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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 30 May, 2024
In this edition:
Avian influenza information
avian influenza information agriculture victoria

Movement controls remain in place for areas surrounding 2 avian influenza infected properties near Meredith and Terang.

The controls restrict the movement of birds, poultry products, poultry feed and equipment on or off properties in designated areas.

These include:

  • A restricted area covers a 5 km radius around the Meredith farm with a broader Control Area buffer zone in the eastern part of Golden Plains Shire Council. The western boundary of this area is the Colac-Ballarat Road.
  • A Restricted Area covering a 5-kilometre radius around the Terang farm with a broader control Area buffer zone covering an area of 15 kilometres.
  • A housing requirement for all birds within these areas.

Stay up to date at

Investing in the future of Victorian AgTech
agtech and a person holding an ipad

The Victorian Government is driving innovation in the agriculture sector by supporting more tech startups to create new technologies that will help farmers improve their efficiency and adapt to new challenges in the industry.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently announced $1 million for the AgTech Grants Program which will invest $50,000 in eligible startups looking to build their business capability.

Delivered in partnership with LaunchVic, the grant provides founders with dedicated mentoring from startup experts to build their businesses and seize new opportunities.

They can also support activities that help create new jobs and support Victoria’s economic growth.

The agriculture sector is critical to the Victorian economy, however changing conditions means the sector needs to continuously adapt to new challenges.

AgTech startups will help drive this adaptation and provide farmers with the tools, data and knowledge they need to improve productivity and sustainability.

Since 2023 the AgTech Grants Program has awarded grants to 19 startups providing services in supply chain efficiency, farming automation, soil sensing intelligence and pollination management systems, among others.

The success of the first round of the grant program has led to this additional investment of $1 million to continue to fuel technological advancements in the sector.

A notable recipient of the first round is Drone-Hand, the first commercially available, user-friendly, AI driven, automated flight-app for livestock monitoring.

Applications are open and will remain open until 30 June 2024.

To read more about past recipients and to apply for new grants visit

For more information on the AgTech Grant program visit

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open

The VGT annual Community Grants Program is now open for 2024/25.

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) with support from Agriculture Victoria offers funding support for community-led gorse control projects.

Community Grants program objectives:

  • Reduce the impacts of gorse on environmental, agricultural, and social values
  • Strengthen community and stakeholder connections for better gorse outcomes
  • Build community knowledge and capacity in managing gorse
  • Promote best practice gorse management.

Community groups may apply for funding up to $8,000 for on-ground gorse control works on private land. All participating landholders involved may receive up to $1,500 in grant funding and must match this with their own monetary contribution.

Grants are available to all Victorian community group organisations that have a focus on improving natural and agricultural areas.

How to apply
Visit and download a copy of the 2024/25 VGT Community Grants Funding Guidelines and Application Form.

Once you have completed your application, email to

For more information, contact the VGT on 0417 593 250 or send an email to

On-farm demonstration EOI extended
extended to thursday 13 june applications for on-farm demonstration

Expressions of Interest extended to June 13.

Expressions of interest are open for sheep and cattle producer groups interested in running an on-farm demonstration.

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

Click here to find out more.

This program is in partnership with MLA.

Upskilling the future of our agriculture industry

The Victorian Government is investing in the future of agriculture in Victoria by ensuring young farmers across the state can gain valuable new skills and investment towards their future.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently launched the 2024 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship Program, encouraging the next generation of farmers to apply and receive the skills they need to thrive in Victoria’s vibrant agriculture sector.

The program offers scholarships of up to $10,000 with each recipient reimbursed up to $5,000 to support their training and study, and up to $5,000 to invest in putting their new skills into practice.

Successful applicants can receive training to build their knowledge and expertise in areas such as irrigation, agronomy, conservation and land management, as well as core business skills in areas including accounting, human resources and marketing.

Once they have completed their studies, applicants can invest in modern technology and equipment, on-farm strategies and planning, and their own professional development to kickstart their career as a farmer.

Since 2015, the Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship Program has successfully supported 117 young farmers from a range of agriculture industries.

Megan Cooper is a wool grower from the Wimmera region who used her scholarship to upskill and complete a remote pilot licence training and a Certificate IV Wool Classing course. Megan also invested in infrastructure to improve her stockyards.

Albert Nunn from Central Western Victoria who is a mixed beef, sheep and grain farmer used the program to complete a Diploma of Agriculture through South-West TAFE and then invested in a portable sheep handler.

