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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday, 18 May 2023
In this edition:
More time for Victorian farmers to apply for flood assistance

Farmers in Victoria affected by last year’s storms and floods now have more time to apply for flood recovery financial support, including grants of up to $75,000, concessional loans and assistance with transport costs.

Delivered under the Primary Producer Flood Recovery Package as part of a suite of financial support valued at over $300 million, the support package is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Eligible primary producers now have until 4 pm local time on Thursday 13 July to apply for the:

  • Primary Producer Flood Recovery Grant (up to $75,000)
  • Rural Landholder Grant (up to $25,000)
  • Flood Recovery Transport Support Program (up to $15,000)
  • Primary Producer Flood Recovery Concessional Loan (up to $250,000).

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the extension would help ensure farm businesses and communities were supported in the clean-up and recovery.

'Last year’s disaster caused significant damage and disruption to communities across Victoria, through flash flooding, landslips, road damage and closures and impacts from fallen trees,' Minister Watt said.

'We know that for farmers especially, cleaning-up, managing disease and pests, and the shortage of contractors are serious challenges which may have impacted their ability to consider financial assistance.

'By extending the date for applications, we’re making sure farmers who were affected later have time to assess damages and complete their applications for financial support.'

Victorian Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Gayle Tierney MP, said the extension of time for the submission of applications would help relieve some of the workload farmers were dealing with.

'The Primary Producer Flood Recovery Package will be essential in helping farmers get their businesses back on track and thriving once again,' Minister Tierney said.

For more information on the range of financial support measures available for the 6 October 2022 to 13 January 2023 floods and storms, visit Rural Finance at or call 1800 260 425.

Ag recovery update for flood and storm-affected farmers
application time for primary producer financial support extended

A range of support measures are available for flood and storm-affected farmers.

Information about these measures can be found at

For any urgent animal welfare needs, please contact 136 186. 

Farmers are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Recovery team on 0427 694 185 (Mon-Fri between 8:30 am and 5 pm) or email

Technical Information and decision-making support

Agriculture Victoria is working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters (including floods and storms) through delivery of technical information and decision-making support services to help farm business recovery, including:

  • grazing, cropping and pasture management
  • irrigation and horticulture system rehabilitation
  • soil erosion management 
  • land management
  • animal health and nutrition 
  • farm mapping and planning 
  • water quality
  • weed management.

Ag recovery newsletter

Farmers and service providers are encouraged to subscribe to the ag recovery digital newsletter to access latest events and information.

Ag recovery events

For information on events and field days across the state please visit the Events page on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Victorian Primary Producer Flood Recovery package

Flood and storm-affected farmers and growers are eligible to apply for financial support via the current flood recovery grants.

Applications for primary producer and rural landholder financial supports related to the October 2022 to 13 January 2023 flood and storm event have been extended to 13 July 2023.

Applications close at 4 pm on Thursday 13 July 2023.

The extension applies to:

  1. Primary Producer Recovery Grants: Up to $75,000 grants to support the cost of recovery and get businesses up and running again. Note: This replaces the $10,000 Primary Producer Flood Clean–Up, Relief Grants announced on 19 October. Producers that have received a Primary Producer Flood Clean–Up Relief Grant of $10,000 can now apply for up to a further $65,000 under the Primary Producer Recovery Grant, bringing the total to $75,000.
  2. Rural Landholder Grants: Up to $25,000 grants to support the costs of disaster impacts for small-scale producers.
  3. Primary Producer Concessional Loans: Up to $250,000 to restore or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, or to cover short-term business expenses. This loan has been amended to allow primary producers who suffered a significant loss of income as a direct result of the 2022 Victorian floods and storms but who did not suffer direct damage to assets to apply for a concessional loan of up to $100,000.
  4. Primary Producer Transport Subsidies: Up to $15,000 to support the transport of emergency fodder or stock drinking water, and the movement of livestock.

To apply for support or for more information, visit the Rural Finance website.

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service offers free and independent financial information, options, decision-making support and referral services to farmers and small, related rural businesses who are in, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can also assist farmers to apply for financial assistance.

To connect with your local service call 1300 771 741 or visit the National Emergency Management Agency.

National Centre for Farmer Health: flood response support
supporting farmers, farm workers and farming families

The National Centre for Farmer Health is committed to supporting primary producers whose properties, livestock or crops were damaged or lost in the floods and storms through the delivery of initiatives to boost farmer mental health and wellbeing, including:

  • a supportive online community through the #BuildingFarmSpirit social media campaign
  • free access to online psychology support delivered by farmer health trained psychologists
  • support for community events providing social connection and mental health promotion opportunities for farmers, farming families and farming communities
  • distribution of mental health resources and support information.

