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Friday, 15 March 2024

In this edition:

What to do after a bushfire
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Visit our website for more information on fire recoveryClick here

Barber’s pole worm

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

Barber’s Pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is the most important parasite of sheep in the summer rainfall areas of Australia.

Therefore, it is not surprising that we are seeing outbreaks of disease due to Barber’s Pole worm with the warm, moist conditions that we have recently experienced.

Adult Barber’s Pole worms live in the abomasum (fourth stomach) of sheep.

The mature female worms are visible to the naked eye.

The gut of the worm is red, as it is full of blood. Wound around the gut is the white ovary, packed with hundreds of eggs. This red and white spiral effect gives the worm its name as it looks like the classic barber’s pole.

The adult female worms are prolific egg producers leading rapidly to a heavy pasture contamination. Recently we have seen faecal egg counts in the tens of thousands due to Barber’s Pole worm.

During warm, moist conditions these eggs hatch into larvae and are eaten by sheep during grazing.

Given their prolific production, worm numbers can build up rapidly.

Like other internal parasites, Barber’s Pole worms mainly affect weaners and lactating ewes.

Barber’s Pole worms feed by sucking blood leading to anaemia and 'bottle jaw' but not necessarily weight loss or diarrhoea.

Just 1000 adult Barber’s Pole worms can remove 50ml of blood from a sheep per day.Therefore, Barber’s Pole worm outbreaks can lead to high mortalities in a short space of time.

Barber’s Pole worms can be detected at post-mortem, or in live animals by a faecal egg count.

As with other internal parasites, drench resistance to Barber’s Pole worm is becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, losses due to Barber’s Pole worm are currently being reported in spite of recent drenching.

For further information please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer, or in NSW your Local Land Services.

Modernising student experience for future farmers
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The Victorian Government is helping more Victorians pursue a career in agriculture through the $50 million Agricultural College Modernisation Program.

New state-of-the-art facilities are now open to students of Longerenong College, one of three of Victoria’s agriculture colleges to benefit from $20 million in funding for upgrades to student accommodation and teaching amenities.

Longerenong College received $6.5 million to construct student accommodation for 45 students. The facility holds both four and seven-bedroom houses with a suite of independent and communal facilities, including a 100-seat conference centre, shared lounge rooms and an outdoor common area.

Longerenong College offers full-time courses in agriculture and agronomy and accommodates between 85 to 110 students, with the majority residing on campus.

The college delivers courses to over 70 apprentices and hosts targeted training events for universities and high schools. In 2023, over 250 high school students attended agriculture immersive camps.

Victoria’s growing food and fibre sector needs more skilled workers with a range of capabilities, including digital, business, risk and marketing skills, to take products to local, domestic and international markets.

The Agricultural College Modernisation Program is delivering on the government’s 10-year Agriculture Strategy to support the skills of the future and help more Victorians pursue an exciting career in agriculture.

To learn more click here

Update: Dingo Unprotection Order

From 14 March 2024, a new dingo unprotection order will continue to allow the control of dingoes where they threaten livestock along the boundaries of specified public land and on most private land across the state.

The new unprotection order will no longer apply in the northwest of the state due to the risk of extinction of the local dingo population.

Farmers in the north-west can apply for an Authority to Control Wildlife, which permits the use of lethal control in circumstances where no other options are available.

Beyond the change in the northwest of the state, there will be no change to the existing arrangements for dingo conservation and management across the rest of the state, with the new unprotection order remaining in place until 1 October 2024.

Dingoes remain listed as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. 

The dingo unprotection order only permits control activities on specified private land and within a 3km buffer zone on public land in the east of Victoria.

For further information visit:

The Horticultural Netting Program
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Grants of up to $150,000 are available to eligible producers of commercial horticulture crops, excluding wine grapes, to purchase and install new netting over established production areas. 

The program now includes a self-installation allowance if you wish to self-install netting.

Applications close 8 April.

For more information about the program visit the Horticultural Netting Grants for Victorian Horticulturalists page on our website.

This program is delivered by the Victorian Government on behalf of the Australian Government.

