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Gippsland Ag New banner; black and white dairy cows standing in a paddock. Cloudy blue sky above.
Thursday, 2 February 2023
In this edition:
Ag recovery update for flood and storm affected farmers
Rows of orchard trees. Text reads: Ag recovery update for flood and storm affected 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.  

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.

Financial support for flood- and storm-affected farmers

A support package is available for flood-affected farmers:

  • Primary Producer Recovery Grants: Up to $75,000 grants to cover 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.
  • Rural Landholder Grants: Up to $25,000 grants to cover the costs of disaster impacts for small-scale producers.
  • Primary Producer Concessional Loans: Up to $250,000 to restore or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, or to cover short-term business expenses.
  • Primary Producer Transport Subsidies: Up to $15,000 to support the transport of emergency fodder or stock drinking water, and the movement of livestock.

Primary producers are advised that grant applications close at 4 pm on Sunday 30 April.

To apply for support or for more information, visit the Rural Finance website.

National Centre for Farmer Health: flood response 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.

Ag recovery newsletter

Farmers and service providers are encouraged to subscribe to the Flood 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. 

BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Regional Roadshow
Orange coloured map of Victoria showing locations; Buniyong, Wangaratta, Dunkeld and Sale.

Hear the latest on livestock production at one of Agriculture Victoria’s regional roadshow events coming soon to Wangaratta, Sale, Buninyong and Dunkeld.

Agriculture Victoria is keen for livestock producers to attend the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Regional Roadshow, ‘High performing livestock, pastures and people’, which will deliver four half-day forums for sheep and beef producers across regional Victoria.

The roadshow is a collaboration between Agriculture Victoria and its beef and sheep networks partners Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Event locations and dates are Wangaratta (28 February), Sale (1 March), Buninyong (2 March) and Dunkeld (3 March).
All the roadshows start at 9 am, finish at 1 pm and include morning tea and lunch.

Tickets are $25 per business with up to four attendees per business and can be purchased here.

Agriculture Victoria Meat and Wool Program Manager, Lyndon Kubeil said the regional roadshows will provide the ideal opportunity to network with representatives from AgVic, AWI and MLA, along with other producers, while also hearing from leading industry experts in managing sheep and beef businesses.

“Our tagline for this series ‘High performing livestock, pastures and people’, reflects the complexity of managing agricultural businesses, plus the roadshow will provide information for producers recovering from the floods and ongoing wet conditions to support them getting back to business,” he said.

“The roadshows are designed to bring together experts from relevant management areas and promote discussion among all attendees. We have made sure there is plenty of time to catch up with the speakers and other participants over lunch.”

He said attendees will hear from five leaders in agriculture to provide technical information and practical management options.
Speakers include:

  • Dr Joan Lloyd – Animal health and welfare identifying seasonal risks and reducing reproductive losses including pneumonia, mastitis and prolapsing.
  • Cam Nicholson – Feedbase management including identifying your limiting factor and maximising returns on the increase cost of inputs including land and fertiliser.
  • Nathan Scott – Measure to manage reproduction to identify the key performance indicators of high performing females in sheep flocks and cattle herds and management to achieve them.
  • Sally Murfet – Profit and people will explore how people can improve the productivity and profitability of your business.

For more information or help in registering please call Kirstie Anderson at or on 0437 990 967.

Risk of salinity in the MID following three wet years

Farmers in the Macalister Irrigation District (MID) are being urged to look out for signs of salinity on their land following three years of consistently high rainfall.

Agriculture Victoria South-East Irrigation Regional Manager, Sarah Killury said high rainfall over the past three years, including flood and storm activity, has caused the groundwater table to rise to its highest recorded level since records started in 1996.

“The 2021 calendar year was our wettest year in the MID since 1978 based on East Sale Bureau of Meteorology data, with 2020 and 2022 also recording higher than average rainfall.

“These high rainfall years have resulted in areas of waterlogged soils across the region. Removing excess water from paddocks is critical to managing the ongoing salinity risk,” she said.

Ms Killury said Southern Rural Water’s salinity interception bores are currently operating continuously to manage groundwater levels as much as possible in target areas across the catchment.

“When the soil profile dries out and groundwater levels fall, salt may be left behind and if left unmanaged, it can impact future production capacity within low-lying areas.

“We’re encouraging farmers to be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of salinity as the soil dries out.

“Signs include a change in pasture species along check banks, indications of poor pasture or crop growth and tip burning of leaves, and the formation of a white crust over bare ground,” she said.

Ms Killury said salinity management strategies include leaching or flushing salts from the root zone of plants, using drainage options for flood irrigation to ensure water flows on and off paddocks as quickly as possible (appropriate to crop and soil type), and using fresh water to irrigate.

“In the long-term, the increased salinity risk highlights the importance of programs that improve water-use efficiency of on-farm irrigation, both now and into the future.

“Irrigation efficiency reduces recharge to shallow groundwater systems, reducing the risk of soil and groundwater salinisation.”

Further information on salinity management or flood and storm recovery is available on the Agriculture Victoria website.

For free salinity advice and water salinity testing, contact the Agriculture Victoria Irrigation Team in Maffra on 0428 387 869.

AgVic Talk on all things AgTech and Energy
animated graphice with a road down the centre, solar panels to one side and hills in the background; text reads: Ag Tech and Energy

AgVic Talk podcast is back for season five, this time talking about the future of Agricultural Technologies (AgTech) and Energy.

From solar-powered poultry farms to on-farm drone trials and the difficulties of connectivity in rural and remote areas, this season covers everything you need to further understand the evolving world of AgTech and Energy.