More information is available on the National Centre for Farmer Health website.

Subscribe to Victorian Biosecurity Matters
Victorian biosecurity matters

Agriculture Victoria has launched a new monthly e-newsletter, Victorian Biosecurity Matters, to serve as a key hub for all biosecurity-related content.

The monthly publication will cover topics such as emergency animal diseases, marine pests, pest animals, plant diseases, weeds, pest insects and mites, food safety and on-farm biosecurity plans.

Victorian Biosecurity Matters will pool together all of Agriculture Victoria’s biosecurity content into one publication, making it a valuable resource for farmers, small landholders, animal owners, veterinarians, and anyone with an interest to stay up to date with the most relevant information in relation to our agriculture industry.

It's Agriculture Victoria’s goal to ensure Victorians understand the importance of biosecurity and the role they can play in maintaining a healthy and sustainable agriculture industry.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, Victorian Biosecurity Matters has something for everyone.

Subscribing to the free newsletter is easy.

Retiring grain scientist’s career celebrated
Dr Joe Panozzo in the lab

Caption: Dr Joe Panozzo

One of Agriculture Victoria’s most respected researchers, Dr Joe Panozzo recently retired after more than 35 years of service with Agriculture Victoria.

In the eyes of his former colleagues, Dr Joe Panozzo remains an incredibly humble and approachable person despite all of his achievements in agricultural research.

Commencing with grower funded Victorian Wheat Institute as a wheat quality scientist in the 1980s, Dr Panozzo worked closely with three wheat breeding programs to determine quality traits in the early generations of the breeds.

A friend and mentor to many, he has supervised 11 PhD students during their studies at Horsham and continues to instil his passion for agricultural research as an honorary supervisor at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Simone Warner, head of Agriculture Victoria Research thanked Dr Panozzo for his service to Victorian agriculture.

‘Dr Panozzo is recognised globally for his vast experience in grains research. He has led research and development projects in wheat breeding, pulses, oilseeds and ruminant feed nutrition that many organisations have benefitted from.

‘The significance of his scientific contributions is evident in the 140 plus publications that bear his name and his team’s research findings have been cited more than 4,300 times. Agriculture Victoria is very thankful to Joe for his contributions that have been such a benefit, to our organisation and Victoria.'

Acting Research Director and Horsham SmartFarm Site Manager, Dr Garry Rosewarne said Dr Panozzo has been a great colleague and friend to many.

‘I worked with Joe first-hand in our pulse breeding programs and he has revolutionised how we assess quality in such a way that it goes hand in hand with our genomics capabilities.

‘His wealth of knowledge and experience will be sorely missed,’ Dr Rosewarne said.

Dr Panozzo said he would look back at his time at Agriculture Victoria with fondness and the Horsham site as a truly wonderful place to undertake agricultural-based research that had clear economic benefits for Victoria.

At the height of his career, Dr Panozzo was awarded the Farrer medal which perpetuates the achievements of Australia’s first wheat breeder William Farrer and the prestigious Australasian Grain Science Association FB Guthrie Medal for ‘outstanding scientific achievement and contribution to knowledge in the field of grain science’.

More skills for women across Victoria
more skills for women across victoria

Looking for a new challenge?

We’re making it easier than ever for women across Victoria to learn new skills for their chosen career or retrain to get the job of their dreams.

Even with a previous qualification, Victorians may now be eligible for Free TAFE and other government-subsidised courses, giving an additional 2 million Victorians access to more than 500 courses.

With Free TAFE, you could undertake courses in community services, nursing, agriculture, early childhood, construction and more without the cost of tuition.

Want to know more?

Find the course you’re looking for at

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open
victoeian gorse taskforce community grants now open

Speak with your local community group about applying for a VGT grant.


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.

The 2023-24 Community Grants Program is now open and will close on 30 June 2023. If gorse is a problem across your area the VGT encourages you to connect with your local community group and apply now.


  • Grants are available to Victorian community groups e.g., Landcare or Friends of Groups only.
  • Funding is available for gorse control on private land only.
  • Projects must promote and carry out gorse control that aligns with the Gorse National Best Practice Manual.
  • Incentives to participating individual properties must be capped at $1,500 per property ownership.
  • Participating landholders must sign a 3-year voluntary work agreement that commits them to maintaining all necessary follow-up gorse control at their expense.

For more information about the grants, head to

Or send your inquiry to

Free online training modules for Emergency Animal Disease awareness
online training emergency animal disease awareness

Farmers across Victoria are encouraged to complete a series of free online training modules to help them protect their animals from diseases and biosecurity threats.

Agriculture Victoria’s online training modules aim to give farmers an overview of the risk and impacts of an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak.

They raise awareness of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, what a livestock standstill means for the industry and how people can visit farming properties safely.

