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Thursday, 18 April 2024

In this edition:

Interstate grain and hay must pass Vic biosecurity laws
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Jim Moran, Victorian Grains Industry Biosecurity Officer 

Livestock producers are reminded they must adhere to biosecurity laws when importing grain and fodder from interstate.

Varying weather conditions since late 2023 are likely to have impacted the quality and quantity of available local fodder across much of eastern Australia, resulting in livestock producers sourcing interstate fodder to meet ongoing feed demand.

Fodder movement laws are in place to prevent the spread of weeds, pests, and diseases beyond known infestations and onto your paddocks.

To mitigate these threats, Agriculture Victoria administers legislation (Plant Biosecurity Act 2010), aimed at preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of biosecurity threats.

This legislation describes restrictions on the entry into Victoria of material which is a host of a specified pest or disease.

There are penalties for non-compliance with the Plant Biosecurity Act, so please check all the biosecurity requirements that apply to the importation of grain, fodder and other livestock feed products in the Victorian Plant Quarantine Manual (PQM)

In some cases, the consignment will need to travel with a Plant Health Certificate (PHC) issued by Biosecurity Officers in the source state.

This certificate assures Victoria the prescribed conditions for entry, including sampling, testing, inspection, and other analyses, have been conducted and the consignment is free from risky pests and diseases.

If inspections and certification are required, there will be additional costs beyond the quoted price for the product.

An example – cereal grain and hay for feeding livestock

The entry or importation of cereal grain (wheat, barley, oats) and lucerne, pasture, and cereal hay into Victoria for livestock feed is prohibited unless it meets Condition 20A of the Victorian PQM.

This condition states:

  • it must originate from a state or territory free from Annual Ryegrass Toxicity (ARGT), including Queensland, Northern Territory, and Tasmania, where the respective state government has issued an area freedom certificate for ARGT
  • if it comes from New South Wales, Western Australia, and South Australia, it will need to travel with a Plant Health Certificate (PHC) issued by Biosecurity Officers in that state. This assures Victoria the consignment is free from ryegrass containing the bacterium that causes ARGT
  • if grown or packed on a property within 25 kilometres of a green snail infestation, it is prohibited under Condition 23D in the Victorian PQM. A Plant Health Certificate (PHC) or Plant Health Assurance Certificate (PHAC) must accompany the consignment to certify compliance with this entry condition.

The entry or importation of grain legumes (chickpeas, faba beans, field peas, lentils and lupins), from any state, into Victoria for stock feed only, is allowed without restrictions.

Related biosecurity matters

  • It is important to note importing seed into Victoria for planting involves further and different quarantine conditions to be met and may well be prohibited, depending on the origin state and species of plant.
  • The Catchment and Land Protection (CaLP) Act states that you can’t bring noxious weeds into Victoria and that anything contaminated with noxious weeds are prohibited. Information about weeds that should be vigilantly monitored for can be found here
  • Be rigorous with your interrogation about the quality, integrity, providence and composition of the feed you’re buying and importing. You don’t want to import new problems such as noxious and problematic invasive weeds.
  • If possible, feed your livestock only in designated quarantine paddocks, where any potential issues can be contained and are easier to look for. Thereafter, be on the lookout for anything new or suspicious that germinates in your paddock and have it identified and eradicated quickly.
  • Practical and inexpensive farm biosecurity tactics are found at Farm Biosecurity and Biosecurity | Agriculture Victoria

For more information on the biosecurity entry conditions, when importing feed for your livestock from interstate, and for any other biosecurity query please contact Agriculture Victoria to speak to a Biosecurity officer on 136 186.

Supporting biosecurity in Timor-Leste and Victoria
Agriculture Victoria research scientists and animal health officers with Timorese vets during their most recent visit

ABOVE: Agriculture Victoria research scientists and animal health officers with Timorese vets during their most recent visit

Five Agriculture Victoria staff have returned from Timor-Leste, where they gained valuable experience in managing and preparing for emergency animal diseases as part of the Victorian Government’s animal health partnership with the neighbouring country.