Reminder – phaseout of 3G network
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Victorian farmers are reminded of the upcoming phase out of the 3G network.

Starting from 30 June the 3G network will be phased out in rural Victoria.

If you use devices that rely on a 3G SIM card for connectivity, it's important to understand how this may impact your farm operations.

Reach out to your technology providers to ensure your devices are compatible with the upcoming changes.

Stay ahead of the transition to ensure seamless connectivity on your farm.

Fall armyworm commands growers' attention
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Victorian agronomists and growers should be vigilant in crop surveillance for Fall armyworm (FAW), following the impacts the pest is having on crops in Queensland.

Fall armyworm has rapidly spread across Australia after being found in Queensland in January 2020 and is now established in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia and parts of Victoria.

Agriculture Victoria Plant Pests and Diseases Manager Chris Pittock said a collaborative effort between government, industry and the community is crucial to effectively manage pests such as Fall armyworm.

‘If agronomists and farmers find Fall armyworm on their property, they should seek professional advice for treatment and management.

‘Given this pest is established in some parts of the state – we have adapted our practices to manage it. We have been able to watch what has happened in the northern states and learn from their experiences.’

‘Detections of concern to us would be if the pest is found outside of central Victoria near the Murray River, and some parts of Gippsland.’

Agriculture Victoria has been leading the State response for the National Fall armyworm project, which is coordinated by Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF).

The project aims to support Australian growers with the latest information and tools to manage FAW.

Early detection of FAW is important to ensure producers are making decisions in observance with best practice methods of control, and to reduce the likelihood of resistance occurring in the pest.

For the most up-to-date information on how to identify and prevent FAW, check out the Fall Armyworm Beatsheet.

Agriculture Victoria is monitoring the distribution of Fall armyworm across Victoria. You can report a sighting by contacting the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 or by completing the Online Reporting Form.

Fall armyworm information

  • Fall armyworm has adapted to warm tropical and sub-tropical areas in northern Australia and can migrate rapidly and be spread by storm events
  • Fall armyworm feed on maize, sweet corn, sorghum and sugarcane, and experiences in Queensland have also shown a high preference for feeding on corn, even though wheat, millet and sunflowers were nearby
  • Adult moths are 32 to 40mm in length, wing tip to wing tip, with a brown or grey forewing and a white hind wing. Male fall armyworms have more patterns and a distinct white spot on each of their forewings
  • Eggs are pale yellow in colour and cluster together in a mass, which often contain 100 – 200 eggs per mass. Egg masses are usually attached to foliage with a layer of mould/silk-like furry substance
  • Newly hatched larvae are light coloured with a larger darker head and then develop white stripes lengthwise as the larvae darken and grow to about 34mm in length.

For the latest information on FAW from across Australia:

Agtech Innovators Series 2 Episode 3
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When Tenacious Ventures make an investment, they consider three crucial factors: the team, the technology, and the traction.

Co-founder Sarah Nolet says assessing these elements can be challenging, however, if they make the right choices, it can have a significant impact on the success of an AgTech startup.

Listen online via the AgVic website

Consultation on animal welfare laws extended
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The Victorian Government has extended the consultation period on the draft bill for the new animal care and protection laws.

Victorians now have until Monday 25 March to have their say on the bill – which will replace the current Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA Act).

Executive Director of Animal Welfare Victoria, Dr Trevor Pisciotta, said the extension gives interested people and organisations more time to make a submission, following recent extreme weather events.

‘We’ve been committed to engaging with key stakeholders and the Victorian community throughout these reforms – this is the third and final round of consultation.’

‘Regional communities have already strongly influenced the form of the Draft Bill, which will help to maintain the trust of our trading partners, consumers and the community in Victoria’s animal-based activities and industries’, Dr Pisciotta said.

In addition to the three consultation rounds, Agriculture Victoria has consulted with more than 50 organisations representing people involved with animals or with an interest in animals and the law.

The feedback has been carefully considered and contributed to the reform process to date.

Dr Pisciotta said the POCTA Act is nearly 40 years old and does not always reflect current community expectations, developments in animal science or changing industry practices.

