Forward this email | View in web browser
Beef and Sheep Networks Newsflash
Friday 29 July, 2022
In this edition

What's On

What's New



Beef and Sheep News

Ag Recovery

Quick Links

Heading: What's On

PLEASE NOTE: The events listed below may be subject to last-minute cancellation in the event of an emergency or advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

Event Details


When: 1 and 4 August

Where: online webinar

Time: 7 - 8 pm


Foot-and-mouth disease webinar: preparing for and responding to an outbreak

Victorian livestock producers and service providers are invited to join one of our upcoming webinars to hear from Agriculture Victoria veterinary specialists about how we are preparing for and will respond to a foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD) outbreak.

Good biosecurity is paramount for protecting our economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of pests and diseases.

There are several risk factors that are contributing to an increased threat of a biosecurity incursion in Victoria/Australia.

State, federal and local governments, livestock producers and other supply chain participants including livestock agents, transporters and contractors all share responsibilities in minimising biosecurity risks and impacts to the industry.

1 August webinar - REGISTER HERE

4 August webinar - REGISTER HERE

[Back to Top]

Heading: What's New

Agriculture Victoria is ensuring staff are ready to respond to any biosecurity threats after fragments of Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected in pork products at a Melbourne retail outlet recently.

While the fragments are not transmissible, the detection shows how easily diseases and pests could enter Australia and served as a strong reminder to never feed food scraps containing meat to pigs.

Preparing for a potential FMD detection is the number one priority for Agriculture Victoria and the team is working hand-in-glove with the Commonwealth doing everything it can to keep Australia FMD-free.

The livestock industry and peak bodies are key partners that are regularly briefed to ensure they understand their responsibilities and know what to do to manage the threat of FMD.

Agriculture Victoria staff are undertaking FMD-specific training, scenario planning, and participating in emergency exercises to ensure they’re ready to respond quickly if there is a positive detection in livestock.

New on-farm biosecurity methods regarding the safe disposal of animals in the instance of an outbreak are also being trialled, as well as investigation of potential suspect cases on the ground.

There are over 300 dedicated biosecurity staff within the 1200-strong team at Agriculture Victoria.

There is also a team of experts and scientists at AgriBio who test suspect animal and plant samples and are continually improving test accuracy and efficiency.

Victoria is also the only jurisdiction to have a mandatory electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for sheep and goats, supporting rapid traceability, which is critical in a livestock biosecurity response.

FMD and ASF are notifiable exotic diseases and any suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to Agriculture Victoria on the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline 1800 675 888.

The most significant risk of entry of FMD into Australia is through illegal meat and dairy products infected with the FMD virus being fed to pigs.

For more information about FMD, its signs and actions to reduce its spread as well as what to do if you suspect it, visit the Agriculture Victoria website –

[Back to Top]


So far this year there have been seven workplace fatalities on Victorian farms.

To keep vigilant about farm safety, we shared three AgVic Talk podcasts.

You’ll hear from four Victorian farmers about the safety lessons they’ve learnt over the years and how they now keep risks front of mind.

To kick us off, here is Emma Bolding an organic beef farmer from Victoria’s South-West who considers farm safety a non-negotiable on her property.

Listen here.


Next up, meet Ian Hasting, a grain farmer from the Mallee. In 2019, Ian suffered severe burns while fighting a paddock fire on his family’s property.

Ian’s message is clear: “If you have a firefighting unit, every person who's likely to be in the paddock must learn to operate it.”

Hear Ian’s story here.

And lastly is Dr Sarah McLean, a beef farmer and neuropsychologist from Purnim.

In Sarah’s episode, she discusses how a near-miss while working alone was the catalyst that encouraged her family to recognise that their own health and safety was their most important business asset.

“We’re always conscious of safety with everything we do, but we've had to think outside the box to make things safer for ourselves and our kids.”

Listen to Sarah’s episode here.


[Back to Top]


A new online search tool allowing users to search all active and completed Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) projects is now live on the MLA website.

This resource allows people to search for Producer Demonstrations by topic and/or state/region of relevance, making the findings of each PDS more accessible, allowing producers to incorporate the outcomes into their own production systems.

Users can access a summary of the project alongside progress updates and findings.

Extension materials and resources can also be accessed as well as the contact details of the PDS facilitator as a way of encouraging producers nationwide to engage with Producer Demonstrations that can benefit their operations.

