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Thursday 25 May 2023
In this edition:
Victorian flood and storm support for farmers
Concessional loans webinar
Concessional loans banner image

Join a webinar on Wednesday 31 May at 11 am to learn about Concessional Loans that are currently available for primary producers impacted by the October 2022 to January 2023 flood and storms event and the 23 March 2023 hailstorm event.

If you have questions, here is your chance to ask them.

Presenters from Agriculture Victoria and Rural Finance will discuss the guidelines and application process.

Applications close on 13 July for the Primary Producer Flood Recovery concessional loan (for floods and storms between Oct 2022 to Jan 2023) and 14 November for the Hailstorm Recovery Concessional Loan (for the hail event on 23 March 2023).

Register online:

For further information, email or call 0427 694 185

Text on green background; reads: 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 Flood 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
national centre for farmer health banner: supporting farmers, farm works 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.

Keep supporting the ‘Bucks for brains’ project

Dr Jeff Cave, Senior Veterinary Officer

I’m sure most farmers have heard of the Bucks for Brains initiative, which provides generous incentive payments for livestock owners who submit eligible sheep and cattle brains for testing. In doing so, this ongoing testing helps Australia maintain market access for its livestock industries.

To be considered eligible, the animal must be alive at presentation to a veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria staff and showing neurological signs, which include circling, blindness or abnormal behaviour.

Bucks for Brains is a vital initiative of the National Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Surveillance Project (NTSESP).

NTSESP is tasked with confirming Australia’s proof of freedom from rare fatal brain and other central nervous system diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs).

The damaging effects that TSEs can have on a country's livestock industry and economy were made clear during the outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’, in the United Kingdom, and following detection in Canada and United States.

BSE is a disease that emerged in the 1980s through the feeding of meat meal contaminated with an infectious agent known as a prion. The disease causes an untreatable, progressive, degenerative condition of the brain leading to a range of neurological signs – therefore gaining the name, mad cow disease.

With cases in the UK and several European countries, plus the prior export of meat meal from Europe to other countries, it is not clear how far the disease may have spread.

In Australia, we are in the fortunate position of being considered one of the least likely countries in the world to have BSE.

To firmly claim our livestock are free of BSE, we are required to have a surveillance system to demonstrate that declaration.

The surveillance program is based on the post-mortem examination of sheep over 18 months of age and cattle over 30 months that show neurological signs, to demonstrate and confirm they do not have BSE and to give another explanation of their symptoms.

The suspect animal is put down humanely, then the Ag Vic veterinary officer or private veterinarian will perform the autopsy and take the necessary samples for analysis.

An incentive of $100 for sheep and $300 for cattle is available to livestock owners to help ensure we continue to demonstrate our freedom. In addition, all laboratory investigations and costs are covered as part of the scheme.

For further information please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer, or in NSW your Local Land Services.

Biosecurity boost for Timor-Leste

Agriculture Victoria scientists are working with our close neighbour, Timor-Leste, to boost local animal health and help safeguard Australia from exotic animal diseases.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has funded Agriculture Victoria $3.5 million over 5 years to extend biosecurity training to scientists, technicians and farmers in Timor-Leste, building on work undertaken over the past 3 years.

The project, which initially focussed on diagnosing and managing African Swine Fever, has been extended to look at a range of diseases including classical swine fever, Foot-and-mouth disease, and Lumpy skin disease, and will include testing of all livestock species. 

Agriculture Victoria Research Leader Grant Rawlin said the biosecurity and emergency animal disease work supported by Agriculture Victoria has enabled Timor-Leste to diagnose and control disease outbreaks which may have otherwise cost the agriculture industry up to an estimated $90 million.

‘Agriculture Victoria is proud to have supported Timor-Leste’s ability to successfully diagnose and control several animal disease outbreaks within 48 hours.

‘The timely diagnosis and control of animal disease outbreaks means less livestock are impacted, the disease doesn’t spread as far, and farmers can quickly resume their operations,’ Dr Rawlin said.

Dr Rawlin was on-the-ground during the 2019 African Swine Fever outbreak in Timor-Leste and recently spent a month leading a team training local veterinarians on how to use a range of diagnostic tools, including a real-time method for detecting different microbial agents in animal samples, and a highly specific, low cost, fast and portable test for pathogenic viruses. 

‘The collaboration has bolstered the local agriculture industry’s response efforts and deepened our relationship with Timor-Leste. It also gave our experts invaluable insight into on-the-ground emergency animal disease management and control.’

Caitlin Wilson, Chargé d’Affaires at the Australian Embassy Dili said the initiative demonstrated Australia’s deep and enduring commitment to supporting Timor-Leste’s food security and economic priorities.

