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Beef and Sheep Networks Newsflash
30 September 2022
In this edition

What's On

What's New



Beef and Sheep News

Ag Recovery

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 and where: 

  • Bairnsdale Tuesday 4 October
  • Swifts Creek Wednesday 5 October
  • Alexandra Friday 14 October

Time: 10 am – 3 pm


On-farm biosecurity planning workshops

Agriculture Victoria is delivering a series of free workshops for livestock producers to understand the disease, pest and plant biosecurity risks in their area, the impact they may have on their business, and to develop an on-farm biosecurity plan. Walk away from this workshop with your farm biosecurity plan in hand.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for these free workshops or for more event information contact Morgan Cassell, Livestock Industry Development Officer on 0427 681 714 or email

This project received funding from the Cattle Compensation Fund / Sheep and Goat Compensation Fund as part of the 2021 Livestock Biosecurity Funds Grant Program, which exists to provide grants to bolster the state’s biosecurity and assist in preventing and managing pests and diseases.

Event Details


When: Wednesdays 5 – 19 October

Where: Online Zoom webinars

Time: 7.30 – 8.30 pm


Biosecurity webinar series

Biosecurity webinar series hosted by the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Networks with support from the MDC Innovative Sheep and Beef Networks Project.

  • 5 October How to create an animal health plan with Andrew Whale (Apiam)​
  • 12 October How to create a farm map with biosecurity features with Chris Blore (Ag Vic)​​​
  • ​19 October How to create an on-farm biosecurity plan with Kate McCue (Ag Vic). 

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to register for these free webinars or for more event information contact Chris Blore, Livestock Industry Development Officer on 0428 155 781 or email

Event Details


When: Thursday 6 October

Where: Online Zoom webinar

Time: 7 – 8 pm


Grappling with soil Carbon webinar

Agriculture Victoria is supporting Robert White, Emeritus Professor of Soil Science at the University of Melbourne, who will present on the challenges of storing, measuring, and monitoring soil carbon on livestock farms.

Professor White has extensive experience in soil science nationally and internationally, having worked for CSIRO, universities, and private industry.

Graeme Anderson, Climate specialist with Agriculture Victoria, will showcase information resources and chair the Q&A session.


  • what is the potential to store carbon on my land and how can this be estimated?
  • what changes in management might I have to make to increase and/or maintain soil carbon
  • what are the possible benefits from increasing soil carbon in terms of the productivity of my business?
  • what are the possible co-benefits and potential challenges for maintaining soil carbon?

Register for this free webinar online at Zoom or for more event information contact Jane Court, Knowledge Broker on 0436 606 742 or at

Event Details


When: Wednesday 26 October

Where: Sterling Place, 14 Sterling Street, Dunkeld

Time: 9 am – 2 pm, folllowed by lunch


Transitioning to a non-mulesed flock, Producer Demonstration Site (Meat & Livestock Australia PDS) – field day

Sheep producers are invited to attend this free event to hear from producers and industry specialists, on tips and tools for moving to and managing non-mulesed sheep. Speakers include Robert Hermann, Emma McCrabb, Lisa Warn, Dr Joan Lloyd and local sheep producers.

The event is hosted by Lisa Warn and the Western Victorian ‘Towards NM Sheep’ producer group, with support from Meat & Livestock Australia and Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Register online for this free event or for more information contact Lisa Warn on 0418 748 607

Event Details


When and where:

  • Pakenham – Saturday 1 October
  • Lancefield – Saturday 22 October
  • Healesville – Saturday 5 November
  • Red Hill – Saturday 12 November

Time: 9 am – 12 pm


Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) upcoming events

Stock Sense: Peri-urban workshops

Free workshop on a range of livestock health, welfare and biosecurity topics.

To register for these events or for more information visit the VFF website.

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Heading: What's New

Online e-learning courses for you, your farm workers and visitors.

Each course takes about 15 minutes to complete.

For more information visit the Agriculture Victoria website

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Biosecurity is about managing risks. Each property is different and faces different challenges, so it is critical to assess the biosecurity risks that are most likely to impact your property.

Biosecurity risks can be broken down into the following broad categories: livestock, vehicles, equipment, people, and supplies. The risk impact will change for livestock when they move onto, around, or off your property.

As part of developing a biosecurity management plan, an important step is to conduct a risk assessment and develop an action plan.

A risk assessment is simply the process of identifying a hazard, the consequences of this hazard, and the probability this hazard will happen.

When undertaking the risk assessment, try to determine:

  • how severe the risk is?
  • whether any existing control measures are effective
  • what action you can take to control the risk
  • how urgently action needs to be taken.

This allows you to target and apply your resources to areas which are likely to achieve the best result.

The next step is an action plan. This converts the risks identified in the risk assessment and outlines the actions you intend to implement on farm to prevent or reduce impacts to your property.

The actions you enact on your property need to be specific and set out how you are going to manage the risk. They need to be practical and achievable with your resources and budget. They also need to relevant to what you produce and how you manage your property.

For example, during your risk assessment, you might determine that visitors could introduce a new disease, pest or weed via their footwear.

To manage this risk the action plan may include setting up a boot washing station and purchasing plastic tubs, scrubbing brushes, and some recommended disinfectant.

Alternatively, your action might be to purchase boots or gumboots in common sizes for visitors to use around the farm. Both are effective measures to reduce the risk of pests or disease being transferred via mud or dung on footwear from property to property.

