Forward this email | View in web browser
Milking the Weather – Seasonal and climate risk information for the dairy industry
Volume 12, Issue 4: Summer 2021–22
Welcome to our newsletter for summer 2021–22
In this edition:

1. Victorian seasonal climate summary (spring 2021) and outlook (summer 2021–22)

2. Farmers managing seasonal risk successfully – December 2021 farmer case studies

3. AgVic Talk – featuring Milking the Weather case study podcasts

4. Managing the season ahead – summer 2021–22

5. Victorian Dairying Areas Seasonal Soil Moisture Condition Assessment – spring 2021 review and summer 2021–22 update

6. Receiving Milking the Weather e-newsletter

Adapted from: (click on the four links below)

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

The Fast Break Newsletter (Vol 19: Issue 11 – 30 Nov 2021)

The Very Fast Break Victoria  8 December 2021

Climate Kelpie, rounding up climate tools for Australian farmers  BCG, 2 December 2021

Victorian seasonal climate summary (spring 2021) and outlook (summer 2021–22)
In a nutshell
  • Rainfall this summer is expected to be above the median for much of the eastern states of Australia. In Victoria, highest chances of summer rain is likely in the eastern and northern parts.
  • The current ENSO Outlook is La Niña. Typically, a La Niña usually increases the chances of ‘above average’ rainfall in eastern Australia.
  • Both maximum and minimum summer temperatures are likely to be ‘above average’ over most of Australia, including Victoria.
  • The BOM outlook suggests  an increased chance of unusually high rainfall (in the top 20 per cent of historical records) for Decemeber through to February over most of the eastern states.
  • The current situation with La Niña in the Pacific Ocean and the current positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM) are likely influencing the predicted ‘above median‘ rainfall outlooks.
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole will likely remain neutral for the coming months, which is consistent with its typical seasonal cycle.
  • The assessment of twelve climate models for Victoria shows likely wetter or neutral rainfall with hints of warmer temperature in the next three months.
Rainfall, temperature and soil moisture summaries and outlooks

Featured in this section is last spring’s round up of Victorian rainfall, temperature and soil moisture and some key outlook comments regarding this summer.

The Victorian rainfall deciles for spring 2021 map below shows that ranges were mostly average (decile 4 to 7) for the western parts of the state, and mostly average to well above average in the central and eastern areas (deciles 8, 9 and 10).

Map showing Victorian rainfall deciles for winter 2021.

The Macalister Irrigation District (MID) in Gippsland recorded decile ranges that were highest on record for the whole of spring. Whilst rainfall deciles in the dairying areas of the north east (around Albury Wodonga and Bright) and the Northern Irrigation Region (NIR) (around Shepparton and Echuca) were only average (decile 4 to 7) in October.

Deciles for the whole of spring ranged between above average (decile 8 to 9) and very much above average (decile 10) in both North-East Victoria and the NIR. Over in the western part of the state, although rainfall deciles were mostly average over the whole of spring (decile 4 to 7), some dairying areas around Warrnambool and Ballarat were above average during the month of October.

Latest seasonal rainfall decile maps 

Latest seasonal rainfall total maps  

Maximum temperatures
As shown in the map below, spring 2021 daytime temperatures were average (maximum temperature decile 4–7) for the whole of Victoria apart from an area in the north eastern section of the state. In this area between Wangaratta in the north east over to Orbost in Far East Gippsland around to Giffard on the east coast (also in Gippsland), maximum day temperatures were below average, (decile 2–3).

Map showing Victorian maximum temperature deciles for winter 2021.

Over November, dairying regions right along both the south west and south east had average daytime temperatures (decile 4–7). Most of the rest of Victoria experienced below average daytime temperatures (decile 2–3) in November, which include dariying areas in all of the NIR, North East Victoria and around Ballarat.

During October, daytime termperatures in some dairying regions in a strip between Shepparton in the NIR, through the Great Dividing Range near Bright through to the east coast of Gippsland, between Bairnsdale and Orbost, were below average (decile 2–3).

Three quarters of the state experienced above average daytime temperatures (decile 8–9) over September. This area included much of the western Victorian dairying region and those in West and South Gippsland, and parts of Central Gippsland. For many dairying areas in both North East Victoria and the NIR, daytime temperatures in September were average (decile 4–7). All dairying areas in the MID and East Gippsland had September daytime temperatures that were very much below average (decile 1).

Individual maps of Victoria showing maximum temperature deciles for the months of June July and August 2021.

