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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday, 11 May 2023
In this edition:
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.

Regional Drought Resilience Plans – have your say
Drought resilience plans banner image

Agriculture Victoria has been working with members of the Central Highlands, Barwon and Great South Coast communities to co-design a draft Drought Resilience Plan for each region. 

The Drought Resilience Plans propose themes, outcomes, and actions to better prepare the region for future droughts.

From 13 April – 12 May, we invite all members of these three communities to have their say on the draft plan by visiting EngageVic

While visiting EngageVic, we encourage all interested parties to ‘follow’ the Regional Drought Resilience page for updates.

The Drought Resilience Plan is one of 9 being developed for Victoria as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Future Drought Fund in partnership with the Victorian Government.

For more information on the development of Regional Drought Resilience Plans contact Ralph Cotter, Regional Leader at

Facts about Acute bovine liver disease

Dr Jeff Cave, Senior Veterinary Officer

With the abundant pasture growth of recent months, the light stocking rates on many properties, and the large amount of dry standing feed, coupled with autumn breaking rains, farmers are advised to be on the lookout for Acute bovine liver disease (ABLD).

ABLD was first noted in Tasmania in 1987, and in recent years several incidents have been seen in South-West Victoria, South-East South Australia, Gippsland, and North-East Victoria.

There has been a recent case reported on a property in North-East Victoria.

Cases can result in a catastrophic number of deaths in cattle.

It has not been described in other species.

The condition has been seen in both beef and dairy cattle. It can show up in a range of forms.

In the worst incidents there has been a sudden onset of deaths in cattle over six months of age.

The typical signs of photosensitisation, such as depression, agitation, raised temperature, and reddening of the lighter coloured skin and udder may be seen prior to death, and are common amongst the survivors.

The pathology is consistent with an acute liver disease. Cases are consistently linked to access to a plant called Rough Dog’s Tail (Cynosurus echinatus), also known as Manifold Grass.

It appears the plant is a likely carrier of a fungal toxin which briefly proliferates given the right set of environmental conditions.

There is no known direct cure of affected cattle.

There is some evidence, if affected cattle are treated with medication to alleviate the effects of photosensitisation, it may help.

Several common features have been seen during each outbreak:

  • access to Rough Dog's Tail prior to the onset of clinical signs. Rough Dog's Tail is typically found on steep, hilly paddocks
  • access to paddocks with an abundance of dry standing feed that had been spelled for over three months
  • significant season breaking rain in late autumn or early winter at the time of the introduction of cattle onto those paddocks.

For further information please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria Veterinary or Animal Health Officer.

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.

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

Young Farmer Scholarship closing soon
a woman in a pink shirt leaning on a fence

Are you a #youngfarmer looking to take your career to the next level?

Applications for the 2023 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships are now open.

The program offers scholarships of up to $10,000 to upskill and invest in your career.

To find out more and apply visit Business Victoria.

Applications close Monday 21 May.

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

Watch our invasive species videos
new video available: monitoring pest animals

Rabbits, foxes and feral pigs pose a major threat to our environment and agricultural production.

Monitoring pest animals before, during and after control efforts using activity plots, remote cameras, spotlighting and other methods can save you time, money and improve pest animal control on your place.

Click here to learn more

Victorian pet owners to receive affordable desexing boost

The Victorian Government is providing free or low-cost pet desexing services to Victorians in need through a new round of animal welfare grants. 

Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney recently launched the third round of the Pet Desexing Grants, which is funded through the government’s Animal Welfare Fund (AWF).

The new round of grants will deliver $500,000 across eligible councils and not-for-profit organisations to deliver free or low-cost desexing programs for cats and dogs – greatly improving animal welfare outcomes and reducing the number of unwanted pets.

The latest round of funding will also provide support to organisations that rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses, with $330,000 allocated to Equine Rehabilitation Grants.

Since 2021, the Pet Desexing Grants have provided almost $1.1 million to 32 organisations across the state, while the AWF Grant Program has awarded more than $8.2 million in funding to not-for-profit animal shelters, foster care organisations and community vet clinics.

The government’s work to modernise the state’s animal care and protection laws to replace the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is progressing.

Draft legislation will be released later in 2023, for further industry and community consultation.

In addition, the government is working on reforms to improve pet rehoming outcomes, in response to recommendations from the Taskforce on Rehoming Pets.

Applications for Pet Desexing Grants and Equine Rehabilitation Grants are open until Wednesday, 7 June.

Click here to find out more and to apply.

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.
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.

The Very Fast Break
the very fast break GRDC

The latest Very Fast Break seasonal climate outlook for Victoria is now available.

After a sensational start in many areas, but the northwest could do with some good follow up, let’s see where the rain fell in April.

Click HERE

In case you missed it

Invasive aquatic plant a no-no for home gardens

Victorian gardeners are urged to keep watch for the highly invasive weed water hyacinth following a recent discovery in a residential garden pond.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officer Kaitlin Wright said over 90 of the aquatic plants had been removed from a Williamstown premises following an anonymous report from an astute gardener.


Goulburn Valley farmer fined for neglected pigs

An animal welfare case against a Girgarre farmer has been resolved following a plea in the Shepparton Magistrates Court recently.

Due to a lack of prior criminal history, an early plea of guilty, plus the accused Grant Haydn Smith, being no longer involved in farming pigs and in the process of selling the property and stock, the Magistrate imposed a $3,000 without conviction, with costs awarded in the sum of $278.38.


Aquatic outbreak resources now available

Vets, fish farm workers, fisheries staff and scientists could gain valuable insights into aquatic animal disease events thanks to a new book and online courses from Agriculture Victoria.


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.

Supporting farmers to measure and manage their emissions - A Wimmera broadacre case study


Date: Thursday 18 May
Time: 12 pm (AEST)
Duration: One hour
Cost: Free

Go online to register your attendance on Zoom.


  • Pru Cook, Director of Nine Creeks Consulting
  • Craig Hurley, Lecturer, Federation University
  • Ashleigh Brooks, Consultant. Agticulate.

This webinar will explore the findings from two recent projects and discuss:

  • The emissions profiles of three Wimmera case study broadacre farms - what are the major emissions sources, and where can reductions be gained?
  • Data collection experiences – reflections from the farm data collection process
  • Current farmer awareness of and interest in measuring and managing emissions.

The Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions Grampians Agriculture Project (funded by AgriFutures and led by Wimmera Development Association) developed an extension and adoption framework to identify ways to support Wimmera farm businesses in measuring and managing their emissions.

The Wimmera Broadacre Farming Net Zero Emissions Project aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of carbon emissions calculators, the potential application to broadacre Wimmera farms and highlight the future opportunities available with these tools in supporting farm business strategy.

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 contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or

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.

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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