The search tool can be accessed by going to the PDS webpage ( and clicking the access the PDS search tool button or directly at 

Project progress and resources will be uploaded to the search tool on a quarterly basis, with the next update due in August 2022.

To remain informed about PDS activities, updates on active projects via a quarterly email. Sign up to the PDS mailing list to receive updates on the active PDS projects and key information on the annual PDS project call by visiting

[Back to Top]

Heading: BestWoo/BestLamb

BestWool/BestLamb (BWBL) is a partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and is a long-standing sheep industry extension program.

The BWBL network aims to deliver high quality and relevant services to the Victorian sheep sector that enables producers to implement improvements in aspects of their business.

Lyndon Kubeil, Senior Sheep Specialist 0418 532 085 or email

Alison Desmond, Project Leader BestWool.BestLamb                      0409 424 274 or email

BWBL Lamb logo, AWI logo

FMD represents the greatest disease threat to Australia’s livestock industries and export markets.

The Australian government and all relevant authorities remain vigilant to keep Australian agriculture free of Foot-and-mouth disease.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is working alongside the entire sector to ensure Australian agriculture’s status across a range of disease threats remains at the highest possible level.

AWI works across research, development and marketing for Australian woolgrowers who can stay informed with all the latest FMD information through the attached digital document as well as the dedicated page.

Other printed, digital and social mediums include:, Beyond the Bale magazine, The Yarn podcast, daily and weekly SMS reports as well as Twitter and Facebook.

[Back to Top]


Barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is a blood sucking roundworm of sheep and goats, with minor crossover into cattle.

The worm gets its name from the ‘Barber-pole’ colouration of the female worm as its blood-filled intestine and uterus intertwine.

Typically, Barber’s pole worms favour warm, humid conditions.

Its lifecycle is like other roundworms.

The eggs are passed in an animal’s faeces, they hatch, develop to an infectious stage, are eaten by a susceptible animal and develop into an adult worm in the animal’s fourth stomach.

Signs of Barber’s pole worm include anaemia due to blood loss and lethargy.

Affected animals may flop down when mustered briskly and have extremely pale inner eyelids and gums.

All body condition types can be affected and in more chronic cases you may see ‘bottle-jaw’ due to loss of blood protein.

Visit the Agriculture Website for further information.

[Back to Top]


MLA’s latest sheep industry projections highlight a bright outlook for Australia’s sheepmeat industry.

Revised projections, now predict the national flock to increase by two per cent in 2022 to reach 76 million head – it’s highest level since 2013. 

Above-average rainfall, along with the flow-on production effects and the continuation of historically high prices, is supporting producer confidence.

Robust export demand in both established and emerging markets is another shining light.

Visit the MLA website to read the full article.

[Back to Top]


The first annual report of the Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF) was recently released at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo (15 July). Delivering on the world-first commitment of the Australian sheep and wool industry to create a data-driven yearly snapshot of sustainability performance.

The Framework tracks the sustainability performance of the sheep and wool industry through benchmarks and data across four key themes of Caring for our Sheep; Enhancing the Environment & Climate; Ensuring a Financially Resilient Industry; and Looking after Our People, Customers & Community.

Key highlights of the 2022 Update include the delivery of new benchmarks and data that demonstrate a nine per cent reduction in emissions intensity from 2005 to 2020: and a 13 per cent increase in sheep-grazing land achieving over 50 per cent groundcover in 2020. 

There has been a directional increase in non-mulesed/ceased-mulesed sheep with the complete data from the national animal husbandry focused producer survey to be finalised and released within the next quarter.

Go online for more information.

[Back to Top]

Heading: BetterBeef
BetterBeef logo

BetterBeef is an Agriculture Victoria coordinated producer and service provider network with a focus on increasing the profitability and sustainability of beef enterprises.

It aims to grow and support a strong producer network featuring genuine partnerships with the private sector in co-design and delivery.


Amanda Davis, Acting BetterBeef Project Leader
0407 947 580 or email


Dr Jeff Cave, Senior Veterinary Officer

During the winter months ill-thrift and scouring in our herds is a common occurrence and one where multiple causes are to be considered. One possible cause of these signs in your herd includes Yersiniosis.

Yersiniosis is a bacterial infection that can infect cattle and sheep. Most of the time this infection does not cause any ill health in your animals and will go un-noticed.

Rarely, Yersinia can cause problems when the animal is under stress or there is already damage to the gut wall (such as with a large worm burden).