Minimum temperatures
Spring night-time temperatures were mostly average (decile 4–7) for most of Victoria. There was one large area along the South Australian border between Ouyen and Horsham and essentially the top half of the NIR, where night temperatures were below average (decile 2–3). There was also an area that stretched from the dairying area around Warrnambool in the west right across Gippsland including the south, central (as well as the MID) and east Gippsland dairy regions to Mallocoota on the far eastern tip of the state and up to Corryong in the north east of the state, where above average (decile 9–10) minimum spring temperatures were experienced. Refer below to the spring 2021 minimum temperature deciles map.

Map showing Victorian minimum temperature deciles for winter 2021.

November night-time temperatures over Victoria were average (decile 4–7) except for an area in the south-east corner of the state from the dairying region around Foster in South Gippsland to Suggan Buggan in the Deddick Valley, across the dairying regions of Central (including the MID) and East Gippsland, over to Mallacoota.

Night-time temperatures in the month of October were a mixed bag. They were very much below average (decile 2–3) in an arc from the South Australian border over to Ouyen, Hamilton and Bendigo. Next to this was another arc stretching from the top corner of the state near Renmark (close to the South Australian border) around to the bottom of the state and also along the South Australian border, across to Portland and then up along the whole of the NIR and across to the Wodonga area in the north eastern dairying part of the state, where below average (decile 2–3) minimum temperatures were recorded.

In a strip the length of the state between Portland and some dairying areas aournd Port Cambell in the west and between Albury in the north east and Mallacoota in far east Gippsland and including the dairying region around Balllarat, minimum temperatures for September were average (decile 4–7).

Around the remainder of the state, an area stretcing from other dairying sections around Port Campbell on the sout west coast, across dairying areas at the top of south and west Gippsland, central (including the MID) right over to Mallacoota on the far east coast of the state, September minimum temperatures were above average (decile 8–9).

Individual maps of Victoria showing minimum temperature deciles for the months of June July and August 2021.

Maximum and minimum temperature deciles and other temperature related maps  

Soil moisture

In the last week of November 2021, the BOM Australian Water Resources Assessment (AWRA) of modelled plant-available soil moisture indicated that water decile for pastures in Victoria were ranked drier at decile 2–3 in the north west of the state and North-Central Victoria. In central and east Gippsland, soils were ranked as wetter at decile 8–10.

Currently (as of 5 December 2021) in the northern part of Victoria’s dairying regions, the northern irrigated areas have mostly wetter soils (above average at decile 8–9 soil moisture), and the upper river valleys in the north east, have very wet soils (very much above average at decile 10 soil moisture).

In central (including the MID) and east Gippsland dairying areas around Bairnsdale and Orbost, soils are ranked as mostly very wet (very much above average at decile 10).

The dairying areas of both South and West Gippsland in this first week of December 2021 pastures soils are mostly a mixture of average (decile 4–7) and wet (decile 8–9) moisture content.

Over in the dairying regions in the south west, including areas around Warrnambool, Port Campbell and Ballarat soils are currently ranked as mostly average (decile 4–7).

Map showing Victorian winter 2021 modelled plant available water deciles for 10 to 100 centimetres soil depth.

BOM AWRA modelled plant available water decile 10–100 cm, 8 September 2021

Latest Victorian soil moisture map 

Climate driver update

In this section an update on key climate drivers of Victoria’s rainfall is presented in order of and including El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Sea Surface temperatures in the Indian and Pacific Oceans (SST), Southern Oscillation Index(SOI), Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the Southern Tropical Ridge (STR). Updates focus on how these drivers behaved and influenced rainfall events over the spring just gone. Website addresses to access the latest maps and graphs related to each of these drivers are also provided.

Don’t forget to test out the seasonal forecast tool if you haven’t done so already. It is a useful tool which displays longer term rainfall records for selected locations as interactive maps, showing how climate drivers such as ENSO and the IOD have influenced seasonal rainfall in the past. 

Seasonal Forecast Tool

El Niño–Southern Oscillation

Speedo graph showing current status of the El Nino Southern Oscillation  outlook at the start of September as inactive.

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the oscillation between El Niño and La Niña conditions. The current (6 December) ENSO Outlook is La Niña. Typically a La Niña increases the chances of ‘above average’ rainfall in eastern Australia. Impacts of La Niña for Victoria can include an increased chance of widespread flooding and longer duration heat waves but less intense.