‘Demonstrating a high standard of animal welfare is critical in supporting Victorian industries to maintain access to important markets. For most Victorians, there will be no major changes to the way they operate daily.’

‘These laws will strengthen Victoria’s reputation as a humane and responsible producer of food – while being fit-for-purpose for modern day farming practices,' Dr Pisciotta said.

Key changes include minimum standards of care and requirements around husbandry procedures – which already feature in the existing codes of practice and Australian Standards and Guidelines for Animal Welfare.

The proposed laws recognise animal sentience – that animals can have positive and negative experiences.

Being explicit about this won't change how Victorians need to treat their animals, or whether they can be owned or used by humans. It won't create any legal rights for third parties, and it won't give animals legal rights.

Dr Pisciotta encourages interested community members, groups and organisations to make a submission and complete a survey about future regulations.

‘Please visit the Engage Victoria website, where you will find supporting materials to help you make a submission, including a guide to the draft bill and a list of Frequently Asked Questions,’ Dr Pisciotta said.

The consultation is now open until Monday 25 March.

For more information and to make a submission visit Engage Victoria.

Podcast – On the right track to recovery with Simone Murdoch and Darryl Pearl
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Future planning and controlled traffic farming can help mitigate natural disasters and their long-term effects.

In this After the flood podcast episode, Simone Murdoch chats about how her family made key decisions during a flood by removing emotion from the conversation. 

Darryl Pearl, from Agriculture Victoria, also gives some tips on controlled traffic farming and how it can benefit properties in the long-term.

Listen via the AgVic website

In case you missed it

Churchill Fellowships 2024 are now open

​Churchill Fellowships for 2024 opened on 1 March, offering people the opportunity to travel overseas for four to eight weeks to explore a topic or issue that they’re passionate about, and come back and share knowledge to improve their community.


GRDC – 'Paddock Practices: Manage green bridge to reduce virus/aphid risk in canola'


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.

Today, Tomorrow and Beyond – Genetics Australia Conference
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Where: Monday 18 March - 9:30 am – Tuesday 19 March 4 pm
Where: GMHBA Stadium, 370 Moorabool Street, South Geelong.

Register here.

The conference will host a diverse audience of local and international speakers, farmers, and industry delegates from the dairy and beef sectors.

The theme of the conference centres around the future of cattle breeding, incorporating cutting-edge technologies, and showcasing new industry research and ideas.

Agriculture Victoria Research Director, Professor Jennie Pryce will present on breeding for sustainability and resilience, while Research Scientist Dr Jo Newton will talk on the role of genetic improvement in creating greater integration between our dairy and beef industries.

MLA Sheep Projections webinar

The MLA invite you to join this webinar to look at the February 2024 Sheep Industry Projections report.

The report provides a comprehensive outlook on the sheep industry, including forecasts for the national flock, sheep and lamb supply and carcase weights.

Key points will include:

  • the sheep flock is expected to reduce slightly driven by record lamb slaughter and elevated sheep turnoff
  • lamb slaughter is projected to reach record levels two years in a row, climbing to 23.7 million in 2024
  • sheep slaughter to remain high, driven by a large and productive breeding flock.

Click here to register

Information series – Weeds, waste, and invasive species information sessions
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  • Tongala - Tuesday 19 March from 6 - 8 pm, at Tongala Shire Hall
  • Rushworth - Thursday 21 March from 6 - 8 pm at Rushworth Hall.

To register scan the QR code or click here

For more information, contact Elizabeth Alsop on 0457 838 537 or at

Campaspe Shire Flood Recovery Team and Waste and Environment Department in partnership with Agriculture Victoria, North Central Catchment Authority and Goulburn Murray Landcare Network.

VFF StockSense webinar 'Farming essentials'

StockSense invite you to join a free webinar series on the essential elements of farm ownership.

Each session offers practical insights and expert advice to empower you on your farming journey.

The remaining session from this six-part series will cover:

  • the long-term plan – sustaining your farm.

To register visit the VFF website.

Rochester/Elmore Farm Business Resilience Course - Workshop series
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Want to build a stronger, more productive farm business?

Where: All these face-to-face workshops will be held at Pine Grove Fire Station; 2691 Whinfield Rd, Lockington.

