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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 24 November, 2022

As the Victorian State election will be held on Saturday 26 November 2022, the Victorian Government has assumed a caretaker role from 6 pm on 1 November 2022.

During the caretaker period, content will only be added to this e-newsletter in accordance with the caretaker conventions.

In this edition:
Flood information
Increased risk of Japanese encephalitis
japanese encephalitis flood waters have increase the risk of japanese encephalitis for animal health

Flooding and heavy rainfall have increased the risk of a range of mosquito-borne diseases in Victoria, including Japanese encephalitis (JE).

JE can cause illness in susceptible animal species including horses and pigs.

In pigs, the most common clinical signs are mummified and stillborn or weak piglets while horses usually show no signs of illness but can present with fever, jaundice, lethargy, neurological signs and anorexia.

For mosquito control advice visit the Farm Biosecurity website.

For more information about protecting yourself from JE, please follow the Victorian Department of Health or visit their website.

Financial support for flood-affected farmers
primary producer recovery grants available now

A support package is available for flood-affected farmers:

  • Primary Producer Recovery Grants: Up to $75,000 grants to cover 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.
  • 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.

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

Report flood damage
for quick flood damage reporting call 1800 226 226

We are urging flood-affected farmers to report their losses and damages by calling 1800 226 226.

For some practical tips after a flood go to

Remember, if you have urgent animal welfare needs call the VicEmergency Hotline (operating 24/7) on 1800 226 226.

Looking after yourself
Farmer health banner tile

Have you been taking care of yourself?

During an emergency, people tend to exist in a survival state to get through the incident, using up considerable emotional reserves. 

If you’ve been working hard for long periods, missing meals and sleep, take some time to take care of yourself.

Recognise the signs of stress and reach out for support if you need it.

For a comprehensive list of health support agencies, click here

Practical tips for flood-affected farmers
what to do after a flood some practical tips for farmers

Go to our website for a range of practical flood recovery information for farmers, and helpful information on what to do immediately after a flood, including the following:

Managing animals in wet conditions

Floods resource directory

Recent webinar recordings

Flood recovery: Feed budgeting – with Fiona Baker, AgVic. Passcode: Livestock

Flood recovery: Animal health – with Dr Rachel Gibney, AgVic. Passcode: Livestock

Cash flow budgeting – with Carmen Quade, AgriFocused. Passcode: CASHFLOW

Find out more at

Rural Financial Counselling Service
free financial counselling available through the Rural Financial Counselling Service

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

Additional funding has been made available for these services as a result of the floods, and the significant impact on the agricultural sector.

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 find your nearest RFCS HERE

Managing mastitis in wet, muddy conditions
a view of cows in a milking shed from behind showing their udders

Richard Smith, Dairy Industry Development Officer

With the muddy conditions from the floods and the ongoing wet conditions, producers need to be aware of an increased risk of mastitis in their cows.

Agriculture Victoria Dairy Industry Development Officer Richard Smith said cows standing in wet paddocks and moving through muddy and damaged laneways have an increased risk of mastitis.

“There are a number of simple things farmers can do to manage the risk of mastitis developing in their cows, including maintaining good hand hygiene when milking and ensuring teats are clean before and after milking.”

Mr Smith said adopting the following simple practices will assist farmers in managing the risk of mastitis developing and spreading in the current conditions:

Wash and dry all teats before cups go on.

  • Use a low-pressure, high-volume water supply combined with manual cleaning
  • Ensure milkers wear gloves
  • Dry with paper towels.

Strip cows every day to detect, treat and isolate clinical cases.

  • Make daily quarter stripping a routine
  • Always wear gloves and avoid getting milk on your hands
  • Check clinical cases at next milking.

Cover all surfaces of all four teats with teat disinfectant. Healthier skin is easier to keep clean.

  • Try and keep teats clean for at least an hour after the cows leave the milking shed
  • Keep the area immediately outside the dairy exit as clean as possible
  • Have feed available when cows leave the shed. This could be on a feed pad. Ensure this area can be scraped to reduce mud and manure build up.

Talk to your milk quality adviser, veterinarian or dairy factory field officer to adapt these steps to your farm situation.

More information on managing and treating mastitis is available on the Dairy Australia website.

Livestock Biosecurity Funds Grants Program
a person in a bee suit standing next to hives and almond trees

There’s still time to apply for our Livestock Biosecurity Funds Grant Program.

Victoria’s Livestock Compensation Committees are seeking projects that boost biosecurity for the cattle, sheep and goat, swine and honey bee industries.

Applications close Friday 23 December.

Discover more HERE

Foot-and-mouth disease information
Free biosecurity learning modules for farmers
biosecurity elearning modules for farmers

Farmers across Victoria will benefit from a series of free online learning modules, helping them protect their animals from diseases and biosecurity threats.

Available through Agriculture Victoria’s website, the three learning modules have been released: foot and mouth disease awareness, lumpy skin disease awareness and Come clean, stay clean, go clean – when visiting farms.

Each module should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

For further information about the online learning modules CLICK HERE.

GMA’S annual helicopter duck survey

The Game Management Authority’s annual helicopter duck survey will be flying over Victoria from Friday 25 November.

The 2022 survey was paused in October due to weather conditions and flooding across the state.

The survey will start over parts of western and south western Victoria and move across the state before finishing on Monday 12 December.

Rural landholders may see a helicopter flying at low levels for a short time.

An experienced helicopter operator has been contracted to undertake surveying.

Minimising disturbance to stock, assets and ensuring public safety are the highest priorities.

For more information CLICK HERE

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.

Smarter electricity management: doing more with less
Farmer on-farm image

Do you want to find more practical ways to reduce your electricity costs? We are hosting an online forum to explore practical measures for increasing energy productivity and reducing your electricity bill.

When: Wednesday 14 December

Time: 11.30 am

Where: Online

Energy expert David Coote will be presenting on energy saving opportunities and best use of solar and batteries and much more.

Please register here or contact Kelly Wickham for information on 0456 772 641 or

Safe recovery of bogged machinery workshop
Safe Recovery of Bogged Machinery. Information Session Wednesday 30 November 2022

WHEN: Wednesday 30 November 

WHERE: 790 Derby-Serpentine Road, Bridgewater

TIME: 9 am - 12 pm

Register HERE

Upcoming Sheep Connect webinars

Webinar: Feet concerns for the wet season ahead

WHEN: Thursday 1 December

WHERE: Online via GoTo

TIME: 1 – 2 pm

Webinar: Are your bugs bogging you down?

WHEN: Thursday 8 December

WHERE: Online via GoTo

TIME: 1 – 2 pm

Register for these free webinars on the Sheep Connect website

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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.



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