Applications are open to farmers aged between 18 and 35 who have been working in farm businesses for at least 3 days a week for the past 3 months, with at least 2 years total experience on-farm.

Applications will close on 17 June.

To learn more about the program and to apply for a scholarship, visit

Subsoil help for dryland grain growers
a machine assisting with subsoil amerlioration

Grain growers considering subsoil amelioration on their farms are encouraged to visit Agriculture Victoria’s new dedicated webpage and support guide to help navigate the decision-making process.

Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Adam Buzza said subsoil amelioration is a land management practice where organic matter is typically injected into the subsoil using a specialised deep ripping machine.

‘Our online resources provide decision support on when to consider subsoil amelioration, when it's least effective, what it costs and guides on how different subsoil types respond,’ Mr Buzza said.

‘Subsoil amelioration aims to improve nutrient availability, water movement and root development for better crop growing conditions and a higher yield at harvest time.

‘Research shows that subsoil amelioration can increase grain yields by an average of 12% but its effectiveness is dependent on factors such as average annual rainfall, subsoil type and any constraints such as salinity or water logging.

‘It’s important to note that amelioration upfront costs can be above $2000 per hectare and for some subsoils this is not a cost-effective option,’ he said.

Mr Buzza said the decision support guide is available in the grains, pulses and cereals section of the Agriculture Victoria website.

The resource was developed with the support of the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative - and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Applications open for Corella Management Grant Program
corellas in a tree

Applications for funding to address the impacts of Long-billed Corella and Little Corella populations on community are now open.

Local government authorities, farmers and committees of management are among those eligible to apply for grants to address agricultural, infrastructural, environmental and social impacts.

A total of $250,000 is available in Victorian Government grant funding.

The Corella Management Grants Program guidelines align with the Victorian Corella Strategy 2022-2032.

The strategy promotes a ‘living with wildlife’ approach to encourage positive attitudes to corellas, as part of a broader strategy for living with wildlife in Victoria.

Find more information about the grant program here.

Book now - BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences
early bird tickets close 31 may 19-20 june best wool best lamb and better beef conferences

Early bird ticket discounts end next week for the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences and dinner in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

Secure your discounted tickets on Trybooking by Friday 31 May.

A 1-day conference ticket is only $80 and a full package 2-day conference and dinner ticket is $200.

Visit our events web page to download the program and learn more.

Footy's favourite farmer 2024
we're on the hunt for footy's favourite farmer, worksafe victoria

Nominations for WorkSafe Victoria's Footy's Favourite Farmer are open, and we have received so many wonderful stories from our community so far.

A reminder - our monthly prize draw ends Friday 31 May!

Win a pair of Airpods, a footy and netball just by nominating a farmer who deserves praise.

Details here 👉

Make this your moment – the Governor of Victoria Export Awards
make this your moment, the governor of victoria export awards 2024

Get ready to shine in the spotlight!

Applications have now opened for the Governor of Victoria Export Awards (GOVEA).

Open to all Victorian exporters, regardless of business size or total export sales, winning a GOVEA isn't just about recognition; it's about catapulting your business to new heights.

GOVEA winners automatically receive a place as finalists in the National Export Awards.

Boost your brand and gain exposure to potential clients, investors, and partners, both locally and globally.

Showcase your innovation to the business community in 2024.

Apply now by visiting

Applications close 14 June.

Minerals exploration explained
two people squating on the ground looking at soil

Resources Victoria has released the first instalment of a video series helping to explain important and sometimes misunderstood aspects of the state’s resources sector.

Minerals exploration and mining are often confused.

Though both are essential stages along the path to developing a resource, the process and scale are very different.

In Minerals Exploration Explained we asked a Victorian minerals explorer to outline in their own words what they do, the techniques they use, how they select a site and how it is restored.

Mineral explorers use low-impact methods to understand local geology and look for evidence of minerals over a large area, then typically focus activities on a smaller zone.

It typically involves mapping, water and soil sample testing, surveying the ground from the surface or air and targeted drilling.

If an exploration licence is granted and a commercially viable deposit identified, a separate process toward mining would involve environmental assessment and extensive local engagement.

Visit for more information and to view the video.

The Pinches - National Centre for Farmer Health
national centre for farmer health, the pinches felt in agriculture

We're often able to carry one or two challenges at a time and carrying a heavy load for short periods may be okay.

But the compounding effect of constant and multiple stresses at once can wear us down and impact not only our livelihoods but also our mental wellbeing.

No matter what our situation, we all feel the impact of external stressors.

While these may be out of our control and frustrating, it’s important to acknowledge them, regain a sense of control through managing what we can and prepare for what lies ahead.

