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Beef and Sheep Networks Newsflash
3 November 2022

In this edition

What's On

Ag Recovery Support

What's New

Beef and Sheep News

Best Wool / Best Lamb

Better Beef

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: Thursday 3 November

Where: Online via Zoom

Time: 7.30 – 8.30 pm


Flood recovery: Feed budgeting webinar

Beef and sheep producers, service providers and consultants are invited to join us for a feed budgeting after floods webinar. Presented by Fiona Baker, Beef Extension Officer with experience in pastures, beef nutrition and soil fertility.

Register for the free webinar online at Zoom

For more event information, please contact Rachel Coombes, Industry Development Officer at

Event Details


When: Thursday 10 November

Where: Online via Zoom

Time: 1 – 2 pm


Flood recovery: Animal health webinar

Join us for a flood recovery webinar to hear more about common health issues, signs to be monitored, and actions to take to prevent or treat health issues. Presented by Dr Rachel Gibney, Veterinary Officer with experience assisting flood impacted producers.

Register for the free webinar online at Zoom.

For more event information, please contact Rachel Coombes, Industry Development Officer at


Biosecurity 'How-to' webinar series

Agriculture Victoria held a series of free webinars to help improve on-farm biosecurity. The series was hosted by the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Networks, each webinar features industry specialists who lead the one-hour ‘How-to’ presentations.

Listen to the webinar recordings, the passcode is: Biosecurity2022

Webinar 1: How to create a record keeping system that can be easily accessed and shared  with Alister Rayner (Dynamic Ag) (RaynerAg)

Webinar 2: How to create an animal health plan that details what treatments are needed and when with Andrew Whale (Apiam)

Webinar 3: How to create a farm map that shows your biosecurity risk areas with Chris Blore (AgVic)

Webinar 4: How to create and implement an on-farm biosecurity plan with Kate McCue (AgVic).

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Heading: Ag Recovery Support

Agriculture Victoria is working with producers and industry in response to the current flood situation across areas of Victoria.

An important part of our role in emergencies includes appropriately responding to reports of urgent animal welfare issues and assessing agricultural losses and damage as a result of the floods, as this will inform the type of support required by producers both immediately and over the medium to long-term.

Agriculture Victoria is contacting landholders affected by the floods to assess loss and damage and to understand their needs as they manage the recovery process.

Producers are encouraged to get in contact with Agriculture Victoria if they have horticultural, livestock, crops or other agricultural loss, damage or issues resulting from the recent floods.

Telephone: 1800 226 226

Urgent animal health concerns – injury, loss or disease?

Anyone with urgent animal welfare issues should contact us through the 1800 226 226 number.

A support package is available for flood-affected farmers  

  • Primary Producer Clean-Up Relief Grants: Up to $75,000 grants to cover the cost of the clean-up and get businesses up and running again.
  • Rural Landholder Grants: Up to $25,000 grants to cover the costs of disaster impacts for small-scale producers.
  • Primary Producer Concessional Loans: Up to $250,000 to restore or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, or to cover the short-term business expenses.
  • Primary Producer Transport Subsidies: Up to $15,000 to support the transport of emergency fodder or stock drinking water, and the movement of livestock.

Visit the Rural Finance website to read more and apply.

Rural Financial Counselling Service 

The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides free financial counselling to agricultural industries and small rural businesses.

For more information visit the National Emergency Management Agency website.

Sewage and livestock 

Animal owners should avoid livestock having any contact with sewage contaminated water or areas where sewage contamination has occurred.

Cattle and pigs that come into contact with untreated sewage can develop parasitic infections caused by the human tapeworms Taenia solium andTaenia saginata respectively.

The infection of Taenia saginata in cattle is called Cysticercus bovis (‘beef measles’) and is notifiable in Victoria. For more information head to our Notifiable diseases webpage.

If sewage contamination is suspected on your property notify Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226.

Recovery services that Agriculture Victoria provides

Agriculture Victoria can offer technical advice on:

  • pasture recovery and grazing management
  • soil erosion management
  • animal health, nutrition, and feed budgeting
  • whole farm planning
  • water quality and water budgeting
  • farm water reticulation and dam management
  • farm business planning.

Producers seeking assistance or advice are encouraged to phone the Agriculture Victoria Ag Recovery Team on the 1800 226 226.

For more information on farm management during and after floods, including a flood resource directory visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Heading: What's New

New laws have been introduced in Victoria to allow livestock owners to voluntarily establish extra biosecurity measures on their properties, to protect them from trespassers.

Changes to the Livestock Management Act 2010 and Livestock Management Regulations 2021 have introduced offences for non-compliance with prescribed biosecurity measures, including entering agricultural premises without consent.

Offenders will face on-the-spot fines of $1,294 for individuals and $8,321 for organisations, the toughest fines in Australia. Further penalties of up to $11,095 for individuals and $55,476 for organisations could apply for more serious offending.

For an offence to apply under the new laws, the biosecurity management plan (BMP) must include:

  • A clear title: including the words 'BIOSECURITY MANAGEMENT PLAN' and the address of the premises to which it applies.
  • Contact information: the name and contact details of the nominated person(s), for example, the owner or livestock manager.
  • Area description: a description, map or plan of the whole or specified part of the premises to which the BMP applies, that accurately describes the boundaries of the premises.
  • Preparation details: additional details including the day that the BMP comes into operation and the name of the person who prepared the BMP.