Latest ENSO updates

For more information about La Niña conditions click here or let Dale Grey, seasonal risk agronomist with Agriculture Victoria, explain it in the La Niña episode of My Rain Guage is Busted by clicking here

Indian Ocean Dipole
Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events are driven by changes in the tropical Indian Ocean. Sustained changes in the difference between normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical western and eastern Indian Ocean are what characterise IOD events. A negative IOD is a ‘wetter climate driver’ typically enhancing winter–spring rainfall in southern and eastern Australia. The accuracy of IOD forecasting is better over spring and summer. A negative IOD is typically associated with:

  • cooler sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean relative to the east
  • winds becoming more westerly, bringing increased cloudiness to Australia's northwest
  • more rainfall in the top end and south eastern Australia.

The negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is approaching its end, with oceanic index values in the neutral range. However, cloud and wind patterns across the eastern Indian Ocean propose that some IOD influence will remain. All climate models indicate the IOD will remain neutral for the coming months, which is consistent with its typical seasonal cycle.

Sea surface temperature anomolies
The Equatorial Pacific Ocean stalled during November, with NINO3 and NINO3.4 values at -0.65oC and -0.52oC respectively (as of 30 November). This would normally be below the threshold to call a La Niña but the BOM assesses that the differential between the warm western water and the central Pacific, exhibits the correct behaviour. The ocean to the north of Australia is much warmer than normal and capable of evaporating more moisture.

The classic horseshoe shape pattern of warmer water in the northern and southern Pacific is a strong signature of La Niña. Most models predict the La Niña to last for summer. In the Indian Ocean the decaying negative IOD has taken its time about it and is still weakly exhibiting warmer water around Sumatra compared to Africa. The Dipole Mode Index (DMI) is currently at -0.32oC just below the -0.4oC threshold. Most models predict the Indian Ocean to return to normality, which would be expected as soon as the northern monsoon season starts.

Sea surface temperatures are the key to the world’s rainfall. For more information on how they are measured, maps created and how to read them, check out Agriculture Victoria’s eLearn here.

World map showing the  Pacific Ocean signs for El Niño or La Niña activity for 24 August 2021.

SE NOAA Coral Reef Watch Daily 5 km SST Anomalies (Version 3.1) 27 November 2021 The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)

Latest SST maps

Latest NINO 3.4 SST Index graphs

Southern Oscillation Index
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) gives an indication of the development and intensity of El Niño or La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean. It is calculated using the pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin. Sustained negative SOI values of less than −7 often indicate El Niño events.

Graph showing that at the beginning of spring 2021 the Southern Oscillation Index is heading back to neutral territory.

For most of November, the SOI showed some weakness below the +8.0 threshold for La Niña. However, it recently rocketed to a strongly positive value, currently at +13.4 (at 6 December 2021). Pressure patterns around the equator are La Niña like with much higher pressure at Tahiti and normal pressure north of Australia. (refer to the 30-day moving SOI graph for 6 December on the left). Latest 30 Day Moving SOI map

Southern Annular Mode

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) can influence rainfall and temperature in parts of Australia. It is a shorter term climate driver and relates to the (non-seasonal) north-south movement of the strong westerly winds that blow almost continuously in the mid- to high- latitudes of the southern hemisphere. This belt of westerly winds is also associated with storms and cold fronts that move from west to east, bringing rainfall to southern Australia including Victoria. It is important for delivery of rain in winter and summer. 

Currently (6 Dec 2021)  as shown below the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) has generally been positive for several weeks and is forecast to remain this way for much of December. A positive SAM during summer typically brings ‘above average’ rainfall to eastern parts of Australia.

Latest SAM graph showing observed and GFS forecasts 

The Sub-Tropical Ridge

The sub-tropical ridge is a belt of high pressure systems that circles the southern hemisphere’s midlatitudes (the region of the globe between about 23°S and 66°S). It has a dominant influence on the climate of Australia. During our summer it tends to sit over southern Australia, generally bringing dry weather. 

Over the month of November 2021, the Sub-Tropical Ridge of High Pressure (STR) was situtated at a normal latitude centred around Adelaide. For much of the month, the state of Victoria was in between the two high pressures allowing troughing northerly moisture to come down. The positioning of the high to the west and south of Victoria placed downward pressure on rainfall triggers to miss South-West Victoria. Up-to-date versions of mean sea level pressure maps like the one below on the left, can be found here

The sub-tropical ridge of high pressure was higher in pressure during November. The small low that was centred over New South Wales was indicative of a few rainfall triggers that just sat there. 

