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Gippsland Ag New banner; black angus beef cows looking directly
Thursday 2 November 2023
In this edition:
Image of cows in a paddock with the text 'latest ag news'
Watch now - webinars on managing seasonal variability
Screenshot of a webinar taking place on spring/summer climate update

Missed our recent webinar series or want to rewatch a session?

Click below to catch up on best preparing your farm for the changing seasons.

Managing Seasonal Variability – A Farmer’s Perspective

Central Victorian farmer Mr Ben Greene will explain how he and his wife Jodie manage seasonal variability while still running a profitable and sustainable farming operation.

Climate Update and Tools

Confused about the climate predictions for spring and summer Join renowned Agriculture Victoria Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey for the low down on the season ahead.

Fodder Conservation

Hay, silage or straw? Join Agriculture Victoria Dairy Extension Officer Michelle Jolliffe to hear the latest information on fodder conservation.

Siting and Design of a Stock Containment Area

Do stock containment areas really work? How big should I make the pens? How much do they cost? Presented by Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Clem Sturmfels. Clem’s detailed presentation is based on more than 30 years experience working in this field.

Animal nutrition and feeding during dry times

A session on animal considerations as we move into possibly dryer/hotter spring and summer conditions. Includes the use of Stock Containment Areas. Covering some of the basics and principles involved in feeding your stock through summer. Presented by Nick Linden, Agriculture Victoria Livestock Industry Development Officer.

Is Your Farm Water Supply Up To Scratch?

Presented by Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Clem Sturmfels. Clem has spent much of his career helping farmers with the design, construction and repair of farm dams. He is also experienced in the design and construction of farm pipelines.

Download your bushfire farm fire preparedness toolkit today
A person crouching in a paddock with sheep in the background. The text reads: now's the time to prepare your farm for the fire season.

Download a copy of Ag Vic’s Farm Fire Preparedness Toolkit today and use it to review or develop your fire preparedness plan.

The characteristics of every farm and farming business are different and require a unique approach to fire preparedness.

Developing and implementing a fire preparedness plan can help you better prepare, minimise losses and recover faster, should your property be affected by fire.

Find and use our Farm Fire Preparedness Toolkit here.

Free financial counselling with RFCS
A person standing in a paddock looking at the sunset. The text reads free financial counselling with the Rural Financial Counselling Service. 1300 771 741.

Have you been impacted by recent floods, fires or dry seasonal conditions?

The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides a free and confidential financial counselling service to eligible farmers and small related enterprises who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can help you to access available support, analyse your business situation, negotiate with lenders and develop strategies to improve your financial position. 

To find your closest service visit the Rural Financial Counselling Service website or call 1300 771 741.

October 2022 – January 2023 floods and storms - primary producer flood recovery grants final claim date extended

The final claim date for applicants who successfully applied for a Primary Producer Flood Recovery grant for the October 2022 floods and storms has been extended from 13 January 2024 to 31 May 2024.

This date extension applies to successful applicants of the:

  • Primary Producer Flood Recovery Grant
  • Rural Landholder Grant
  • Transport Support Program.

This extension provides primary producers and rural landholders additional time to undertake their recovery activities and finalise their claims for Tier 2 payments.

While an extension has been provided, grant recipients are encouraged to make their re-imbursement claims as soon as possible.

Rural Finance administer these programs on behalf of the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.

For more information visit the Rural Finance website or contact 1800 260 425.

If you applied to Rural Finance for financial support for the October 2022 to January 2023 floods and storms and have a question about your application, contact Rural Finance at:

23 March hailstorm support – applications closing soon
Pears hanging on a branch. The text reads 23 March hailstorm support - applications for concessional loans closing soon.

Applications close 4 pm on Tuesday 14 November for Concessional Loans available to support producers impacted by the 23 March hailstorm event.

Primary producers in the City of Greater Shepparton and the Yarra Ranges local government areas are eligible to apply for a Hailstorm Primary Producer Concessional Loan of up to $250,000.