‘Maintaining a healthy, productive and profitable livestock industry not only contributes to jobs and economic development for Timor-Leste, but also helps meet domestic demand for nutritious protein.

‘Australia is proud to be working with our Timor-Leste partners to strengthen their biosecurity systems as part of regional efforts to combat exotic animal pests and diseases such as African Swine Fever, Foot and mouth disease and Lumpy skin disease.’

The program also includes sponsorship of Timorese veterinarians and researchers to visit Agriculture Victoria research sites in Australia to undertake research alongside our staff and expand their knowledge. Vets and scientists are visiting AgriBio over the next few months.

The Australian Government investment of $3.5 million was launched at the Timor-Leste Veterinary Medicine Association conference in Dili in March.

Dignitaries and delegates from seven nations gathered to celebrate the program's success to date and look forward to making further advancements in protecting agriculture from biosecurity threats.

For more information about our research visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

2023 BestWool/BestLamb conference

Agriculture Victoria invites sheep producers and the broader sheep industry to join us at the 2023 BestWool/BestLamb conference and pre-conference dinner in Bendigo on Monday evening and Tuesday, 19-20 June.

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

Mark Wales, former Special Operations Commander and winner of TV series Australian Survivor, will be the special dinner speaker.

As a former special operations commander, Mark is used to operating in dynamic, high stress situations where personal and team performance means the difference between life and death.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Technical Specialist Lyndon Kubeil said it’s a chance to hear how Mark was able to use his experience leading an elite special forces team in combat to drive decision making and personal performance.

‘The line-up of speakers the next day at the conference will inform, challenge and excite participants with the most up to date sheep industry research and information, as well as provide a great opportunity for networking.

‘The format is a one-day event featuring concurrent sessions so participants can attend sessions that are relevant and of interest to them, plus trade displays and the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) shearing race delivery demonstration,’ Mr Kubeil said.

Presentations will include Dr Alex Ball, who will take a look back at the last 25 years of the sheep industry and provide his insights going forward for the next 25.

Will Barton from Gundagai Meats will challenge those attending with lamb production of the future and Chris Howie will make them think about the agent of the future and the producer/agent relationship, ensuring it adds value to your business.

Prof. Phil Hynd will update the audience on the latest developments with the wool bio-harvesting project and explore if this could be part of the solution?

Mr Kubeil said it’s hard to highlight only a few of many great presentations, however also of note, Jim Walsh will give the latest on the brand-new oral lice control product, which could be an absolute game changer.

‘Traditionally, the annual Bendigo conference attracts well over 300 participants, so we recommend you book early,’ he said.

Early bird registrations are on sale until 31 May.

Visit TryBooking to view the conference program and register.

For more information, please contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or EMAIL

Fox and wild dog bounty collections for South East Victoria

Victorian fox and wild dog collections continue.

Submit entire fox scalps for a $10 reward and/or entire wild dog body parts for a $120 reward.

Participants need to register for the new digital payment system and should refresh their knowledge of the terms and conditions to ensure their submissions are acceptable.


The South East Victoria collection schedule for the next few months:

Ellinbank collections: fox and wild dog
1301 Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank

  • Monday 17 July
  • Monday 11 September
  • Monday 9 October.

Bairnsdale collections: fox and wild dog
35 Bairnsdale – Dargo Road, Bairnsdale

  • Tuesday 18 July
  • Tuesday 12 September
  • Tuesday 10 October.

Maffra collections: fox and wild dog
1 Stratford Road, Maffra

  • Wednesday 19 July
  • Wednesday 13 September
  • Wednesday 11 October.

Yarram collections: fox only
Rodgers Street, Yarram

  • Wednesday 19 July
  • Wednesday 13 September
  • Wednesday 11 October.

Woori Yallock collections: fox only
Symes Road, Woori Yallock

  • Thursday 20 July
  • Thursday 14 September
  • Thursday 12 October.

The full schedule is available here

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
animated graphice with a road down the centre, solar panels to one side and hills in the background; text reads: Ag Tech and Energy

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.
Feedback on biosecurity reform discussion paper
two people walking through a vineyard

A summary of feedback received on the Reforming Victoria’s biosecurity legislation discussion paper has been released.

The feedback will help government to better understand stakeholder and community views and will inform any future reform.

Read the Discussion Paper and Engagement Report  on the Engage Victoria website

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.

In case you missed it

Drones taking agriculture sky high

In Australia, drones are increasingly being used to carry out agricultural operations such as crop monitoring and spraying, livestock management and land surveying.

We’ve compiled some useful tips on the drone safety rules and how they apply in different agricultural applications.


Retiring grain scientist’s career celebrated

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


What's on – online and on-farm events

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can be found in one spot on our website. Log on to the Events page to keep in touch with upcoming events.