Pressure is higher at Tahiti and normal over Darwin, which is why the SOI is positive like La Niña. A large area of low pressure over the IOD east box in the eastern Indian Ocean (as shown earlier in the NOAA Coral Reed Watch Daily 5 km SST anomalies map) is the best evidence to date of a strong ocean atmosphere coupling of the -IOD. All this happening, when it’s normally meant to be weakening. 

Up-to-date versions of the pressure map anomoly like the one above on the right, can be found here.

Modelled Climate and Ocean Predictions for Victoria from August 2021 run models

The assessment of twelve climate models for Victoria, shows likely wetter rainfall or neutral rainfall with hints of warmer temperature in the next three months. Refer to the table below.

For a larger resolution version of the Modelled Climate and Ocean Predictions from September 2021 run models for Victoria as appears in the table below, click here.

For more details on how to interpret this table, visit the Fast Break team’s new e-learn module click here

A table of twelve modelled climate and ocean predictions for Victorian from August 2021 run models.  It covers the 6 months from August 2021 until February 2022 inclusive.

[Back to Top]

Farmers managing seasonal risk successfully – December 2021 farmer case studies

Maria Rose, Dairy Extension Officer, Agriculture Victoria 

In this edition of Milking the Weather we catch up with Kevin Fitzsimmons from Merrigum in the Northern Irrigation Region, Craig Dwyer from Bullaharre in South-West Victoria, and Brett Findlay from Towong Upper, near Corryong in North-East Victoria.

left to right: Kevin Fitzsimons, Craig Dwyer and Brett Findlay

We caught up with Kevin in the last edition three months ago, and both Craig and Brett, six months back at the start of winter.
Consequently, this time around from all three we find out:

  • how the previous season(s) turned out for them (i.e. Kevin’s spring 2021, both Craig and Brett’s winter and spring 2021)
  • what key risk management strategies they have planned this summer
  • about their anticipated risk level and related mitigation strategies beyond this summer.
Kevin Fitzsimmons, Merrigum, Northern Irrigation Region

Three months back in early September 2021 when we spoke with Kevin, he’d just come out of a wet autumn during which time he needed to do some quick thinking around track management to minimise stone damage to cows’ hooves. Management strategies were in place for a predicted wet (potentially flood-like) spring. This time in the first week of summer  2021–22, Kevin had the following thoughts

A dream run over spring
Spring was probably the best we’ve ever had. It was absolutely fantastic. We really didn’t have to change anything. Up until the end of November, we’d only done three waterings, which is amazing! Normally we would be up to somewhere between our sixth or even tenth watering depending on how dry it is at the end of spring. The amount of clover we had this spring has been tremendous with the weather being so mild overall – only one day really over 30 degrees Celcius. Although spring wasn’t very wet, the timing of rain events was well spaced, with some decent falls of around 30 millimetres and we got the bonus of no flooding.

Minimal disruption to hay season
The hay season has gone pretty well because we’ve been able to harvest in between most of the rain events. It was only in the last harvest run, when we made 190 bales of subterannean clover, that instead of making hay we put that lot into silage (probably actually closer to haylage) because forecasts were predicting a decent rain event at the time. That heavy rain never eventuated.

We usually make all hay but will occasionally we do silage if the weather is not conducive for hay, which was the case this time around. It was very good quality pasture and we weren’t prepared to risk the weather damage that may have occured had we made hay.

Plenty of water for irrigation 
Our plan for summer is pretty much to continue to water all our pastures because water is so cheap at the moment (in comparison to other years) and milk prices remain high. There’s profit to be made and irrigating pastures is our cheapest feed source. Also, going forward it looks like grain is going to be very expensive, so we are not feeding a lot of grain in the shed. That’s why our current strategy is concentrating on our pastures and making sure that we have got plenty of that. Having said that we will increase the grain through summer as the pasture quality drops off.  We’ve got all our water locked in. We bought what we budgeted for a month ago when it came down to a price we were comfortable with. It’s dropped a little more since then (approx $5) but I thought the risk of it going up in price was much higher. So far it has paid off and historically for us it’s the cheapest water we’ve bought.

Early autumn feed guaranteed
With our new irrigatgion system, we can water everything whenever we need to now and at the very start of summer we have plenty of water available as we’ve only done three waterings, using a lot less water than we normally would at this time. We plan to kick all our autumn pastures off earlier than we normally would, (end of February, early March) which means we will have more autum feed early.