Alongside our social media series, a great resource to look at is our free and very popular Managing Stress on The Farm Booklet (MSOF).

MSOF talks through the common causes of stressors on farms and offers practical ways to deal with them.

We develop interventions to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Australian farmers, farm workers, farming families and agriculture-dependent communities focusing on prevention and early identification of risk factors associated with farming populations.

Key focus areas include chronic disease prevention and management, mental health, and occupational health and safety.

It includes the Steering Straight plan - an action plan to help you work through challenges and plan activities that help you feel better with practical, useful steps.

Click here for the plan and other support resources.

Cultivating Futures in Farming registration period extended
cultivating futures in farming program

CFF is a free program designed for our ‘next generation farm managers’ and facilitated by Pinion Advisory.

Participants learn from mentors, experts and peers to gain confidence in decision making and how to develop the financial, business and people management skills for running a farm business.

The program consists of face-to-face workshops (including farm visits), online webinars and individual coaching sessions.

If you missed our recent Zoom webinar on the ‘Cultivating Futures in Farming’ (CFF) mentor program you can catch up here.

Passcode: Bupcq7

Registrations for the 2024-25 program close Friday 5 July.

Visit the Cultivating Futures in Farming page on the Agriculture Victoria website to learn more and apply.

Fox and wild dog bounty

Victoria’s bounty collections continue.

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.

Growing tomorrow’s farmers
producer applications open now, ag career start

AgCAREERSTART is looking for employers/farmers who:

  • are able to offer a safe and positive experience for a young Australian
  • have the capacity to teach and support someone who might have limited experience in agriculture
  • are able to offer full-time paid employment for a period of 10 – 12 months in 2025*
  • can offer flexibility to your participant so they can undertake training and attend industry events
  • can provide accommodation or assist in finding accommodation off-farm.

When you sign up you will:

  • receive a $2,000 grant
  • get support from the AgCAREERSTART team to mentor and train your participant
  • gain access to industry events and the broader National Farmers’ Federation network.

For more information click here.

*Participants must be paid at – or above-award wages.

All host farms must provide a signed employment contract to AgCAREERSTART before the placement commences.

The AgCAREERSTART pilot is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

In case you missed it

Get into AgSTEM program in full swing for school year

Agriculture Victoria’s free Get into AgSTEM education program is underway with schools across the state participating.


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.

Export Development Programme
export development program 4 june

Ready to grow your agri-food and beverage business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start? Join us for a free Export Development Programme!

Agriculture Victoria's Pathways to Export is partnering with Export Connect to deliver a series of in-person masterclass workshops in Gippsland and Melbourne and online export strategy webinars.

Remaining webinar:

  • International Buyer and Exporter Panel: Tuesday 4 June, 2 – 4 pm.

Register here

Stock Handling Workshop - Camperdown

DATE: Friday 7 June

TIME: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Join us for a hands-on session led by the Stock Sense team and expert stock handler, Jack Briscoe.

Agriculture Victoria District Veterinary Officer, Hannah Manning, will also be speaking on all things you should know when buying animals and fit-to-load when selling animals.

We invite you to bring along your questions for Hannah.

Learn invaluable techniques to care for your cattle with minimal stress and maximum safety.

Experience Stress-Free Stock Handling at Camperdown Saleyards.

Topics include:

  • Stockmanship: Understand livestock behaviour for reduced stress and improved handling
  • Low-Stress Handling Demonstrations: Witness safe handling practices for enhanced yard safety
  • Practical Sessions: Gain special techniques for drenching, vaccination, and ear tagging
  • Biosecurity Insights: Explore vital biosecurity practices and the importance of quarantine.

Find out more at -

For further inquiries, please contact Stock Sense on

Young Farmer Horticulture Business Bootcamp
a grapevine

Are you a young farmer in the horticulture sector that’s looking to upskill?

Agriculture Victoria is running a horticulture business bootcamp focussed on the horticulture industry that aims to support the next generation of growers, business owners and managers to improve their skills and management practices.

The bootcamp will be delivered by Agriculture Victoria and Ion Group.

2-day in-person workshop

12-13 June

9 am to 2:30 pm

Location (TBC pending interest as Yarra Valley or Werribee).

Online session

21 June

10-11 am


  • In-person day 1: Farm business performance and profitable decision making
  • In-person day 2: Risk, resilience and adapting to change
  • Online session: Natural resource management.

The bootcamp is free to all participants but places are limited.

A free one-on-one session with an Ion Group consultant is available to participants who register for both the in-person workshop and online session.