Climate Resilient Pastures Field Days


DATE: Wednesday 31 May
LOCATION: John Mosley’s farm, 43 Gorge Rd, Briagalong


DATE: Thursday 1 June
LOCATION: Trent Anderson’s farm, 50 Goodings Rd, Giffard

TIME: 10 am – 1:30 pm

COST: Free, includes morning tea and lunch


Please contact James Paulet by 29 May by email or call/SMS 0447 695 839.

These workshops aim to inform farmers about how to manage their perennial pastures.

Starting with being in the paddock, Fiona Baker will present the MLA Pasture Paramedic, a tool for scoring your pastures to identify opportunities to improve them by either changing grazing practices or through renovation.

Then we will look at a deep soil core and discuss what we can see and how the soil would influence your decisions about your pasture management.

We will also get to see Gippsland Agricultural Group’s new soil corer in action.

After lunch Liz Semmens, will present to us on options for sowing now to provide spring feed, as well as incorporating that into a renovation/improvement plan for sowing of a pasture in autumn.

Lastly, to finish off the day we will have a discussion linking the three sessions to help you identify opportunities to implement on your own farm.

Topics covered:

  • How to assess your pastures and identify opportunities for improving your pastures
  • Local soil conditions
  • Demonstration of a deep coring soil machine
  • Sowing options now for quick spring feed
  • Steps to take now and into spring to prepare for renovation in autumn
  • Identifying steps you can take in your business to improve your pastures and soils.
GippsDairy Muster

When: Wednesday 7 June

Time: 9:30 am to 3 pm

Where: The Regent Theatre, 210 Commercial Road, Yarram

Dinner:  A networking dinner with the topic 'The Human Agronomy of Farming' is also on offer from 6:30 pm to late, Yarram Football Club Rooms, Railway Reserve, Yarram.

RSVP: Places are filling fast, please register for this event by Wednesday 31 May by clicking HERE.

Tarraville on-farm walk and talk

WHEN: Monday 29 May

TIME: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Join DA and Ag Vic officers at the next Yarram Discussion Group meeting, 'On-Farm, Walk and Talk on Emergency Animal Disease (EAD)' on Monday 29 May at Tarraville.

This is a unique opportunity to chat with experts, on site about the real benefits of both well-planned and well-practiced biosecurity protocol.

Each farm tour covers:

  1. Identification of an EAD, (foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease), notification requirements and how to minimise the potential spread of a suspected EAD.
  2. Looking at some sound biosecurity plans in place, on farm.
  3. Streamlining of animal and people movement on and off farm every day.
  4. Making your Biosecurity Plan work as a seamless transition from normal everyday management to EAD response mode.

Mark Saddington the Training, Onboarding and Safety Manager with Aurora Dairies will be in attendance as a special guest, to share information on the various scanning apps they use/have used and are currently trialling to assist in continuously improving their biosecurity approaches across all of their farms.

Register for this free event HERE

Orbost on-farm walk and talk

WHEN: Thursday 15 June

TIME: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Join DA and Ag Vic officers at the next Orbost Discussion Group meeting, 'On-Farm, Walk and Talk on Emergency Animal Disease (EAD)' on Thursday 15 June, with Chris Kane at the McKeown Dairy.

This is a unique opportunity to chat with experts, on site about the real benefits of both well-planned and well-practiced biosecurity protocol.

Each farm tour covers:

  1. Identification of an EAD, (foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease), notification requirements and how to minimise the potential spread of a suspected EAD.
  2. Looking at some sound biosecurity plans in place, on farm.
  3. Streamlining of animal and people movement on and off farm every day.
  4. Making your Biosecurity Plan work as a seamless transition from normal everyday management to EAD response mode.

Mark Saddington the Training, Onboarding and Safety Manager with Aurora Dairies will be in attendance as a special guest, to share information on the various scanning apps they use/have used and are currently trialling to assist in continuously improving their biosecurity approaches across all of their farms.

Register for this free event HERE

2023 BestWool/BestLamb Conference
bestwool/bestlamd 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 contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or EMAIL

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 2023.

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.

Ellinbank SmartFarm Energy Demonstrations

WHEN: Wednesday 14 June

TIME: 10 am - 1 pm (this includes a farm walk and optional extras)

RSVP: By 10 June to

Agriculture Victoria is presenting a tour of the on-farm energy demonstrations at the Ellinbank SmartFarm on Wednesday 14 June.

This tour will showcase renewable energy technologies with learnings that apply to all farming sectors.

A presentation on energy upgrades in the dairy is offered as an optional extra.

Join other industry stakeholders and farmers to see how these energy technologies work, and hear about the issues experienced, the real costs and savings achieved.

Second International Symposium on precision management of orchards and 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!

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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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