Enough nitrogen fertiliser on hand
The huge price hike in nitrogen fertiliser over the last year will effect us because we do use it, but we are not heavy users. To mitigate a potential risk by having it on hand ready to use we bought a shuttle (1,000 litre drum) of liquid nitrogen and ammonia nitrate. Plus we still have a bulka bag (1000 kg) of urea left over from last year. My current strategy is not to put on any nitorgen at this stage as I’ve got enough grass and I don’t need to grow any extra and I have enough good quality milker hay on hand as well. It will be used down the track, which might be over summer but will see what happens and act then.

Hay to the rescue
Putting the oaten hay on the tracks really saved the cows feet. I only wish I had put it on a bit earlier. Once we did put it on though, it held the tracks together. You could see that the cows only walked where the hay was placed and it was a lot better for their feet. We’ve still got plenty of that poorer quality hay left! So that is a strategy that we will keep in mind for future wet seasons, making sure that we implement it early enough. We’ve got about a thousand (350 kg) rolls of second grade hay suitable for dry cow feed and about 60 big squares (500 kg) bales of vetch hay, which is carry over from last seaon. We have made close to 2000 rolls of hay this season, which is a mix of oats, wheat and vetch, oats and vetch, and sub (clover) hay on hand which will get us through to next season. So hopefully for the first time in a long time (maybe 20 years) we will not have to buy any hay.

Pasture renovation strategy
There are three paddocks that need to be laser graded (January/February) on the home farm. They were cropped with oats that were fed over winter. Two of them will be put back into permanent and the other into annual pasture. We are heading towards milking 350 cows and the feed budgets suggest we probably need the couple of extra paddocks of permanent pasture and have one extra annual pasture next winter.

A number and production balancing act 
We are getting towards our peak numbers I guess. So now it is a matter of playing around with the cow numbers. We are aiming towards 350 in the milking heard but whether 300 is the more profitable position remains to be seen. I don’t just want to milk numbers for the sake of it. I want to be able to feed them well because with milkng 300 I might actually get more production in total than out of 350 because they can be fed better. We need to be able to feed them with the cheapest feed, which is pasture. So, if I over stock, then I could be forced into buying expensive feed to make sure that they are all fully fed. I would rather milk 300 than 350 and feed them better with the result of more production overall. So it’s a bit of a balancing act and we’ll see how we go.

Increased confidence in sexed semen
We are really happy with the outcome of using sexed semen. We are calving again now and for this lot we went back to using conventional semen because we didn’t want to continually use it, if it wasn’t warranted. We wanted to see how it worked first with conception rates and everything else, and it went really well. With this current calving from the use of conventional semen, we’ve had two heifers and 10 bulls out of 12 calved so far. So I think I’d rather go back to the sexed semen as all I seem to be getting is bulls. We are also joining again now and are using sexed semen again. We are actually about to put on-heat detection collars on all milking cows, so better heat detection will give us even more confidence in using sexed semen. Another plus with using sexed semen is because we had so many heifer calves from using it over the whole herd last year, we were able to sell 52 of them. These were in excess to what we needed. We sold them for $1000 a head at three to four weeks of age. which is a sizeable source of additional income compared with selling bull calves and getting only $50 to $100 at best.

Future cross breeding plans
We are mainly concentrating on Holsteins in our milking herd. Usually, we put a jersey bull in with our heifers, once we have done a sync. program using sexed semen, so we do have a few jersey-holstein crossbreed animals in the herd. Now going forward with using a total sexed semen program and given that beef prices are currently so good, we are putting them (the crossbred) over a beef bull (Speckle Park breed) rather than breeding back to a milking breed. I don’t know whether it is a long-term strategy but with cattle prices where they are at currently , and our milking herd numbers where we want them, we’re giving it a try to see how it goes. We’ve probably got about 20 or 30 crossbred cattle currently in the herd. So it’s not a huge thing, just a bit of an experiment I guess that could pay off well.
Note: The Speckle Park is a modern Canadian breed of beef cattle. It was developed in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan from 1959, by crossbreeding stock of the British Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn ...

[Back to Top]

Craig Bullaharrwe, South-West Victoria

We last spoke with Craig six months ago at the beginning of winter 2021. Due to not sowing any summer crops because of a dream summer pasture growth-wise, the effluent usually applied to crops went on pasture instead, which equated to a saving of one urea application. At the start of summer 2021–22, Craig shared the following.