More information about Victoria’s biosecurity can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Information on risk assessments and property biosecurity management planning can be found on the farm biosecurity website. Visit the Farm Biosecurity website to download a risk assessment factsheet.

For information about upcoming farm biosecurity planning workshops and webinars as well as resources about foot-and-mouth disease, visit Agriculture Victoria website.


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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

Did you miss the AWI and ParaBoss webinar on Barber’s Pole worm on 18 August? Good news, the webinar recording is now available. After severe barbers pole worm outbreaks earlier in the year, many sheep producers are asking ‘is this the new normal and how do we avoid these problems in the future?’

This webinar is an opportunity to hear from one of Australia’s leading sheep worm experts, Dr Brown Besier about steps you can be take now, including how to plan a prevention and monitoring program and recognise the signs of barbers pole worm disease.

To listen to the webinar recording visit the AWI website

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Do you use the Lambing Planner App? It was developed by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID) and ASHEEP in 2017 to provide information about management for each stage of the ewe reproductive cycle based on joining date. It’s due for an upgrade and this is your chance to provide feedback.

View the lambing planner online. Provide your feedback online.

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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

Fodder beets

A group of beef producers in north-east Victoria recently completed a three year on-farm demonstration to investigate: Fodder beet – high quality feed that justifies the costs? Or a high-risk strategy that may not pay off?

Read more about the Producer Demonstration Site and the findings on the Agriculture Victoria website.

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Heading: Beef and Sheep News

The Feeding Livestock website has many useful resources on feeding livestock and on pasture for beef and sheep. Here is a snapshot of some items that might interest you.

Managing pugging and damage to wet area
With the recent high rainfall received across many parts of Victoria, managing livestock in wet areas is front and mind for many producers. Where grazing areas are prone to pugging and waterlogging, having strategies and options in place to minimize the damage to pastures and soils.

Focus on fodder conservation webinar recording
With welcome rain and pasture growth across Victoria, thoughts have turned to the conservation of fodder. This recorded webinar draws on the vast knowledge of Dairy Extension Officer, Michele Jolliffe. It is focused on the production of quality silage and identifying the costs involved.

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Soil moisture probes installed across the state, by Agriculture Victoria and other organizations, measure real time soil moisture and temperature to 80 cm depth in grazing pasture sites.

As shown in Figure 1, soil moisture profiles at most perennial pasture sites are full to depth, indicating at least an average spring ahead. A wetter than average spring forecast would give a prediction of above average and a prolonged season.

Soil temperature is currently above average across the state (Figure 2) enhancing early spring growth.

Graph of the chance of exceeding the median rainfall for October to December 2022

Figure 1. Chance of exceeding the median rainfall, Oct - Dec 2022 (BOM) with soil moisture and temperature under pastures, Sept 2022.

Figure 2. Soil temperatures August 2022 (Source BoM) with soil moisture profiles at some soil probe sites.

Graph of soil moisture and temperature in September 2022

To view all sites and their data visit the Extension Aus website.  

A good spring provides opportunities including pasture renovation, conservation, and summer forage crops. Contact Jane Court at for the recording of the recent LiveFeed seasonal webinar – summer forage options for growing lambs.

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Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has released its annual herd and flock maps based on recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regional flock and herd data for the 2021 financial year.

Visit the MLA website to read the full article

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Access the session recordings on the Agriculture Victoria website

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Heading: Ag Recovery Support

An updated recovery guide is now available to help farmers rebuild and provide a one-stop reference to the support available. The guide includes steps to take immediately after the fire and for short-term recovery and longer-term rebuilding. It covers re-fencing, dealing with erosion and flooding, pasture recovery, pest and weed control and preparing for the next season.

The printed booklet is available from Agriculture Victoria, by contacting our agriculture recovery managers (details noted below) or phone 136 186. Or access the digital version online.

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The Victorian and Commonwealth Government are supporting landholders impacted by fires and floods across Victoria.

For more information on bushfire recovery programs or recovery from floods/storm events, visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

Regional Agriculture Victoria recovery managers;

  • North East – Kylie Macreadie 0428 975 728 or email
  • Gippsland – Darren Hickey 0457 609 140 or email.

Visit the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website or 1800 560 760.

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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.

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 call RFCS Gippsland on 1300 045 747 or RFCS North East on 1300 834 775.

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The Regional Weather and Climate Guides project is part of the Commonwealth Government Drought Assistance Package.

The project aims to improve the resilience of farming businesses by providing localised facts about the likelihood, severity, and duration of key weather variables in regions across the country.

The weather and climate information will be delivered through a set of guides corresponding to Australia's Natural Resource Management regions.

The project is a collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, and FarmLink Research.

The guides have been developed in collaboration with representatives from each NRM region to ensure the information is tailored to the needs of local farmers and agribusinesses.

For more information visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

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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: Skills needed to supply fresh organic food, with Nathan Free

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 No. 227

Voice of the future

Young woolgrower Katherine Bain speaks with AWI GM Research, Jane Littlejohn about the family wool growing enterprise, her hopes for the future and we learn of two new wool marketing campaigns.

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, @Twitter and @Instagram

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.

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 RFCS website or contact your local recovery support officer by searching the RFCS online directory

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 or contact Cecilia Fitzgerald on (03) 5551 8533

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