For more information, visit the Rural Finance website or call 1800 260 425.

For assistance in applying contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1300 771 741.

Farm biosecurity simplified with new animations

Victorian livestock owners can brush up on their farm biosecurity knowledge using a series of easy-to-follow animations.

Agriculture Victoria has released a series of new animated videos, highlighting a range of important biosecurity information in a simple format.

Emergency Animal Disease Industry Engagement Program Manager Kellyanne Harris said the animations were produced to help walk through the basics of keeping animals healthy and properties free from disease.

‘Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility so we’re providing as much information in variety of formats to the community so everyone can learn in a way that suits them,’ Ms Harris said.

‘Farmers and their visitors play a critical role in preventing the spread of emergency animal diseases.’

Topics covered in the animations include basic farm biosecurity, farm and visitor hygiene, introducing new livestock and important information about prohibited pig feed and ruminant feed bans.

‘Steps like having biosecurity signage and quarantining new animals have been explained in a simple way.

‘Knowing what you can and can’t feed animals is critical in the prevention of disease, so our new videos on prohibited pig feed and ruminant feed ban will help the community to understand these requirements’ Ms Harris said.

Having good biosecurity practices in place helps protect your livestock, your neighbour’s livestock and the entire agriculture industry from the threats of disease.

‘Whether you have 100 head of cattle or 2 alpacas, it’s important that everyone takes their responsibilities seriously.’

The 5 animations can be viewed on the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel, Agriculture Victoria website, social media feeds and online training resources and webinars.

Livestock committee recruitment drive now open

The Victorian Government is calling for a wide range of industry professionals to apply for positions on Livestock Advisory Committees to improve animal health, strengthen the state’s biosecurity and support business management.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently announced applications are now open for 2 Livestock Advisory Committees – the honey bee and swine industries – while recruitment for the remaining committees will begin in early 2024.

Livestock Advisory Committee members oversee their respective Livestock Compensation Fund and help to deliver a wide range of projects that benefit their specific industries.

The latest round of the Fund delivered a total of $8.1 million across 21 projects.

Applicants will no longer need to be nominated by prescribed bodies – ensuring committees are more accessible and have a diverse membership.

Specific skills, expertise and industry experience will all be considered during the recruitment process.

Recruitment for the Sheep and Goat Compensation Advisory Committee and Cattle Compensation Advisory Committee will open in early 2024.

Click here for more information.

EOI – Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council

Expressions of interest are now open for the next term of the Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council (the Council).

Those interested in being considered for the Council can apply through the Join a Board website.

The Council is a ministerial advisory council that provides advice to the Minister for Agriculture on how the agriculture sector can prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change, and be part of the transition to a net zero emissions economy.

The Council plays a key role in supporting the Victorian Government to deliver strong and lasting action on climate change for the agriculture sector, which is already experiencing the impacts of an increasingly variable and extreme climate.

This includes working with industry to build on the action already being taken.

Key info:

  • How to apply: Go to the Join a Board website to read more about the role and to submit an application
  • Applications close 5 pm, 12 November 2023.
Beekeepers – know how to do an alcohol wash
A screenshot from a YouTube video of two men in beekeeping outfits holding bees

There are 3 tests commonly used to detect Varroa mite and other pests, including alcohol wash, sugar shake and drone uncapping. 

While sugar shake and drone uncapping are useful detection methods, alcohol washing has been found to be more effective at detecting Varroa mite.

Make sure you understand safe handling techniques before opening a hive. It's essential that you wear protective clothing when collecting bees for testing.

Learn more about alcohol testing for Varroa mite here.

A taste you can trace - Episode 6
A taste you can trace podcast episode 6, a small cartoon truck drives along a path past the stops of farm, food transformation, wholesaler, distribution, retailer and consumer.

Discover the world of traceability and how it is ensuring brand Australia is top of mind. 

Hear from Michael Dosser, Group General Manager at Results Group, about the many benefits of introducing traceability into your business using a recent pilot with the Australian Table Grape Association as evidence.