An old school winter
It was definitely an old school winter down here – cold and overcast with very little sunshine. I always have the 20 August in the back of my mind as a measure for when things should pick up again weather wise, as days are getting a fraction longer and there is likely to be more sunshine. The trouble with last August and September and a portion of October for us was that it just stayed drizzly, overcast with very little sun. So, our growth rates weren’t where we would like them to be especially through September, which delayed a harvest. I was just having a look back through some of my Twitter feed and I’ve got a photo in it from only three weeks ago of the helicopter still putting fertiliser out around here. The old school winter this year wasn’t everywhere in the western district of Victoria. My guess is that Cobden through to Simpson to the Scott’s Creek area were exceptionally wet. We were very spoilt in 2020 with a winter from heaven but this winter it was back to old school mud and drudgery for an extended period of time.

Feed pad gets a workout
Our poor man’s feed pad was definitely exercised and used pretty much until around three to four weeks ago. We fed oaten hay in hay rings on the broadest part of the track where the cows leave the dairy. Our makeshift feed pad was in play pretty much from mid-June right the way through until early October.

Adequate fodder supplies
Now at the very start of summer our fodder on hand is not so bad. We built that hay shed last harvest and three parts filled it with 300 tonne of hay left over from the season before. We used a lot and what was stored and are probably back to around 200 tonne of hay left rather than that 300. So, the cows have definitely chewed into some supplies but given the green summer and a reasonably good autumn previously and start of winter until mid-June (when things got pretty wet for us), we still have plenty of silage left over as many people in the district do.

A green Christmas
Spring was short with the weather pretty much only clearing from early November. Prior to that, September and October didn’t provide the typical spring weather. Our growing window was a lot more delayed and a fraction shorter than normal because of prolonged winter conditions. Although pastures have become pretty dry gradually over the last three weeks, we will still have a green Christmas.

Catch 22
We will have summer crops but there is a catch. As we haven’t been able to get onto paddocks to spray them out without getting machinery bogged up until about the last fortnight, the summer crops are being sowed about a month later than I would like. Essentially what we are going to be doing now is putting in a shorter growing variety of rape as in the Hunter variety. So, we will put that in which is six weeks establishment, let the cows graze it once maybe twice depending how the rainfall pans out in the later part of the summer. Then those paddocks will get sown back down to ryegrass as quicky as possible because the catch is we don’t want to be caught out getting back on those paddocks if we get an early break.

Potential summer risk
At the start of summer, paddock feed is plentiful. There’s not really any immediate risk weather wise. Obviously last year we hardly got any extreme days of heat. I think we only had one day over 40 and 10 days over 30 degrees Celcius for the entire summer. If we could have another summer like that this time around please, that would make up for this last prolonged winter.

Managing price hikes of input costs
The risk over this current summer is that fertiliser costs look like being high; they’ve crept up drastically in the last six weeks and they look like being high into the new year. I contracted some in before the big price hike and have another 20 odd tonne at that contracted price on order. I’ve just got to be cautious about how I use it so that I get maximum benefit out of that lower price paid. In addition to nitrogen-based fertilisers, high analysis fertilisers that we use such as MAP are also creeping up. To manage our overall fertiliser input costs, we now have to make some key decisions. Do we put on straight super fertiliser initially and potentially wait for the fertiliser costs and the export bans to be potentially removed? Or do we just keep going ‘business as usual’ and pay the price that it is on the day we order/want it? Once we get our soil tests done in January/February that will give us valuable intel on what to do next. We may have to mine some nutrients and perhaps but them back later.

Young stock doing well
As we have our own gravel supply on our property, all tracks are usually well maintained. Consequently, over the prolonged winter we didn’t have any more foot issues in our herd compared to any other year. It was just the wet conditions last winter and spring out in the paddock that resulted in a few environmental mastitis issues. This situation was nothing too ridiculous like a whole herd outbreak, so it was easily managed.

Herd health issues in check
Like most Victorian dairy farmers, our young stock are flying because there is grass everywhere. Consequently, they need very little supplementary feed at this stage. We also have an abundance of stored silage specifically for them, so we are well prepared if pastures run out of steam over summer and beyond.