To secure your spot for this bootcamp, click here to register.

Or contact:Tanya Dobrijevic on 0429 353 649 or email

GRDC – Mastering fungicide resistance management with AFREN: strategies for success – Bannockburn

DATE: Friday 14 June

TIME: 9 am – 12 pm

VENUE: Bannockburn and Districts Bowling Club, 65 Burnside Road, Bannockburn.

REGISTER HERE on the GRDC website.

Calling all growers and agronomists to join Nick Poole from FAR Australia for a workshop hosted by the Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network (AFREN), dedicated to addressing the pressing issue of fungicide resistance in our region.

Gain valuable insights and participate in discussions on the latest management practices shaping the future of the Australian grains industry.

Hamilton TEKSTART Workshop
tekstart workshop hamilton smartfarm 19 june

DATE: Wednesday 19 June

TIME: 10 am - 2 pm

WHERE: Hamilton Smart Farm, 915 Mt Napier Road, Hamilton.


Calling all future AgTech trailblazers!  Are you ready to cultivate your entrepreneurial spirit and revolutionise the agricultural industry?

Farmers2Founders is excited to share that we will be hitting the tracks of regional Victoria, offering immersive workshops tailored just for you - aspiring Agtech entrepreneurs and students passionate about making a difference in the agricultural industry.

Why attend?

  • Discover the Power of AgTech: Explore the dynamic intersection of agriculture and technology. Learn how innovation in AgTech can address pressing global challenges and pave the way for a sustainable future.
  • Unlock the Startup Code: Ever wondered what it takes to kickstart your own AgTech venture? Gain invaluable insights into the essentials of starting lean from ideation to validation and beyond.
  • Master Lean Startup Methodology: Get hands-on experience with Lean Start up a powerful toolkit to streamline and accelerate your Agtech startup idea. Learn how to build your start up from the ground up, identify key customers, and iterate your concept towards success.
  • Grow your network within the Ag Industry: Connect with fellow enthusiasts and industry experts. Exchange ideas, forge collaborations, and build a support network to fuel your entrepreneurial journey.

Who should attend?

  • Students eager to explore the world of AgTech entrepreneurship
  • Aspiring AgTech innovators seeking practical guidance and inspiration
  • Anyone passionate about leveraging technology to revolutionize agriculture.
Stock Sense calving webinar
A cow standing over a calf

New to calving? Wanting to learn more? Maybe you just need a quick refresher!

This free webinar is perfect for you.

Get ready for the calving season with a checklist covering everything you need to know.

From when to call a vet to prepping your calving box, we've got you covered.

Join Stock Sense and seasoned expert Rob Bananno, who brings over 30 years of farming and veterinary experience to the table.

Don't miss out on this invaluable session!

DATE: Wednesday 26 June

TIME: 6:30 - 7 pm


Grasslands Society of Southern Australia – 54th Annual Conference
54th annual conference

The GSSA conference at Bendigo on 17-18 July will offer something for everyone.

The central theme will focus on ‘Evidence Based Decision Making’ and the topics have been built around what farmers need to know.

Delegates will be able to choose from 2 bus tours.

One to a property north of Bendigo integrating lucerne into a profitable livestock system and one to a higher rainfall perennial pasture property south of Bendigo.

Topics will include:

  • Carbon - An informed farmers perspective
  • Carbon neutral livestock production - is it possible?
  • Soil carbon and fertility
  • Measuring and knowing your soil carbon levels
  • Old clover identification and sub optimal clover nodulation
  • Paddock livestock weighing
  • What bugs You?
  • Use of drones in agriculture
  • Facial livestock recognition
  • Remote pasture measurement
  • Running lambs on improved varieties of perennial ryegrass vs more persistent Victorian ryegrass - animal responses above yield responses
  • N efficiency and endophytes in ryegrass pastures
  • Introduction to fertiliser calculator tool.

Click here for more information - 2024 GSSA Annual Conference

Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture Award

Nominations for the 2024 Melbourne Royal Emerging Leaders in Victoria Award are now open!

Please download the nomination form here.

Send your application to

Applications close on Thursday 1 August.

The recipient will work, volunteer or significantly contribute within the agricultural industry, and must demonstrate how they will use prize money to further their development.

This award is only available to those within Victoria between the ages of 18 and 35.

Subscribe to Barwon South West Ag News

Enjoying the Barwon South West Ag News? Then why not forward to a friend or subscribe yourself.

It's easy – simply click this link.

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 X (formerly Twitter) @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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