This is the second year of a five-year, $3.5 million program funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for Agriculture Victoria to share biosecurity expertise and training opportunities with scientists, technicians, and farmers in Timor-Leste.

Agriculture Victoria Research Leader Professor Grant Rawlin said in each visit, a new group of staff will gain field experience with diseases that are not present in Australia.

‘Through this partnership we’re able to learn a lot from Timor-Leste about diseases that are not present in Victoria, and gain real, on-the-ground experience,’ Professor Rawlin said.

This visit was the first of a new series of exchanges which will see three rotating groups of Animal Health Officers travel to Timor-Leste twice per year.

During the three week visit in March, the five Agriculture Victoria staff participated with Timor-Leste staff in hands-on training, joined a Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) simulation exercise, and worked with communities on buffalo milking and minimising risks of brucellosis.

This builds on significant work since the 2019 outbreak of African swine fever in Timor-Leste, where Agriculture Victoria veterinary team members supported the response and formed ongoing partnerships.

Since then, the partnership has deepened, with the Agriculture Victoria research team continuing to train local veterinarians to use diagnostic tools, including a real-time method for detecting different microbial agents in animal samples, and a portable test for pathogenic viruses.

Suzanne Wilson-Uilelea, Chargé d'affaires at the Australian Embassy, Timor-Leste said Australia is proud to partner with Timor-Leste to improve biosecurity and animal health.

‘This program is helping smallholder farmers to protect their valuable livestock assets and improve their livelihoods and food security.’

These skills will support Timor-Leste’s animal health and biosecurity initiatives, ensuring the nation can respond to potential disease outbreaks.

The program also strengthens biosecurity across the region, helping to safeguard Australia from exotic animal diseases.

More support for communities to tackle pests

The Victorian Government is empowering local community groups to help protect their farms, local environment and the community from the threat of weeds and pests.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently awarded grants totalling $500,000 to 16 Victorian organisations as part of the Partnership Against Pests Program – which delivers industry and community-led actions that target weeds and pests in key agricultural areas.

Established weeds and pest animals damage our landscapes, impact agricultural production, are a risk to international market access and damage culturally sensitive sites.

They are estimated to cost Victorian farmers $869 million every year in management and lost production costs.

Grants delivered through the Partnership Against Pests Program will ensure the people most affected by widely established invasive species are central to identifying problems, creating strategies and solutions that help limit their spread and reduce their impact.

Projects being funded will improve local knowledge, capability and encourage collective efforts to manage local established weeds and pests.

The Mitta 2 Murray Landcare project will provide opportunities for people to gather, learn and share information about weed and pest animal management. This includes the delivery of events at several locations over the network.

This follows $250,000 already awarded through the program to support the work of Victoria’s 4 Community Pest Management Groups - the Victorian Rabbit Action Network, Victorian Blackberry Taskforce, Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party and Victorian Gorse Taskforce.

Click here for more information about the Partnership Against Pests Grants Program, including a full list of Round 2 grant recipients.

Queensland fruit fly home gardener survey
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Has the word got out to home gardeners in your region about Queensland Fruit Fly and its management?

Please take Agriculture Victoria’s short 5 minute online survey to help them to understand the answer to that question?

The survey is being conducted throughout the three key horticultural regions of Goulburn Murray, Greater Sunraysia and the Yarra Valley.

All responses are anonymous and the feedback collected will help create resources to further support home gardeners to manage Queensland fruit fly.

The survey is open until 30 June 2024.

To participate please click here

Calf breeding survey
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This survey about the Australian genetic evaluation system will help Data Gene plan for the delivery of breeding values (ABVs) that improve calf health. Calf ABVs are still in the research stage but early results suggest that it is possible and practical to breed for healthier calves.

This survey asks questions about your operation, your breeding trait priorities and how you would like calf breeding values to be presented. It will take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Complete the survey here.