Minor pasture damage
As we have our own gravel supply on our property, all tracks are usually well maintained. Consequently, over the prolonged winter we didn’t have any more foot issues in our herd compared to any other year. It was just the wet conditions last winter and spring out in the paddock that resulted in a few environmental mastitis issues. This situation was nothing too ridiculous like a whole herd outbreak, so it was easily managed.

Calving three weeks earlier
We’ve now got the farm up and established to a point where we have decent pasture species and a respectable fertiliser history on the place after coming from a pretty low base (as it was leased out at the time purchase) when we started managing it seven years ago. So, the farm is probably now a bit more capable of producing close to maximum grass tonnage or dry matter.

Also, we figure that we are capable of probably getting the majority of calving out of the way before winter gets completely nasty. 

We were calving from 15 May, that start date has now been brought forward to around Anzac Day. The herd has just been pregnancy tested and we’ve got 210 confirmed in calf in the first nine weeks and then we’ve got hopefully 72 heifers to come in about the same timeframe. We only intend to milk to 250–260 maximum. So, there is certainly a surplus of animals. Healthy competition isn’t a bad thing to have!

[Back to Top]

Brett Findlay, Towong Upper, North-East Victoria

The last time we caught up with Brett was six months back at the beginning of winter 2021. Like many dairy farmers Brett has had a challenging time dealing with very wet conditions through winter and spring and a shortage of labour. As we enter summer, here’s what Brett had to say.

Cooler temperatures
Eleven months into the year the main impression the season has left is of generally cool temperatures. A fellow dairy farmer up the valley sowed perennial ryegrass under his centre pivot in February and it has thrived.

High feeding-out levels
Rainfall-wise, the autumn break didn’t arrive until May, but then it got very wet. In early May, conditions were dry and dusty but by late June the river was threatening to flood.
We were milking more cows than usual through the winter because we are a bit short of heifers to calve in autumn 2022. Pasture growth was sluggish under the circumstances so silage and grain feeding were at high levels.

Fat test up
The silage we were using was made late in the spring of 2020. It was a bit too fibrous for my liking but the plastic was deteriorating and it needed to be used before it turned to compost.
Consequently, despite high grain feeding levels, our fat test was up on usual but at the expense of milk volume. I was not overjoyed by this. However, the extra fibre did have some significant benefits.

Back to a single annual calving
Lameness was significantly reduced and our winter joining produced excellent results, which was just what we needed in the circumstances. For the first time, we have over 300 to calve in the autumn and at this rate we might yet get back to a single annual calving within a few years.

Shorter grazing rotations
The last two weeks of July delivered 150 mm of rain and just as it seemed as if everything in sight was about to dissolve and wash away down the river, August provided some drier, warmer weather. As pasture growth picked up, we shortened our rotation and backed off silage feeding and nitrogen fertiliser use. With hindsight, I may have been a bit too aggressive with this strategy as growth was still a bit slow, however, it is very easy to lose control of growth at this point and then struggle through the rest of spring to regain it. I usually find erring on the side of the rotation being too short at the start of spring is easier to deal with than too long.

Restricted Access
September started with 78 mm of rain delivered in about 30 hours and we experienced minor to moderate flooding. This threw our grazing management into a bit of chaos as we couldn’t access most of the farm for several days. Significant areas of silting reduced our effective grazing area and put the herd’s diet under pressure. I upped grain feeding again and also restarted nitrogen use. Nitrogen and a 15-day rotation are often not an ideal combination and the persistently overcast weather prevented the pastures metabolizing the N properly, resulting in a lot of ammonia in the cows’ urine. Deciding this situation was similar to a foggy winter, we mixed some sugar in with the grain and this worked a treat, increasing both litres and protein test as the cows were able to put the nitrogen to work rather than excreting it.

Spraying out weedy paddocks
During September a spell of fine weather gave us the opportunity to spray out a couple of weedy paddocks and sow a crop of chicory and forage brassica. Cultivation in these paddocks was kept as shallow as possible and they have performed well. The paddocks we sowed to this crop last year have been intersting.  Labour issues and the late break kept us from getting all these paddocks oversown with ryegrass last autumn as planned.

A missed oversowing
The oversown paddocks were slow to get back into the rotation in the conditions, while the paddocks not sown continued to provide reasonable amounts of feed into late autumn but were basically dormant over winter. The unsown paddocks have kicked back into life in spring and have a lot of white clover in the base. Overall, there has been no significant disadvantage to the missed oversowing and the quality feed from the chicory is now providing a noticeable boost to production as pasture quality declines coming into summer.