Listen online via the AgVic website.

2023/2024 State and Territory Landcare Awards

Nominations for the 2023/2024 State and Territory Landcare Awards are now open!

In each state and territory, the Landcare Awards will be granted to recognise the achievements that encompass climate action, environmental leadership, sustainable agriculture, First Nations, Women in landcare, youth, Coastcare and children.

Nominating is free. You can nominate yourself, or you can nominate someone you know who should be recognised. 

Nominate here.

Irrigation incentives available in Central Gippsland (MIA)

Funding is now available for initiatives that help you achieve water, labour and cost savings along with wider environmental benefits.

The proposed irrigation upgrade must be on an approved farm plan to be eligible.

Eligible projects:

Re-use systems: 

  • Maximum size 1 ML for every 10 ha of catchment
  • Incentive of $400/ha (ex. GST) up to maximum 50% of project costs.

Best practice surface irrigation: 

  • Incentive of $200/ha (ex. GST) up to maximum 50% of project costs.

Flood to pressurised (spray) irrigation conversion: 

  • $600/ha incentive (ex. GST) up to maximum 50% of project costs.

Check out this chat with Rob Hornby, who recently converted his farm from flood irrigation to a system using pipe and riser technology.

For more information please contact one of our irrigation extension officers:

Alexis Killoran: 0428 387 869 or

Caelan McIntosh: 0476 885 716 or

In case you missed it
Image of a sunset with the text 'in case you missed it'

Prevent parasite impacts on your pig herd health

Agriculture Victoria has found roundworm (Ascaris suum) in one-third of pig herds tested as part of a free new animal health program.

Agriculture Victoria Principal Veterinary Officer Dianne Phillips and her team have undertaken testing on 45 herds statewide to help raise awareness of the risks to herd health.

Read the full media release here. 

Keeping Victoria safe from emergency animal diseases

Agriculture Victoria’s Significant Disease Investigation program is playing a critical role in protecting Victorian livestock from emergency animal diseases, with subsidies provided to vets for nearly 370 investigations last financial year (2022-23).

Read the full media release here.

Making quality hay

There are two aspects to making quality hay, starting with quality forage, and curing the forage to the appropriate dry matter content in as shorter time as possible.

Read the full media release here.

New resources for grain farmers as dry finish looms

Victorian grain growers have a suite of new resources to help them prepare for, and deal with the effects of late frosts and a potential dry finish to the growing season.

Read the full media release here.

What's on
Image of a group of people at an event in a green paddock listening to a presenter with the text '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.

The silent herd health threats that could impact your business
A farmer in a blue hat and blue jumper with a syringe in his hand

Join local experts to explore the underlying threats that could potentially be impacting your businesses productivity and profitability.

Hear from your local Agriculture Victoria district veterinary officer on diseases such as theileria, pestivirus, mycoplasma and staph. aureus.

At each session, we will be hearing from the host farmer about how one or more of these diseases has impacted them and their business specifically and what control measures have been implemented.

Information sharing and discussion at each on-farm session covers:

  • What the animal disease(s) is/are causing productivity losses and how they are transmitted
  • Treatment and vaccination opportunities
  • How biosecurity supports the prevention of and directly helps control/minimise the spread of these diseases
  • The opportunity to ask questions from your District Veterinarian and hear from those impacted.

All sessions are from 10:30 am – 1 pm (light lunch included)

For more event information, please contact:
Maria Rose:
0438 282 205

Stuck on how to build a farm safety plan?
Wheat close to the camera. The text reads free national farm safety online short course.

We all recognise the need to keep our farming families and businesses safe during busy work periods, especially when there are young and old family members working alongside short-term employees.

While we are often told about what we need to have in place for a safe workplace, it is how to implement a farm safety plan that is the hardest step in the whole process!

Rural Edge has developed an online Farm Safety Short Course for farm business owners, managers, and workers to support the early steps into developing a farm safety plan.