Advance your career with a farming and agriculture sector women’s leadership scholarship
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Partial scholarships of $1,000 - $5,000 are available to help women in select industries participate in our world-class leadership courses.

Courses are available for women at all levels.

Apply by Friday 26 April 2024.

Enquire at Farming and Agriculture - Women & Leadership Australia or call 1300 938 571.

Four men convicted for illegal spotlighting and firearms offences in Omeo
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Four men from the Latrobe Valley in Victoria have been convicted in the Magistrates Court for illegal spotlighting and firearms offences near Omeo.

All four men received convictions for spotlighting and firearm related offences, were ordered to pay a total of $2,200 and had their firearms, ammunition, thermal optics, spotlights, and Sambar and Hog Deer stag heads forfeited and destroyed.

Three of the men were issued with 12-month good behaviour bonds, while a fourth received a 12-month community corrections order.

Three of the men also had their firearms licences suspended and a fourth man was convicted for using a firearm while prohibited.

The Game Management Authority’s (GMA) Director of Compliance and Intelligence, Zac Powell said the GMA executed search warrants on properties in Moe and Morwell in December 2022, as part of an investigation into reports of illegal spotlighting.

'The search of the properties and admissions from the men linked them to the illegal spotlighting reports, resulting in their arrest.'

Mr Powell said illegally spotlighting deer at night is dangerous and can put communities, properties and livestock at risk.

'Those who break the law face significant fines and penalties including prosecution, having equipment confiscated and Game and Firearms Licences cancelled. In some cases, offenders may face jail terms.'

'Thank you to the community members and hunters who report illegal spotlighting to the GMA.'

Hunters and the public are urged to report illegal spotlighting to the GMA through its website at or by calling 136 186.

The GMA assesses all reports of illegal behaviour and works closely with its partner agencies to conduct enforcement and compliance operations across Victoria.

Fox and wild dog bounty
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Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March 2024.

Please continue to check our website for the latest information, collection centres and dates. CLICK HERE

For any assistance, please speak to our bounty collection staff on collection days or call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Applications open for Livestock Advisory Committees
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Are you a skilled sheep, goat or cattle industry professional looking to grow your networks?

The Sheep and Goat and Cattle Compensation Advisory committees are recruiting!

We’re looking for applicants with knowledge across a range of expertise including:

  • sheep, goat or cattle allied industries, including across the supply chain
  • biosecurity or market access
  • quality assurance and food safety
  • finance, legal practice or business management
  • agricultural, animal or veterinary science
  • public policy.

For more details and to apply visit 

Cattle Compensation Advisory Committee

Sheep and Goat Compensation Advisory Committee

Fresh insights on food safety: A research survey of fresh produce stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre (FPSC) - ANZ invites you to participate in our research survey aimed at improving food safety standards within the Australian and New Zealand Fresh Produce Industry.

Your participation will help us to better understand Industry needs, gather insights, and identify opportunities for outreach, support and research.

By sharing your experiences and perspectives, you can help us in tailoring food safety engagement strategies to meet the specific needs of growers, food safety managers, supply chain stakeholders, researchers, and experts.

Together, we can strengthen collaboration, elevate industry standards, and ensure the safety and quality of fresh produce for consumers.

Help us to help you by sharing your insights – we are eager to hear from you.

Thank you for your participation and commitment to building a safe future for our industry.

The research survey includes 25 questions and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Biosecurity Basics – Episode 1 Erica Smith and Richard Smith
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Episode 1: Biosecurity Basics with Erica Smith and Richard Smith
We all play a role in keeping Victoria safe from biosecurity risks.

Erica Smith from Glenstrae Highlands has implemented simple, yet effective steps to enhance her on-farm biosecurity.

Caring for her highland cows, her property and, in turn, her neighbours.

Agriculture Victoria’s Richard Smith discusses how you can reduce biosecurity risks to your property.

Listen to Biosecurity Basics via the AgVic website.

