeing

It is normal to have strong reactions following a distressing or frightening event and people can experience a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioural reactions.

There are a number of support services available (listed below) to assist you and your family recover from the strong emotional or physical reactions you may be experiencing.

Are you concerned about your own mental health? Reach out to Lifeline for a safe place to talk on 13 11 14.

Available support includes:

Farm Business Resilience Program

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.

Subscribe to the Recovery and Resilience newsletter

Finding the newsletter helpful? Then why not forward it to a friend to subscribe?

It's easy – subscribe by clicking this link.

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

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


Privacy | DisclaimerEmail:


This newsletter is distributed by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action.