The series will help farmers learn what AgTech is, what energy solutions are available and how they can use them to improve productivity and efficiency on-farm.

These 14 episodes are the latest in the AgVic Talk series, which began as a pilot in August 2020 to cover contemporary commentary on how members of the agricultural community recover, grow, modernise, protect, and promote Victorian agriculture.

You can subscribe and listen to AgVic Talk wherever you get your podcasts:

  • Subscribe to AgVic Talk on Spotify
  • Subscribe to Apple podcasts.
Application period EXTENDED!
Three women talking in a paddock, large trees in the background. Text: Apply now for the 2023 Vic Rural Women's Network programs.

Applications for the 2023 Rural Women’s Network Leadership and Mentoring Programs will now close 5 pm on 27 February.

The 2023 Leadership Program will provide women with support to participate in training and study that accelerates their development as leaders.

In addition, the 2023 Mentoring Program will pair rural women together for a peer-to-peer exchange of skills and experience.

Both programs support women to work collaboratively, explore issues impacting their industries and communities and develop real solutions. 

For more information on the programs and to apply CLICK HERE.

Increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases including Murray Valley and Japanese encephalitis
Graphic. pink background and mosquitoes. Text: Don't wing it with mosquitoes

Flooding and heavy rainfall have increased the risk of a range of mosquito-borne diseases in Victoria, including Japanese encephalitis (JE) and Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE).

JE and MVE viruses can cause rare but potentially serious infections of the brain.

People who work or live on properties in northern Victoria may be at high risk of infection if they are bitten by infected mosquitoes, particularly people working or spending prolonged time outdoors in these regions.

Mosquito management on private property is the responsibility of the landowner or land occupier.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the most important way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Wear long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing when outdoors. Cover up as much as possible.
  • Use mosquito repellent that contains picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin.
  • Limit outdoor activity if mosquitoes are about (particularly at dawn and dusk when they are most active).
  • Make sure accommodation is mosquito-proof (e.g. fitted with mosquito netting or screens).
  • Reduce stagnant water around your home, yard or other property where mosquitoes can breed, by draining or filling these areas with sand or soil where possible.
  • Provide information on preventing mosquito-borne diseases to your employees. Factsheets are available.
  • Consider whether mosquito control activities such as adulticiding, larviciding or removal of breeding sites on your property are required, and seek advice from a registered pest controller if needed.

For further information and translations, visit the Protect yourself from mosquito-borne disease page.

In Victoria, JE vaccine is recommended and available free-of-charge for priority groups.

For further information see: Japanese encephalitis virus (

The 2022 Young Farmer cohort

Image: Harry Dawson

We’ve been rolling out profiles of the 2022 recipients on our social media.

You can find the recipient list here.

Introducing 2022 recipient Harry Dawson

The 2022 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship will help Harry transition from shearer to full-time sheep farmer.

As a first step, Harry will upskill by studying best practice grazing techniques for efficiency and sustainability.

He will invest in internal fencing and water troughs to divide his paddocks into smaller areas, enabling rotational grazing and increased stock numbers.

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.

Have your say in developing a new Biosecurity Strategy
developing victoria's new biosecurity strategy

You’re invited to a workshop to help develop Victoria’s new Biosecurity Strategy.

The new Biosecurity Strategy will outline the priorities for improving how biosecurity issues are managed across Victoria.

Join us in February to help identify the specific ways we can strengthen the biosecurity system.

It's critical that we have input from people across community, government and industry.

Where and when: multiple locations around Victoria and online throughout February.

Please register for the event that suits you best, via the links below:

Space in each workshop is limited, so please register now!

About the workshop

The development of the new Biosecurity Strategy, for release in 2023, is the next step following the Victorian Government’s recent endorsement of Victoria’s Biosecurity Statement.

With the statement providing a shared ambition for biosecurity in Victoria, the focus is now on turning those broad aspirations into tangible priorities.

It's crucial the strategy is informed by diverse expertise and experience – whether you a farmer, operating at a corporate or peak body level, caring for country with your local community, managing a small number of livestock on your land, or taking care of the backyard garden.

This series of workshops will bring a wide range of voices to the conversation about how we can strengthen the system to protect our land, waters, communities, culture, and economy.

Should you have any questions, please contact

The Biosecurity Strategy Development Project is part of the Victorian Government’s Strengthening Victoria’s Biosecurity System (SVBS) Program.

To receive updates about SVBS Program activities sign up to our mailing list.

Irrigation basics workshop at the Macalister Demonstration Farm
Three people standing in a paddock planted with lettuces, spray irrigation operating in the background

Are you completely new to irrigation?

Are you a farm worker needing to learn how to operate an irrigation system as part of your duties?

Agriculture Victoria is running a practical, hands-on learning day targeting farm workers who have very little or no experience with irrigation.

Workshop presenters will explain the basics of flood and spray irrigation operation. Topics include plant water requirements, spray operation, and flood operation.


Wednesday 22 February, 10 am – 1 pm
Macalister Demonstration Farm, 285 Boggy Creek Road, Riverslea
BYO lunch


Places are limited to 15 so please RSVP to Alexis Killoran on 0428 387 869 or

ABARES Outlook Conference
ABARES outlook 2023 conference 7 to 8 march

Registrations are now open for ABARES Outlook 2023 - the national forum for sharing ideas, networking and planning for the future of Australian agriculture.

Meet and reconnect with colleagues in Canberra on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March.

Click here now.

Subscribe to Gippsland Ag News

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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.


Follow us on Twitter @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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