The four modules include:

  • Foot-and-mouth disease awareness
  • Lumpy Skin disease awareness
  • Come clean, stay clean, go clean - when visiting farms
  • Livestock standstill for Foot-and-mouth disease.

Each module takes about 15 minutes to complete.

To get started, click here.

Fox and wild dog bounty collection details

Ballarat collections fox only
Address: Ballarat Field and Game (Haddon Common Bushland Reserve) 726 Bells Road, Haddon.

Time: 1 – 3 pm


  • Monday 5 June
  • Monday 3 July
  • Monday 31 July
  • Monday 28 August
  • Monday 25 September
  • Monday 23 October.

Geelong collections  fox only

Address:16 Cadman Terrace, North Geelong.

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 am


  • Tuesday 6 June
  • Tuesday 4 July
  • Tuesday 1 August
  • Tuesday 29 August 
  • Tuesday 26 September
  • Tuesday 24 October.

Colac collections  fox only

Please note: Bounty collections at Colac have been relocated to 23A Hugh Murray Drive, Colac East.

Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm


  • Tuesday 6 June
  • Tuesday 4 July
  • Tuesday 1 August
  • Tuesday 29 August
  • Tuesday 26 September
  • Tuesday 24 October.

Warrnambool collections - fox only
Address: 703 – 709 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool.

Time: 8:30 – 10:30 am


  • Wednesday 7 June
  • Wednesday 5 July 
  • Wednesday 2 August
  • Wednesday 30 August
  • Wednesday 27 September
  • Wednesday 25 October.

Hamilton collections  fox only

Address: Depot, Hamilton Centre, Research Station Road,

Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm


  • Wednesday 7 June
  • Wednesday 5 July
  • Wednesday 2 August 
  • Wednesday 30 August 
  • Wednesday 27 September
  • Wednesday 25 October.

For more information visit:

Livestock Farm Monitoring Project calling for participants
livestock farm monitor sheep and beef farm benchmarking

Spots are now available in a free and trusted sheep and beef farm benchmarking project.

Find out how your farm stacks up against similar businesses across the state by participating in Agriculture Victoria’s Livestock Farm Monitor Project.

All information is treated as highly confidential.

For more information see the project website or contact

Feral pig monitoring videos
new invasives species videos available

Feral pigs are becoming an increasing threat to biosecurity, agricultural production and the natural environment in Victoria.

Click here to learn more about feral pigs and control methods. 

AgVic Talk on all things AgTech and Energy
ag tech and energy season 5 agriculture victoria

AgVic Talk podcast is back for season five, this time talking about the future of Agricultural Technologies (AgTech) and Energy.

From solar-powered poultry farms to on-farm drone trials and the difficulties of connectivity in rural and remote areas, this season covers everything you need to further understand the evolving world of AgTech and Energy.

The series will help farmers learn what AgTech is, what energy solutions are available and how they can use them to improve productivity and efficiency on-farm.

These 14 episodes are the latest in the AgVic Talk series, which began as a pilot in August 2020 to cover contemporary commentary on how members of the agricultural community recover, grow, modernise, protect, and promote Victorian agriculture.

You can subscribe and listen to AgVic Talk wherever you get your podcasts:

  • Subscribe to AgVic Talk on Spotify
  • Subscribe to Apple podcasts.
Citrus traceability
international day of plant health trace the taste

International Day of Plant Health on May 12 offered a great opportunity to learn about the systems that support food security – like traceability.

The Australian citrus industry exports a whopping 304,000 tonnes of fruit each year to export countries at a value of $500 million!

And to make sure the whole world knows exactly where their Australian citrus is coming from, we’ve helped fund technology that links the buyer back to the orchards where it’s grown.

The Citrus Traceability Project has labelled 600,000 bags and boxes of citrus fruit with specially marked QR codes - every code is unique and scanning enables two-way flow of information from farm to fork.

Learn more here or scan the QR code above.

Footy's favourite farmer
we're on the hunt for footy's favourite farmer

From cattle to cropping, Gippsland to the Mallee, and everything in between, we're on the hunt for this year's Footy's Favourite Farmer!

Last year, Ricky Allan was a worthy winner, displaying leadership in multiple roles at the Wycheproof Narraport Football Club, such as the presidency, senior and juniors' coach and more, all while supporting his family and the community as a farmer.

Who do you think deserves the 2023 title as Footy's Favourite Farmer?

There's over $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs - for the farmer and their local club, and you could even win a spot prize yourself!

Nominate your favourite farmer today.

Hurry - get your entries in before Wednesday 26 July to be in the running.


