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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday, 4 May 2023
In this edition:
Ag recovery update for flood and storm-affected farmers
application time for primary producer financial support extended

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 8.30am and 5pm) 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
supporting farmers, farm workers and farming families

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.

Regional Drought Resilience Plans – have your say
Drought resilience plans banner image

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

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

The Drought Resilience Plan is one of nine 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

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 two 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

Young Farmer Scholarship closing soon
a woman in a pink shirt leaning on a fence

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.

Questions to ask before selling carbon
a green paddock with a fence on the left and a row of trees on the right

Have you noticed a lot of commentary about carbon markets in the press recently?  

An emerging carbon offset market offering payments for new carbon sequestered on-farm sounds like an interesting option for farmers hoping to reduce their emissions profile and diversify their business income stream. 

To support farmers learn more about getting involved in this market, Agriculture Victoria has developed a list of questions to ask before selling carbon. 

The first thing to consider is the reason why you might like to sell sequestered carbon from trees or soils on your property.

Questions include, but are not limited to: 

  • Does selling carbon fit your long-term property/business goal?
  • Might you want to retain your carbon for use in offsetting/insetting against your own farm emissions at some future point? 
  • Are you prepared to undertake benchmarking, ongoing sampling, and measurement activities to verify carbon stocks?

Participation as a seller of carbon is voluntary, so farmers get to choose if they would like to participate as a seller of carbon into the offsets market.

Some questions to ask include, but are not limited to:

  • Will any longer-term covenants be placed on my land?
  • What happens if the carbon offset company goes broke?
  • Will the carbon offset company require access to my property and if so, how often? 

In addition to selling carbon, there are also many other practical ways that farmers can reduce emissions or increase carbon on their farm and the 'Making cent$ of carbon and emissions on-farm' booklet provides practical actions that farm businesses can take now to improve their emissions performance.

If you’re interested in selling carbon, seek independent legal and financial advice to ensure that you are aware of all the considerations and obligations that apply in this developing market.  

For more information visit Agriculture Victoria or the Australian Government – Clean Energy Regulator.

MLA Producer Demonstration Site Program
2023-24 MLA producer demonstration site applications now open

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

Free online training modules for Emergency Animal Disease awareness
online training emergency animal disease awareness

Farmers across Victoria are encouraged to complete a series of free online training modules to help them protect their animals from diseases and biosecurity threats.

Agriculture Victoria’s online training modules aim to give farmers an overview of the risk and impacts of an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak.

They raise awareness of foot-and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, what a livestock standstill means for the industry and how people can visit farming properties safely.

The four modules include:

  • Foot-and-mouth disease awareness
  • Lumpy Skin disease awareness
  • Come clean, stay clean, go clean - when visiting farms
  • Livestock standstill for Foot-and-mouth disease.

Each module takes about 15 minutes to complete.

To get started, click here.

Fox and wild dog bounty collection details
fox and wild dog bounty collections from back 6 march 2023

Ballarat collections fox only
Address: Ballarat Field and Game (Haddon Common Bushland Reserve) 726 Bells Road, Haddon.

Time: 1 – 3 pm


  • Monday, 8 May
  • Monday, 5 June
  • Monday, 3 July
  • Monday, 31 July
  • Monday, 28 August
  • Monday, 25 September
  • Monday, 23 October.

Geelong collections  fox only

Address:16 Cadman Terrace, North Geelong.

Time: 9.30 – 11.30 am


  • Tuesday, 9 May
  • Tuesday, 6 June
  • Tuesday, 4 July
  • Tuesday, 1 August
  • Tuesday, 29 August 
  • Tuesday, 26 September
  • Tuesday, 24 October.

Colac collections  fox only

Please note: Bounty collections at Colac have been relocated to 23A Hugh Murray Drive, Colac East.

Time: 1.30 – 3.30 pm


  • Tuesday, 9 May
  • Tuesday, 6 June
  • Tuesday, 4 July
  • Tuesday, 1 August
  • Tuesday, 29 August
  • Tuesday, 26 September
  • Tuesday, 24 October.

Warrnambool collections - fox only
Address: 703–709 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool.

Time: 8.30 – 10.30 am


  • Wednesday, 10 May
  • Wednesday, 7 June
  • Wednesday, 5 July 
  • Wednesday, 2 August
  • Wednesday, 30 August
  • Wednesday, 27 September
  • Wednesday, 25 October.

Hamilton collections  fox only

Address: Depot, Hamilton Centre, Research Station Road,

Time: 1.30 – 3.30 pm


  • Wednesday, 10 May
  • Wednesday, 7 June
  • Wednesday, 5 July
  • Wednesday, 2 August 
  • Wednesday, 30 August 
  • Wednesday, 27 September
  • Wednesday, 25 October.

For more information visit:

Livestock Farm Monitoring Project calling for participants
livestock farm monitor sheep and beef farm benchmarking

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 see the project website or contact

Watch our invasive species videos
Invasive species videos banner image

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.

Click here to learn more

AgVic Talk on all things AgTech and Energy
ag tech and energy season 5 agriculture victoria

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.
In case you missed it

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


Aquatic outbreak resources now available

Vets, fish farm workers, fisheries staff and scientists could gain valuable insights into aquatic animal disease events thanks to a new book and online courses from Agriculture Victoria.


