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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
Flood information banner image

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.

Grants for flood-affected farmers

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.

Increased risk of Japanese encephalitis (JE)
Japanese encephalitis banner warning image

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.

And for information about protecting yourself from JE, please follow the Victorian Department of Health or visit Better Health.

Has your horticultural property been impacted by flood waters?
Image of strawberries with text on the left-hand side that reads Flood safety and advice. to report flood loss and damage or for urgent animal welfare needs phone 1800 226 226

Please call 1800 226 226 to report flood loss and damage or for urgent animal welfare needs.

For more information visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

Further information is available on the Horticultural Industry Network website ‘Recovering from Extreme Events’.

Additional resources for flood-impacted growers are available at the Food Authority Fresh Produce Safety Centre.

Taking care of yourself
Farmer health banner image

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
Practical tips for farmers - image of hay rolls submerged in flooded paddock

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.

Find out more at

Rural Financial Counselling Service
RFCS banner image

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

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 visit RFCS website

Foot-and-mouth information
Free biosecurity learning modules for farmers
eLearning banner image

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.

Farm biosecurity plans
Farm biosecurity plan banner tile

Are you currently working on or thinking about your on-farm biosecurity plan?

Here are the steps you need to consider:

  • Find a farm biosecurity template that works for you – there are options on our website
  • Adapt to your individual situation and your specific biosecurity risks
  • Add a BMP with mandatory content to your farm biosecurity plan
  • File it in a safe place and share with your staff.

Farmers should be aware that new laws have been introduced in Victoria enabling livestock producers to protect their property from unlawful trespassers.

To take advantage of these protections, producers must have compliant biosecurity signage and a BMP with mandatory information.

For more information about BMPs, visit

To find a farm biosecurity template that works for your farm, click here

Managing mastitis in wet, muddy conditions
Image of cows being milked

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.

Recent webinar recordings

Plus, join Carmen Quade's online self-paced learning modules where you can increase your skills in Microsoft Excel in your own time for the subsidised rate of $50. *Codes valid to the first 30 participants of each module. Register your interest online.

2023 Victorian and Tasmanian Crop Sowing Guide
2023 Victorian and Tasmanian Crop Sowing Guide

The 2023 Victorian and Tasmanian Crop Sowing Guide is now available for download from GRDC's website to help growers decide the best crop variety for their situation.

Every year, in conjunction with Agriculture Victoria, GRDC develops this guide providing information on current varieties of the major winter cereal and pulse crops for Victorian growers.

The guide is available for download 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.

Energy Webinar – 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, 11.30 am.

Smarter electricity management - see how your smart meter data can help you find for your farm (and home):

  • cheaper electricity deals
  • awareness of your electricity tariff to save money
  • how best to use solar and batteries
  • energy saving opportunities.

Join our webinar to find out all this and more money saving ideas.

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

Seasonal Reset Day at Rochester

Murray Dairy and Saputo invite you to an informal Seasonal Reset gathering at Rochester, tomorrow.

This is an opportunity to speak with industry professionals and ask questions around feed, nutrition and animal health in an informal setting to get you on track to filling your summer feed gap.

This event is open to all farmers, regardless of supplier.

Friday 25 November (tomorrow)
11 am – 1 pm, BBQ lunch provided
Rochester FNC, Reserve St

Register here

Upcoming Sheep Connect webinars

Register for any of the following free webinars on the Sheep Connect website.

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

Cups on Cups off at Kiewa

Cups on Cups offcovers the whole of the milking process including mastitis management and the roles of people in the dairy.

The course is suitable for anyone on a dairy farm who milks cows – from farm owners, managers and sharefarmers – to family members and farm employees.

Day 1
Wednesday 7 December
10 am – 2 pm
Memorial Park Kiewa
26 Kiewa E Rd

Day 2
Thursday 8 December
10 am – 2 pm
Memorial Park Kiewa
26 Kiewa E Rd

Register here

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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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