The Farm Safety Short Course currently enjoys a 100% satisfaction rating. All participants in this short course would recommend it to others, and their understanding and attitude towards farm safety has increased through joining this short 2-hour safety conversation.

Participants will be guided through the core ingredients of a farm safety plan, including a brief overview of the laws and regulations, the need for an induction checklist, and how to develop your Farm Risk Register.

As a bonus, time spent talking to others during the course will help to pick up some tips and tricks to make your farm business that little bit safer.

A large range of tools and templates are also available to all participants through the Rural Edge information portal.

The next National Online Farm Safety Short Course will be held for Victoria on Thursday 9 November, 12 – 2 pm.

Register now to secure your place and join like-minded peers to support each other in identifying risks/hazards and work towards developing your own farm risk register.

This course is normally offered at $149 per person but is being offered for free through support from the National Farm Safety Education Fund.

The session will be facilitated by ProcessWorx who are experienced in supporting agricultural businesses in developing and implementing their health and safety plans.

This Short Course is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry through the National Farm Safety Education Fund. Healthier farms begin with safer practices.

Exploring Exports Sessions

Ready to grow your agri-food business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start?

Or have you had a bit of export experience but want to take it further?

Agriculture Victoria is delivering a series of in-person workshops to support agri-food and beverage SMEs to navigate the pathway to export.

By the end of the workshop, you can expect to:

  • Understand the key steps of the export process
  • Have identified relevant export risks and ways to protect your business
  • Know how to approach enquiries from international buyers
  • Have heard from experienced agri-food exporters about how they identified demand and have built sustainable international partnerships
  • Have a plan for your next steps on the pathway to export.

Agriculture Victoria is partnering with Shirley Ng from the Australian Industry (Ai) Group to provide tailored, agri-food and beverage specific export information to support your exporting journey.

The workshops are free to attend for one attendee per business, and places are limited. A light lunch will be provided.

Dates and locations, click to register: 

For more information, contact Alice Ritchie at or call 0429 386 781.

Commercial Feasibility of Gasification and Pyrolysis on-farm
Commercial feasibility of gasification and pyrolysis on-farm

Are you considering investing in pyrolysis or gasification for your farm?

Agriculture Victoria’s upcoming webinar will provide insights into the generation of renewable energy using advanced thermal treatment systems.

Join topic experts to discuss the commercial feasibility of the technology and hear from 2 commercial case studies using these technologies.

When: Monday 13 November 11:30 am – 1 pm
Where: Online

Register your place here.

Managing Safety and Compliance on Dairy Farms

In an industry deeply ingrained in practicality and hands-on operations, Safe Ag Systems helps to alleviate the paperwork burden without compromising productivity.

Join GippsDairy for a demonstration of Safe Ag Systems, striving for/or maintaining rigorous safety and compliance standards.

An informative 'fly on the wall' session from WorkSafe, running through things to expect from a WorkSafe perspective if a dairy business is to be inspected.

Register your place: 

EAD Preparedness webinar 2: waste disposal

When: Monday 20 November, 10 – 11 am

Register your place here. 

If an EAD outbreak is declared, Agriculture Victoria is responsible for the destruction and disposal of animal carcasses as required, including those that can be buried on-farm.

To eradicate an EAD, it is important to quickly dispose of carcasses after they are destroyed, as well as dispose any infected animal products, materials and wastes, as soon as possible, to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

It is important that disposal is done in a way that minimises the spread of disease and any adverse effects on the environment, public health and the community.

On-farm burial is the first preference where possible, as it removes the risk of spreading the disease that may occur if carcasses and other products were taken off-farm for disposal.

The extent to which on-farm burial can be used will depend on the size, location and characteristics of the farm and the number of carcasses that need to be buried.

Topics include:

  • Waste generated in an EAD emergency - amounts and distribution
  • Overview of waste disposal strategy
  • On-farm carcass burial guidance
  • Planning ahead for on-farm waste disposal sites using the Navigating Farm Development tool.