For more information or to download templates visit:

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Heading: Beef and Sheep News

Ongoing wet conditions can lead to a range of animal health concerns for livestock producers including (but not limited to) Barber’s pole, foot abscesses and foot scald, scours and liver fluke. Read more about each health condition and integrated herd and flock health management options on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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When pastures and conserved fodder are in limited supply due to the impacts of a flood, it is important to have a good understanding of the current nutritional requirements of herds and flocks now, and for the weeks and months ahead during the recovery process.
Excellent resources are available to assist with planning the nutritional needs of various classes of stock on our Feeding Livestock website where you can download the emergency feed and water budget planner to plan out requirements.

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Heading: BestWoo/BestLamb

BestWool/BestLamb is a partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Australian Wool Innovation Limited, which provides a network facilitating information exchange that enables producers to implement improvements in key aspects of their business.

Lyndon Kubeil, Senior Sheep Specialist 0418 532 085 or email

Alison Desmond, Project Leader Sheep Industry Development 0409 424 274 or email

BWBL Lamb logo, AWI logo

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) website has a range of information for wool producers affected by flooding. Visit the AWI website to access recovery resources.

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Heavy rainfall and floods can increase the risk of flystrike. All breeds of sheep can be affected, mainly from body strike where fleece rot has occurred. Other animals can be struck by blow flies where they have oozing sores, such as when they have been lying down for long periods, or in wounds. Read more on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Liver fluke can cause lost production through ill thrift, sudden death, and bottle jaw. Liver fluke enter your property through introduced livestock and waterways. Consider liver fluke in your biosecurity plan.

Check out this Shortcuts video for tips on how to manage liver fluke to prevent lost production and carcase damage.

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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.


Darren Hickey, BetterBeef Project Leader 0457 609 140 or email


Carmen Quade, AgriFocused

There is an overabundance of different options for storing farm records and analysing data. They range from carefully kept historical diaries, to notes on the back of an envelope right through to top-of-the-line app based ag tech solutions. 

Excel spreadsheets can be used to simply record and analyse much of the information you have on hand. Data can also be extracted from other programs and analysed or enhanced in excel. The best thing is you can completely customise the layout for what you want to focus on and present the information in a way that makes sense to you and others who need to use it. 

Five spreadsheets you might want to develop for your livestock business:

Asset register
A list of assets can contain equipment names, date of manufacture, VIN and registration details. Annually updating values on equipment can help inform decisions around replacement and insurance. Storing filter and replacement part numbers and service intervals or dates can help with maintenance activities.

Paddock list
A simple list of paddocks can be used to store information that does not change, like paddock area, arable area and land capacity and can be updated when needed to record information like grazing records, crop types and production achievements. 

Calendar of operations
A calendar of operations can be used to plan out the essential activities for the year, including holidays! Calendars help communication and makes sure what needs to get done, gets done. As well as including day to day activities, also include prompt dates for booking contractors, talking to agents, stud stock pre purchase reviews and ordering inputs.

For a livestock business, you may separate tasks by livestock type and include a section for pasture related tasks, machinery maintenance, general farm maintenance, administration, finance, and management. Colour can be used to allocate certain tasks to different family or business members. 

Budget and actual gross margins
Gross margin information is a great way to identify ways to improve profitability.  Gross margins can be developed on a per head level and then reviewed against actual outcomes. Sometimes it’s best to look at the bigger picture when budgeting for livestock costs. Whist excel can help with costing out drench and vaccination by the millilitre and ear tags individually, allocating a per head total cost can make the task easier. The GRDC website and MLA website have some online tools to help get you started with this task. 

Livestock performance data
Excel is a great tool for analysis as well as record keeping. You may want to use excel to store annual information on scanning results, survival percentages, marking rates or weight gain. Once the data has been recorded; graphs, tables, ratios and averages can all be generated with ease. This is fantastic information to have readily on hand for reporting to the bank, generating budgets as well as goal setting and review. 

To increase your Excel knowledge and develop the skills to make your own cash flow budget, watch our recent one-hour webinar recording with Carmen Quade. Passcode: CASHFLOW

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Heading: Quick Links
Feeding Livestock Website

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

Market reports and prices
image: MLA logo

Meat and 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: listen now to the latest episodes

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: Attracting and retaining workers, with Ben Reeves

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

Merino lifetime productivity

The Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project is the world’s largest Merino experiment, tracking the lifetime performance of 5,700 ewes as they proceed through four to five joining and annual shearings at five sites across the country. We are now starting to get some fascinating results which are uncovering some of the mysteries of Merino genetics. Hear from Ben Swain (AMSEA) as well as MerinoLink and Pingelly site hosts Marty Moses and Dr Bronwyn Clarke. 

Tune in to gain insights into what AWI and Woolmark are doing across research and development and marketing.

Listen to The Yarn podcast.

Follow AWI on social media for the latest on sheep and wool @Facebook and @Twitter

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.

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.

Follow Agriculture Victoria on social media
@Facebook and @Twitter

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 NEMA website.  

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

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