Agriculture Victoria has the workshop series to help you build more resilience in your farm business.

You will leave each workshop with new skills and an action plan to achieve your business goals.

As a bonus, if you attend three or more workshops, you will secure a business planning one-on-one session with Senior Agribusiness Consultant Jane Foster from ORM Pty Ltd at the end of the workshop series.

Workshop 3 – People Success

Date: Thursday 21 March
Time: 9 am – 12:30 pm

Topic: Dairy Biosecurity and Business Resilience Officer, Helen Chenoweth, will deliver a workshop on managing people on farm, succession planning and farm safety.

Workshop 4 – Climate Risk and Natural Resource Management
Date: Tuesday 26 March
Time: 9 am – 12:30 pm

Topic: Seasonal Risk Agronomist, Dale Grey and Land Management Extension Officer Martin Hamilton, will deliver a workshop on understanding and identifying climate risk and natural resource management on farm.


For more information contact Elizabeth Alsop at or call 0457 838 537.

Pyramid Hill event – 'Soils decision making and what's next?'

North Central CMA are excited to extend an invitation to their launch event 'Soils Decision Making and what's next', where they will delve into soil health and agricultural decision-making for the future, on Thursday, 21 March from 11 am till 2.30 pm.

This event is the culmination of work that produced valuable resources for landholders including the 'Soil Health Guide'.

This guide was produced by the North Central Catchment Management Authority in partnership with Agriculture Victoria as an initiative of the Australian Government Smart Farms Small Grants program, these resources provide a wealth of knowledge about soils which help us understand our soils better and hence our future management for healthy soils and thriving ecosystems.

Program highlights

  • Soil Health Guide -Showcasing Tools and Resources Rebecca Mitchell, Agriculture Victoria
  • Unlocking the potential: Farmer insights on the value of the soil health guides Jo and Greg Bear, farmers
  • Excellent Farming starts at ground level: The business case for paying attention to your soil Kate Burke, Think Agri.

Date and time: Thursday 21 March, 11 am to 2:30 pm
Location: Pyramid Hill Bowling Club – 98 Victoria Street.

Morning tea and roast lunch (Good Meat Co) provided.

This is a free event

Please RSVP by 18 March to secure your spot. Register here now

Joint Ag Vic, Riverine Plains and Towong Shire events
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Corryong - Wednesday, 27 March 10 am
Speakers: Dr Cassandra Schefe (AgriSci), Nick Linden (Agriculture Victoria)

Eskdale Hall - Wednesday, 17 April 9 am
Speakers: Brad Costin (Agriculture Victoria), Lachlan Campbell (NECMA), Julian Carroll (Mudgegonga Beef Producer)

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  

MLA Goat Roadshow Webinar
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Tuesday, 19 March at 7 pm.

Are your goats fit to load? Are you planning to sell goats soon?

Make sure you understand your roles and responsibilities in ensuring animals are fit to travel before you start loading.

This free Meat & Livestock Australia Goat Roadshow webinar is designed to provide useful and practical insights on how to ensure your goats are fit to load before transport.

Hear from NSW DPI's Dr Petrea Wait, Agriculture Victoria’s Dr Berwyn Squire and Integrity Systems Company’s Elizabeth Bradley who will provide who will provide an overview of the Fit to Load legislation, plus on-farm advice for ensuring you meet animal welfare obligations, including the importance of checking animals prior to transport, your responsibilities and how to comply with NVD and NLIS requirements.

MLA invites goat producers to join to find out more on:

  • understanding when an animal is and isn’t fit to make a journey
  • preparing animals for transport
  • Individual roles and responsibilities in ensuring animal welfare
  • practical tips and resources available
  • livestock traceability - understanding LPA requirements around animal welfare, completing NVDs and updating the NLIS database.

Make sure you understand your responsibilities in ensuring compliance with the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock.

To register for this webinar, click here

Sheep producers workshop at Boort
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Sheep producers in the Boort area, come and join us and Rochester vet Dr Frankie Collett for a free interactive workshop on Thursday 21 March, from 9 am to 1 pm.