  • Bronwyn Green, Project Director, EAD Waste Disposal
  • Ann McDowell, Agriculture Victoria, Agriculture Sector Development Officer.
Soil Moisture Monitoring Field Day

When: Thursday 23 November, 11 am – 1:45 pm

Where: Agriculture Victoria office and Busch Organics

  • Grower focused analysis of probe located in a vegetable crop
  • Discussion / Q&A with Sentek and the growers
  • Lunch provided and networking opportunity
  • Noel Jansz (Elders agronomist) on installation and ground truthing
  • Q&A with the growers / agronomists on practical integration into day-to-day operations.

Email to register.

Agriculture Victoria office
11 am - 12:30 pm
1 Stratford-Maffra Rd, Maffra

Busch Organics
12:45 - 1:45 pm
290 Redbank Rd, Stratford

MLA Bendigo Update
MLA updates. 23 November 2023. Bendigo Victoria.

Agriculture Victoria will be at the MLA Update in Bendigo.

When: Thursday 23 November. 9 am to 6:30 pm, with the plenary session starting at 10 am.

Where: Fosterville Gold Exhibition Centre at the Bendigo Showgrounds, 42 – 72 Holmes Road, Bendigo. 

The MLA Annual General Meeting will also take place at this event from 3:30 pm. 

This event is free to attend, but registration is necessary.

Find out more at the MLA website.

Australian Women in Agriculture 2023 Conference
Australian Women in Agriculture 2023 Conference. Seed to Success. Growing Together! 24-25 November 2023.

The Australian Women in Agriculture National Conference is coming to Bendigo in November to celebrate the role of women in the agricultural industry.

The conference provides a platform for women to connect, learn, and grow.

A variety of speakers that will inform, influence, innovate and inspire.

Friday 24 November gala dinner

Friday afternoon we will kick off with drinks and canapes from 5 pm and then roll into a gala dinner from 6 pm.

Saturday 25 November conference 9:30 am to 2:30 pm

The conference features inspiring speakers, informative workshops, and networking opportunities, fostering a sense of community and support among women in agriculture.

It addresses important topics such as leadership, sustainable farming practices, and personal growth.

Ultimately, the Women in Agriculture Conference is a testament to the resilience, innovation, and influence of women in shaping the future of agriculture.

Registration options 

  • Full package (Friday and Saturday) $180
  • Networking evening and gala dinner (Friday 24) $85
  • Conference (Saturday 25) $110
  • AWiA members - 10% discount on ticket prices.

Tickets at:

For more information visit

Feed pads, renewable energy and more!
Cows in a paddock

Join national experts and specialists on the latest key technologies seen first-hand on-farm. 

When: Wednesday 13 December, 9 am – 2:30 pm

Where: Jelbart Dairy, Leongatha South (exact location provided on registration). 

Register your place here.

This free event will include interactive elements involving our special guests - short talks, a visit to 3 locations on the property and a panel session.

Topics covered will include:

  • Reducing the environmental footprint
  • Technologies and programs in reducing methane emissions
  • Australian guidelines for loose housing, cattle shelters and feed pads
  • Related climatic past and future trends.

Our guest speakers:

  • Tim Jelbart – Jelbart Farm
  • Jennie Pryce – Agriculture Victoria
  • Karen Romano – Dairy Australia
  • Peter Best – Innovative Farm Services. 
Australian Dairy Conference - February 2024

Australia’s premier dairy event will return to the Victorian capital of Melbourne in February 2024 from 12-14 February.

Program details and more information to be released throughout 2023.

Find out more here.

Raising the Roof 2024 - save the date
Cows feeding from a trough with the text: raising the roof 2024, save the date. Hunter Valley, New South Wales. 27-29 February 2024.

Raising the Roof, the Australian dairy industry’s only major event which focuses specifically on intensive farm systems, will be held in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales from 27–29 February 2024.

When: 27 - 29 February 2024

Where: Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Tickets on sale soon.

For more information email

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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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