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Thursday 30 May 2024

In this edition:

Queensland fruit fly home gardener survey
Avian influenza situation
red chickens

Movement controls remain in place for areas surrounding two 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

Subsoil help for dryland grain growers
subsoil amelioration pit showing ripper injuection point

Caption: Soil amelioration amendment placed into the top of heavy sodic clay subsoil

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.

Investing in the future of Victorian AgTech
person in checked shirt looking at iPad standing in a crip outdoors

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 that 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

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

The Pinches - National Centre for Farmer Health
poster with National Centre for Farmer Health logo, sheep in dry paddocks inset

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.

Registration period extended for Cultivating Futures in Farming Mentor Program
Slideshow of farmers talking to mentors

Cultivation Futures in Farming 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 by visiting:
Passcode: Bupcq7

Registrations for the 2024-25 program close Wednesday 3 July.

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

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

Growing tomorrow’s farmers
People in tractor cabin and post promoting ag career program

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.

On-farm demonstration EOI extended
farmers gathered in a dry pasture paddock with hills in background

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.

Applications closing 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 will close next week                                            .

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.

Applications close on Monday 3 June at 1 pm.

Minerals exploration explained
people assessing 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.

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.

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.

Footy's favourite farmer 2024

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 👉


Protecting agriculture from animal disease threats

The Victorian Government is protecting Victoria’s thriving $20 billion agriculture industry – by strengthening the state’s biosecurity practices and preparedness to quickly and effectively respond to emerging animal diseases.


What's On

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can now be found in one spot on our website.

Visit to find out what's on.

Almond Skills Workshops
Almond Board of Australia logo in green and yellow over white icon of Australia

18 June - Nutrition workshop

8:30 am - 4 pm

6 August - Follow-up workshop

8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Mildura SmartFarm
Cnr Koorlong Avenue and 11th Street



The Almond Board of Australia (ABA) is running a series of Almond Skills Workshop with an initial 1-day workshop followed by a half-day follow up workshop later in the season. You are encouraged to attend both.

Nutrition workshop program:

  • Almond tree requirements
  • Grower experience
  • Nutrient balances
  • Fertiliser formulations and types
  • Supply chain
  • Safety and environment

Follow-up workshop program

  • Soil and tree health
  • Fertigation
  • Grower experience

Further information on these workshops is available on the ABA events page or click here to register on SurveyMonkey.

Export Development Programme
compass and toy plane on purple and mauve illustration

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. 


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

Register on Humantix here.

GRDC Grains Research Update - Aerial application, drones and market access to EU canola markets

4 June
10 - 11:30 am




Come and listen to the experts and join in the discussion on 3 topics: Aerial application, drones and market access to EU canola markets

Topics and presenters:

  • increasing momentum behind on-farm sustainability accreditation and developing market signals. ISCC canola standards and market access issues when selling canola overseas. Rosemary Richards (Sustainable Grain Australia)
  • aerial application in broadacre crop production. Scott Mackie (South East Air Ag)
  • drones for spraying, weed mapping and other uses - licensing, uses and limitations. Tristan Steventon (Stevtech) and Aaron Parker (Aussie Drones).

Register here

Managing the late break

5 June
3-6 pm

Edenhope Community Hall
76 Elizabeth Street


A free event with a fantastic line up of speakers discussing strategies around managing lambing ewes during a late break

Speakers and topics

  • Speed feed – Strategies for growing feed fast with Josh Brown McDonald Rural Services, Elizabeth Kennedy Vickery Bros
  • Animal health for pregnant and lambing ewes- Jane Gaussen -The Livestock Vet
  • Grain and fodder access – JK Milling, Lachlan McKenzie
  • Feed budgeting and monitoring for pregnant and lambing ewes – Tim Leeming
  • Early Weaning Strategies/ Ewe Recovery for 2025 – Tim Leeming and Jane Gaussen
  • Looking after yourself and managing the mental load – Murray McGinness Rural Outreach
  • What’s available for farmers- Rural financial counselling service, Patrick White and Maggie Bridgewater

Visit or click here to register on Trybooking.

The Farm Business Resilience Program is supporting farmers to build stronger, more productive agricultural businesses.

Horticulture Young Farmer Business Bootcamp
grapevine shooting

2-day in-person workshop

12-13 June
9 am - 2:30pm

Location TBC pending interest as Yarra Valley or Werribee

Online session

21 June

10-11 am


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.


  • 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

In good times and in bad – adaptive skills for your farming future

24-25 July
9 am - 3 pm

Brim Sports and Social Club
45 Simson Street


Grain and mixed farmers are invited to a short 2-day course for your farm business future.

Presenter: Dr Kate Burke

Topics include:

  • Key profit drivers and high-level benchmarks
  • Income vs cost of production and impact of rotation
  • Calculating basic financial benchmarks
  • Understanding your personal appetite for risk
  • Understanding your production potential to assess variation in profit
  • Managing climate variability and farm financial performance
  • Scenario planning for the 2024 and 2025 seasons and beyond

Visit for further information and to register.

Calm the Farm
calm the farm promotion with person and dog in front of ATV and 3 people in brimmed hats outside

6 June
7:30 am breakfast 8 am workshop

Rupanyup Community Centre
Gibson Street

7 June
10 am

Goroke Community Centre
Natimuk Road


Are you interested in reducing risks to mental health in your farm workplace by improving your work systems, or doing things a bit differently?

Join us for an interactive and engaging 2-hour workshop that explores ways of reducing work-related stress.



RSVP: Joanna Werner, West Wimmera Health Service, 03 5363 2201 or email: 


RSVP: Alana Storey, West Wimmera Health Service, 03 5391 4314 or email


BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef 2024 conference
Black Angus and sheep advertising early bird tickets closing soon for conference

19 - 20 June
The Goods Shed



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.

Interpreting soil moisture monitoring equipment
graph in blue, green and red

13 June
9 - 11 am

Robinvale Resource Centre
72 Herbert Street

14 June
9 - 11 am

Mildura SmartFarm
Corner Koorlang Avenue and 11th Street


Agriculture Victoria, in conjunction with Green Brain, is offering a half day workshop for irrigators looking to have a greater understanding of interpreting soil moisture monitoring data.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their login details and share their data with the group if appropriate.


  • Soil water principles
  • Understanding graphs
  • Summed and split-level graphs
  • Setting refill and fill points
  • Graph responses
  • Integration / data presentation
  • Your data.

To register, contact Jeremy Giddings, Agriculture Victoria Regional Manager Irrigation, Mallee on 0427102 285 or email.

Numbers strictly limited.

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.


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.

Stock Sense calving webinar
cow licking newborn calf

26 June
6:30 - 7 pm



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!


Grasslands Society of Southern Australia – 54th Annual Conference
54th annual conference 16-18 july 2024 bendigo

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

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