Participants will discuss local health issues, learn about their prevention and treatment options, and create an animal health plan.

An animal health plan is an important tool for farmers to minimise biosecurity risks and increase animal performance.

To find out more or to register contact Erica Schelfhorst on 0429 807 689 or register here  

Playing the long game – Tangambalanga information forum
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SimpliFly AWI and Ag Vic workshop
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Sheep producers looking for information on managing flystrike are invited to join this free workshop. Jim Mekiff, JM Livestock will present on the following:

  • Brush up on the conditions required for flystrike and learn how to best disrupt them to reduce the incidence of flystrike on your property, and the impact of flystrike on your flock and your profits
  • Identify tools and strategies to manage flystrike and understand the balance of each to reduce your reliance on any one tool and use all the tools in your toolbox to their greatest effect
  • Create an individual flystrike management plan and annual calendar which combines tools and strategies for reducing your risk of flystrike.

Click here to register.

Attendance for this workshop is fully subsidised by AWI and Agriculture Victoria - working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters, including floods and storms.

Soils workshop at Moranding

Do you want to learn how to use your soil test results to make better farm decisions?

Come along to a field day on improving pastures, soil health and productivity.

A free event featuring presentations and soil pit demonstration.

Thursday, 11 April, 9:30 am - 3 pm (please arrive at 9 am for registrations)

School House Lane and Hogans Lane, Moranding (look out for Landcare signs)

**This event will be held outdoors, please wear enclosed footwear and dress for the conditions**

Guest speakers: Brad Costin (Agriculture Victoria); Lisa Warn (Lisa Warn Ag Consulting); Jim Shovelton (Meridian Agriculture)

  • Find out why we soil test and when to soil test
  • Learn how to read your pastures when taking core samples to know where to test
  • How to set up fertiliser strips to help identify constraints to pasture growth
  • Soil pit and soil interpretation - what grows below 10 cm?
  • Bring your soil test results for a one-on-one chat with a consultant.

Bookings essential - please book your ticket by Thursday 4 April.

Register HERE  

For enquiries please contact Kerri Robson: 0418 140 710 or

Calculating carbon for sheep and beef producers

Join Professor Richard Eckard of the University of Melbourne for a free workshop hosted by Agriculture Victoria to guide you through calculating emissions for your sheep or beef farm.

The workshop will be delivered in a hybrid format for participants to attend in-person or online via Zoom.

Date:    Thursday 4 April
Time:   9 am – 1 pm
Where: Lakeside Community Centre, Showgrounds, Benalla

Workshop program

  • Why you need to Know your number
  • How carbon accounting works
  • Complete the MLA Carbon Calculator for your farm, learn about key indicators and trouble shoot problems (using your laptop or one supplied)
  • Question and Answer session with Richard and other Agriculture Victoria emissions specialists.

To register please click here

Light refreshments will be provided.

More information - some preparation will be required via supplied information and resources following registration.

For more information, please contact Kirstie Anderson, Project Leader, Innovative Beef and Sheep Networks on 0437 990 967 or at

Field day on improving pastures, soil health and productivity

Do you want to learn how to use your soil test results to make better farm decisions? Join us at our field day on improving pastures, soil health and productivity.

A free event featuring presentations and soil pit demonstration.

Thursday 11 April, 9.30 am - 3 pm (please arrive at 9 am for registrations)

School House Lane and Hogans Lane, Moranding (look for Landcare signs)

**This event will be held outdoors, please wear enclosed footwear and dress for the conditions**

Register here today

Guest speakers: Brad Costin (Agriculture Victoria); Lisa Warn (Lisa Warn Ag Consulting); Jim Shovelton (Meridian Agriculture).

  • Find out why we soil test and when to soil test
  • Learn how to read your pastures when taking core samples to know where to test
  • How to set up fertiliser strips to help identify constraints to pasture growth
  • Soil pit and soil interpretation - what grows below 10 cm?
  • Bring your soil test results for a one-on-one chat with a consultant.

Bookings essential - please book your ticket by the 4 April

For enquiries please contact Kerri Robson: 0418 140 710 or at

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

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Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

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All contact points can be found at:

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