In these situations, signs of ill health are most commonly seen in younger stock. Typically, you may notice a history of ill-thrift and ongoing scouring that has not responded to drenching.

The good news is most stock recover from infection and become immune to the disease. Some deaths may occur in your stock but treatment with antibiotics is often successful.

In the meantime, there are things you can do on your property to prevent losses from Yersiniosis and other similar diseases.

Simply optimising pasture utilisation during these colder months, practicing good parasite control, and minimising stress will help protect your stock.

It is important to remember that other causes of ill-thrift and scouring can look like Yersiniosis so it is best to contact your veterinarian to investigate these cases.

For further information contact your local veterinarian or your Agriculture Victoria animal health staff or in New South Wales your Local Land Services.

[Back to Top]


You have done all the hard work with last year’s spring calves, grown them through to weaning, carefully yard weaned them and given them the necessary health treatments.

Now it’s time to reap the rewards and capitalise on the current good prices.

What is your plan to get them through the rest of winter and make the most of when the pasture takes off in spring? 

With the current prices of young stock, it can be very profitable to ensure your weaners grow at a steady rate during the winter months.  A well-managed weaner could be 50-100kg heavier by the end of spring if they have had the right feed and nutrition during winter.

How can we make sure that our spring born weaners perform at their best through the winter, and is it worth adding supplements to chase higher growth rates?

To learn more read the full article on the Feeding Livestock website.

[Back to Top]


Lowering methane emissions through the use of Asparagopsis seaweed as a feed supplement has become a reality, following its first commercial sale earlier this month, according to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and FutureFeed. 

The first commercial sale of Asparagopsis feed supplement in Australia by CH4 Global is a significant step forward for the industry. This comes following the discovery that adding a small amount of Asparagopsis seaweed to a ruminant’s existing feed can reduce their methane emissions by over 80 per cent.

The importance of this discovery towards carbon neutrality by 2030 (CN30) has resulted in industry participants working tirelessly to make the product available to producers.

FutureFeed was formed in August 2020 to commercialise the technology developed by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, together with MLA and James Cook University. FutureFeed the company, is supported by an impressive group of investors comprising of GrainCorp, Harvest Road Group; Woolworths Group; AGP Sustainable Real Assets; Sparklabs and-Cultiv8 Joint Venture.

For more information on the products available, visit Asparagopsis commercialisation – Information for producers

[Back to Top]

Heading: Beef and Sheep News

Did you know that food waste – swill – containing meat or other animal by-products must not be fed to pigs as it may contain viruses that cause diseases in animals?

Australia is free of Foot-and-mouth disease. Feeding pigs waste food containing meat and meat products, irrespective of whether they are locally produced or imported, or imported dairy products puts this at risk.

Banning the feeding of prohibited food waste to pigs provides an important defence against the introduction of FMD or African Swine Fever to Australia.

Learn more about what you can and can’t feed to pigs here

[Back to Top]


What’s being done to stop Foot-and-mouth disease from entering Australia?

On 14 July the VFF delivered a webinar featuring leading industry voices discussing the measures being taken by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments. Speakers included:

  • Emma Germano, VFF President
  • Dr Chris Parker, Head of the National Animal Disease Taskforce, Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Dr Megan Scott, Principal Officer – Emergency Animal Disease, Chief Veterinary Officer’s Unit, Agriculture Victoria.

Access the recording of this webinar on the VFF website.

[Back to Top]


On 20 July MLA hosted a webinar on Australia’s FMD and LSD response so far and insights into what’s happening in Indonesia and what would happen if these diseases arrived in Australia. Guest speakers included:

  • Ag Minister Senator Murray Watt
  • John McKillop, Independent Chair, Red Meat Advisory Panel
  • Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers Federation
  • Dr Chris Parker, National LSd/FMD Preparedness Coordinator, DAFF
  • Dr Samantha Allan, General Manager of Emergency Preparedness, Animal Health and Biosecurity, Animal Health Australia.

Visit the MLA website to access the recording

[Back to Top]


All LPA accredited producers must have an up-to-date biosecurity plan, to protect and uphold the safety and quality of our Australian red meat.

Read more on the Integrity Systems website.

[Back to Top]


The $21 million Historical Soil Data Capture Payments Program is a key measure under the National Soil Package. The program pays farmers and land managers to share their historical soil test data with the Australian Government.

Farmers and land managers may be eligible to receive payments up to $10,000 in exchange for sharing their historical soil information through the program.

The department has engaged a panel of data brokers to engage with data owners, collate soil test data, and share the data with the Australian Government.