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

To find out more about Agriculture Victoria’s work on managing biosecurity in Victoria, visit our website

Recording: Victoria's seasonal climate outlook and soil moisture update for autumn
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In this webinar recording, Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey provides an update on Victoria's climate outlook for autumn.

Dale focuses on the current seasonal climate outlook and climate driver activity.

Dale Boyd provides a seasonal update of the cropping and soil moisture conditions as measured by the Agriculture Victoria moisture probe network.

This includes a review of the distribution of summer rain and how the season is tracking compared to last year and other years in the monitoring period of the probes.

View the recording

Password: Climate

This webinar was originally presented on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

All climate webinar recordings can be found on our website.

AgTech Innovators Series 2 Episode 5
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Episode 5: Cultivating success for AgTech with Paul Voutier

Building a startup and cultivating success.

Discover how Ambit Robotics is using generative AI imaging to help growers understand prospective yields and improve production.

Paul Voutier shares valuable insights about using robotics in agriculture in this episode of AgTech Innovators.

Listen online via the AgVic website

Podcast – After the flood series – episode 7
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Episode 7: Active Farmers: Building strong bodies and stronger communities with Claire Harrison

Treat your body like you treat your tractor.

That's what Claire Harrison tells the Active Farmers who come to her group fitness classes in rural Victoria.

Your farm can’t run if your tractor breaks down, it’s the same with your body.

With floods and other stresses hitting farmers, hear how Claire’s classes have become more than just an opportunity to exercise.

Listen via the AgVic website

In case you missed it

EOI for on-farm demonstration opportunity – now open

Is there a technology, innovation or research finding that your producer group is keen to test on-farm?

Agriculture Victoria, in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), is conducting a new producer demonstration program with the opportunity to establish five new on-farm demonstration projects.


Handle with care: bobby calf transport requirements

Reminding producers of their responsibilities when transporting bobby calves.


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.

Joint Ag Vic, Riverine Plains and Towong Shire events
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Corryong - Monday, 22 April, 10 am
Speakers: Sophie Hanna (Riverine Plains Livestock Officer) and Jane McInnes (Riverine Plains Senior Project Officer).

Registration is free for all events, to register CLICK HERE  

Animal Welfare for Saleyards Course in Corowa

The Australian Saleyards Managers Association and Australian Livestock Markets Association are holding an Animal Welfare for Saleyards Workshop at the Corowa Saleyards on 24 April.

The course is designed for personnel employed or working in saleyard facilities.

Upon successful completion of this course all participants are expected to be able to successfully apply knowledge of good animal welfare practices into practical situations.

Successful completion will result in the following unit of competency being awarded - AMPLSK201 - Apply animal welfare and handling requirements.

This workshop will be delivered by an Aus-Meat trainer.

ASMA is holding a pre-event catch up commencing at 12 pm Tuesday 23 April. 

(Pre-event catch up - 12 pm on 23 April) - Course Wednesday 24 April

Corowa Saleyards
437 Honour Avenue, Corowa NSW 

For more information or to register click here

The Unbreakable Farmer
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For more information or to RSVP click here

2024 Landcare Forum
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The 2024 Landcare forum will be held from Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 May in Bendigo.

Find out more here

SAVE THE DATE – BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Conference

Plans are currently underway for the Agriculture Victoria BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Conference and dinner to be held in a new location this year in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

The conference will be held over two days, 19 June BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef on 20 June.

Further details will be coming as plans are finalised.

2024 Landcare Forum

The 2024 Landcare forum will be held on Wednesday 8, Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May in Bendigo.

For more information click here

Livestock 2024 Conference – August, Albury NSW
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The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) is excited to announce their third biennial Livestock Conference with the overarching theme of Environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Sessions will include keynote speakers and group workshop activities and cover the following:

  • improving land, air and water
  • solutions for human capacity
  • economic considerations and market impacts.

Click here for more information about the upcoming conference.

If you would like to register for conference updates you can join the mailing list here.

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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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