Primary producer loans and more disaster recovery assistance for hail-impacted Victorians

Victorian primary producers in the City of Greater Shepparton and the Yarra Ranges Local Government Areas can now apply for concessional loans of up to $250,000 following a hailstorm event on 23 March this year.

The loans are part of a range of assistance jointly funded by the Australian and Victoria Governments through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.


Applications open for Dairy Australia Board positions

The Dairy Australia Board is seeking directors to fill upcoming vacancies and to be appointed at the November 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM).


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.

Feed budgeting workshop - Hamilton

This practical workshop on pasture budgeting for prime lamb producers, presented by Dr Steve Cotton of DynamicAg, will help you make informed, timely grazing management and livestock feeding decisions, improving your business productivity and profitability.


WHEN: Tuesday 30 May
TIME: 8:30 am – 3 pm
HERE: Chrome Sheep stud – shearing shed, 6132 Dartmoor-Hamilton Road, Hamilton.


Register for the workshop using the Eventbrite link

 For more information or if you need assistance with registering, please contact the event organiser - Esmée De Looff on email: or mobile: 0473 676 613.

Identification and management of worms in sheep workshop – Penshurst and Cavendish

This practical workshop on worm management, presented by Dr Andrew Whale of Livestock Logic, will show you how to identify and measure the worms in your flock and develop a strategic management plan to reduce their impact on your business productivity and profitability.


  • Identifying worms – what species are in your area; is Barbers Pole a risk?
  • Measuring and monitoring worms – when and how to collect accurate Worm Egg Count (WEC) samples
  • Strategic management of worms – using drench selection, grazing management and genetics to reduce production impacts and costs
  • Biosecurity – practical activity developing a quarantine procedure for introduced animals.

Participants will receive a free WEC sample kit and test.

DATE: Thursday 25 May

WHERE: Penshurst Rec Reserve, 60 Thackery St, Penshurst

WHEN: 8 am - 1 pm

COST: free


DATE: Friday 26 May

WHERE: 32 Barker Street Cavendish

WHEN: 8 am - 1 pm

COST: free


For more information: Chris Blore, Industry Development Officer,

Mobile: 0428 155 781 or email 

Register now! 2023 BWBL Conference and dinner
bestwool/bestlamb industry dinner and conference 2023

The Ag Vic 2023 BestWool/BestLamb Conference will be held at the Bendigo Showgrounds on Tuesday 20 June.

A pre-conference dinner will take place on Monday 19 June at the All Seasons Resort Hotel in Bendigo to celebrate 25 years of the BestWool/BestLamb program.

Our dinner guest speaker will be Mark Wales, former SAS and winner of TV series Australian Survivor.

The line-up of conference speakers is sure to inform, challenge and excite participants with the most up to date sheep industry research and information.

Early bird registrations are now on sale until 31 May.

Click here for the conference program and registration

For more information call Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or email

Stock Sense - Colac cattle workshop

We're coming to #Colac!

This time we're talking #biosecurity planning, colostrum management and calving preparation!

DATE: Thursday 1 June
TIME: 11:30 am - 2 pm
WHERE: Colac Neighbourhood House

Make sure to register.

Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum – registrations now open

Registrations are now open for the Future Drought Fund’s 2023 Science to Practice Forum 6 - 8 June.

The annual forum is a showcase of the innovative tools and practices helping Australian farmers and communities respond to a changing climate and prepare for future drought.

Award-winning television journalist and presenter of ABC TV’s Landline, Pip Courtney, will host this year’s online forum and facilitate engaging discussions, with each day focussed on a particular theme:

  • Tuesday 6 June – Research and Development: Data-driven projects, stories around research trials and outcomes, future-driven content and content relevant to opportunities under the Future Drought Fund for Natural Resource Management, farming systems groups and research bodies.
  • Wednesday 7 June – Farmers, Producers and Agricultural Advisors: Stories of drought and preparing for it, ‘call-to-action’ presentations, content relevant to opportunities under the FDF for producers and their communities, farmer and farm-advisor delivered stories.
  • Thursday 8 June – Community and Policy: Community and social projects, including presentations on farmer wellbeing and community resilience in the context of drought, policy discussions and input from FDF network partners.

The forum connects participants to research and activities building the sustainability of Australian agriculture and is an opportunity to collaborate and network with like-minded people.

Register for the 2023 Science to Practice Forum via Eventbrite.

Second International Symposium on Precision Management of Orchards & Vineyards

Mark your calendars!

From 3-8 December scientists, industry experts and leading horticultural and viticultural growers will converge on Tatura for the Second International Symposium on Precision Management of Orchards & Vineyards (PMOV23).

Agriculture Victoria is accepting Abstract Submissions for PMOV23 until 31 May.

More information will be available in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled!

Subscribe to Barwon South West Ag News

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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 Twitter @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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