The Program will be open from April 2022 to 30 June 2023.

Read more online.

[Back to Top]

Heading: Ag Recovery Support

Our recovery guide booklet helps farmers to rebuild and provides a one-stop reference to the support available after fires.

The guide includes steps to take immediately after the fire and for short-term recovery and longer-term rebuilding. It covers re-fencing, dealing with erosion and flooding, pasture recovery, pest and weed control and preparing for the next season.

The printed booklet is available from Agriculture Victoria, by contacting our agriculture recovery managers or phone 136 186 or digital version online.

[Back to Top]


The Victorian and Commonwealth governments are supporting landholders impacted by fires and floods across Victoria.

For more information on bushfire recovery programs or recovery from floods/storm events, visit the Agriculture Victoria website or phone 136 186.

Regional Agriculture Victoria recovery managers:

  • North East – Kylie Macreadie 0428 975 728 or email
  • Gippsland – Darren Hickey 0457 609 140 or email.

Visit the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website or 1800 560 760.

[Back to Top]


Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) have an experienced team ready to assist primary producers and small rural business in recovery planning.

Financial counsellors can help develop financial forecasts and business plans required for lenders or investors, plus connect with support agencies and services.

RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. They can also assist with filling in forms and grant applications.

For more information or to book an appointment call RFCS Gippsland on 1300 045 747 or RFCS North East on 1300 834 775.

[Back to Top]


The Regional Weather and Climate Guides project is part of the Commonwealth Government Drought Assistance Package.

The project aims to improve the resilience of farming businesses by providing localised facts about the likelihood, severity, and duration of key weather variables in regions across the country.

The weather and climate information will be delivered through a set of guides corresponding to Australia's Natural Resource Management regions.

The project is a collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, and FarmLink Research.

The guides have been developed in collaboration with representatives from each NRM region to ensure the information is tailored to the needs of local farmers and agribusinesses.

For more information visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

[Back to Top]

Heading: Quick Links
Feeding Livestock website

For tools, calculators, resources and livestock feed planning guides, visit the Feeding Livestock website.

Logo: feeding livestock website
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) wool market review
Image: AWI logo

For weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists, visit the AWI website.

Market reports and prices
image: MLA logo

Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA's) market information service provides producers with accurate, timely and independent market information, allowing them to make profitable business decisions.

For the latest cattle market reports, visit the MLA website.

AgVic podcasts
Decorative; AgVic Talk podcast logo

AgVic Talk podcast series delivers knowledge and information in a format that suits the way farmers and agricultural professionals work and live today.

Latest episode: Dealing with change with Daryl Hoey and Dale Grey

Decorative: My Rain Gauge is Busted podcast logo

For all things climate and farming listen to Agriculture Victoria's My Rain Gauge is Busted podcast series.

Latest episode: How to be certain when the outcome is uncertain

AWI podcast - The Yarn No. 221

Foot-and-mouth disease special: your sheep and wool questions answered

Join Andrew Henderson chair of SAFEMEAT who discusses in detail how the industry is protected, what you can do to help protect the industry, what happens if the disease is found in Australia and the sheep and wool ramifications.

Listen to The Yarn podcast.

Follow AWI on social media for the latest on sheep and wool.

@Facebook, @Twitter and @Instagram

Image: The Yarn - AWI podcast
The Fast Break Seasonal Climate Update

For the latest edition of The Fast Break - an update of seasonal climate drivers and outlooks.

The Fast Break details oceanic and atmospheric climate driver activity over the last month and summarises three month model predictions for the Pacific and Indian Oceans, rainfall and temperature for Victoria.

Image: The Fast Break
Livestock and animals
Agriculture Victoria logo

Visit Agriculture Victoria’s website for the latest information and resources relating to livestock and animals.

Follow Agriculture Victoria on social media. 

@Facebook and @Twitter 

Workshops and events

Agriculture Victoria is delivering workshops, farm walks and online information sessions. Visit the Agriculture Victoria website for a list of upcoming events.

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The RFCS provides free financial counselling to farmers and small related businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship. Counsellors can also assist applicants to apply for the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).

For more information visit the RFCS website or contact your local recovery support officer by searching the RFCS online directory

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) provides health and safety education and advice to farmers and their families via the Online Ag Health program. 

For more information visit the National Centre for Farmer Health website.

[Back to Top]


Privacy | Disclaimer | Email:


This newsletter is distributed by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.