Farmer feedback sought to improve farm safety

The Victorian Farmers Federation’s Making our Farms Safer Project (VFF MOFS) is calling for farmer feedback to gauge the impact of the ‘Making our Farm Families Safer’ campaign, which aims to improve the safety of children on farms.

VFF President Emma Germano is urging farmers to complete a short anonymous survey that will be used to inform future campaigns and help reduce tragedy from striking Victorian farming families.

“We’re asking farmers themselves to do a short survey and let us know what worked as part of the campaign and what they’d like to see in future to assist us in our commitment to improve safety outcomes for children on farms.”

“This campaign couldn’t be more important. Recent figures from Agrifutures Australia reported 55 deaths on farms nation-wide in 2022, demonstrating that we must continue to work towards keeping every family member and employee safe on our farms,” Ms Germano said.

The ‘Making our Farm Families Safer’ campaign, including the Child Safe on Farms handbook, was initiated in response to a Coronial recommendation in 2021 following the death of seven children on farms between 2016 and 2021.

It launched during Farm Safety Week in July 2021 and is primarily aimed at providing information, tools and resources to those caring for children aged 10-15, who are performing farm work tasks.

Since launching, one campaign video featuring the Head of Trauma and Burns Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Dr Warwick Teague was viewed over 55,000 times on YouTube and the guidebook has been downloaded more than 1,000 times per month from the MOFS website.

“We know thousands of people viewed the campaign videos, read case studies and the guidebook. Now we’re asking farmers what they’d like to see in the future,” Ms Germano said.

The two minute survey and can be completed here or by visiting and is open until 23 May.

This initiative was developed by the Victorian Farmers Federation Making Our Farms Safer Project with support from KidSafe Vic, the TAC and FarmSafe Australia.

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.

Unravelling the updated EPA environmental legislation

The new Environmental Protection Act 2017 officially came into effect on 1 July 2021.

Changes to the Act have ramifications for dairy farmers.

This two-hour workshop, delivered by Cath Lescun (Dairy Australia), Kerrod Moller-Nielsen (EPA) and Rachael Campbell (Agriculture Victoria), will assist farmers to better understand the recent changes to EPA legislation for their farming business.

WHEN: Tuesday 9 May

WHERE: Terang Civic Hall, High Street, Terang

TIME: 11 am - 1 pm


Agriculture Victoria and RSPCA Victoria: Keeping your cattle healthy webinar
Cattle image

Agriculture Victoria is teaming up with RSPCA Victoria to present a webinar about cattle health and biosecurity management.

Keeping Your Cattle Healthy, to be held on Wednesday 10 May from 6pm to 7pm, will provide smaller-scale farmers with important information and practical tips to help ensure their cattle are healthy, productive, and profitable.

The one hour session will cover a range of topics, including how to manage on-farm biosecurity, assessing and monitoring cattle health and feed requirements.

Brett Davidson from Agriculture Victoria and Rachael Laukart from RSPCA will be presenting at the webinar.

Both presenters have extensive experience in animal management and are passionate about helping Victorian farmers to care for their animals.

“Livestock health and productivity go hand-in-hand, and both are crucial for the success of any farming operation,” Mr Davidson said.

“By implementing good biosecurity measures, all landholders can better protect their cattle and farms from diseases and pests.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with RSPCA Victoria to deliver this webinar and provide practical advice to small scale farmers on how to improve the health and wellbeing of their cattle.”

Ms Laukart said RSPCA Victoria is excited to be working with Agriculture Victoria and sharing their expertise with the community.

“Management of livestock’s ongoing health and welfare requirements are vital to producing high quality agriculture produce.

“It may sound obvious, but productive farms need productive animals, which is why a healthy herd and having the skills to assess and manage your livestock’s health are essential.”

To register your attendance, visit:

2023 BestWool/BestLamb Conference
save the date 2023 industry dinner and conference 19 - 20 June

Attention sheep industry - plans are finalising for the Agriculture Victoria 2023 BestWool/BestLamb Conference and dinner to be held in Bendigo on 19-20 June.

The dinner will be celebrating 25 years of BestWool/BestLamb network, with the conference on the following day.

Further details to come but mark your calendars now.

Farmers Perspective – taking action to reduce emissions

WHEN: 5 May, 12 - 1 pm

Online webinar

Register HERE

Agriculture Victoria has commenced an On-Farm Emissions Action Plan Pilot as part of its commitment under the Agriculture Sector Emissions Reduction Pledge to provide practical information, tools and services to support farmers understand and reduce emissions.

The team will work with up to 250 farm businesses across Victoria to estimate their on-farm emissions profile and identify potential actions to manage and reduce emissions while maintaining productivity.

In this webinar we will hear more about the pilot and learn from two of the participating farmers who have begun their journey to understand their emissions profile and taking action to reduce their emissions.

For more information email Heather Field or call 0438 391 210.

Regional Partnerships board position vacancies

The Great South Coast Regional Partnership is currently seeking two new board members. 

The Barwon Regional Partnership has one vacancy, including a Chair.

Regional Partnerships provide the Victorian Government with insights on how to support communities across Victoria to drive change, remove barriers, and take advantage of regional opportunities and strengths.

Applications close on 7 May.

Find out more here.

Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum – registrations now open

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.

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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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