Silage program decisions
Also in September, I was thinking about our silage program on the outblock. Luckily, we had plenty of silage on left over from last spring so we weren’t under pressure to produce a lot more. With the forecast being for continuing very wet conditions, I decided we were not going to pursue maximum forage yields.

Some of the paddocks we usually cut had not been sown in the autumn and were pretty scruffy, so we sprayed them out and resowed them instead of ensiling them.

We had a paddock of oats which we might have cut for hay but juggling growth stage and weather to make decent cereal hay is a difficult proposition here at the best of times. I made the call that we’d continue grazing the oats rather than making hay. I was in two minds about nitrogen use on the silage paddocks but they were looking quite pale, possibly due to nutrient leeching in the wet conditions, so I ended up giving them a dose of N after all.

The twelve days of silage
October continued the cool and wet theme and it reminded me of the 1990s when we didn’t really think about getting the mower out until about the 20th. This turned out to be about right and we got a spell of warm weather during prime silage time during the last 12 days of October and bowled over our silage during this time, making about half what we usually would. 

I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, except that the spring sown pasture paddocks have a lot of rubbish growing in them and may not be a success. 

However, some farmers with more ambitious silage programs are still at it at the end of November, with quality having declined significantly. Haymaking hasn’t been an option up until early December and I feel for the croppers trying to start harvest. There is a bit of canola grown locally and the paddocks are looking quite bedraggled as they wait for windrowing weather. Further north around Holbrook, windrowed paddocks caught by the rain are rotting. It must be very frustrating.

Track tricks
The wet conditions have put significant pressure on our tracks and I have had to pull out some old tricks and learn some new ones. 

Several years ago, I bought a three-point linkage blade and used it to clear slop off the track to give the cows a dry, clean surface to walk on and reduce the amount of muck splashing up on their teats. 

This was not a success as it removed the fine material holding the track surface together and left the surface very stony when it dried out. Lameness and slow cow movement resulted. This year, I left the blade parked. 

I have used old hay bales rolled out to cover patches of flood damaged track in the past and this idea got a good work out this year. I have found cereal hay works best as the stalks stand up to traffic much better. I discovered using our feed-out cart to lay a strip about a metre wide worked well. 

If cow flow is good, they walk single file anyway and once the hay strip bogs up there is plenty of room to lay a new one beside it. 

Instead of the blade, I have taken to running the front-end loader bucket across the surface with the front slightly raised. This smears the wet, muddy material on the surface out flat and helps it dry out quicker. It also reduces the instance of cows bogging up a single path into a sloppy mess, which then splashes up on their teats and causes mass teat washing at the next milking.

Project list
Usually, I write up a laundry list of projects that are on the go or in my head. This year it is hard and expensive to get material and people to do jobs so we have slowed down and are not aiming to do anything much. Interest rates are only likely to go up from here and we are quite happy to reduce debt and await the next opportunity that presents good value. However, we have ordered a new wand-style auto teat sprayer to give us some more flexibility around being short of milking staff. We also didn’t finish fixing the dairy yard concrete last summer and need to get that done.

Reviewing input prices
We are in the process of reviewing our soil test results and setting up fertiliser and other input decisions for the coming year. Lime, dolomite and grain are at normal prices, so we’ll be using them as normal or a bit more. Imported fertiliser and herbicide has increased dramatically more in price and availability is uncertain, so we’ll be trying to reduce our reliance on these. The wet conditions and good growth should allow us to reduce our autumn sowing a bit, which will help on the labour front as well as cost. Particularly on the outblock, we are assessing which paddocks we can get away with not sowing on and setting them up for maximum seed set. I’m also having to be more judicious with nitrogen. In recent years urea has been about $700/t which is about $1.50/kg of N, so a 10 to 1 response produces pasture at 15c/kg DM or $150/t DM. With urea now at about $1600/t, that works out closer to $350/t DM. If grain prices do not increase significantly after harvest, we will be using grain more heavily instead.

A tower of strength
This year has been a bit of a grind but we’ve been fortunate to be able to keep going and operating our business. In particular, Chrisanya my wife has been a tower of strength. I am lucky to have her in my life.

[Back to Top]

AgVic Talk – featuring Milking the Weather case study podcasts

If you want to hear more from all of the five Milking the Weather case study farmers, you can catch them on a podcast episode in either Season 1 or Season 2 of AgVic Talk. This podcast series produced by Agriculture Victoria delivers knowledge and information in a format that suits the way farmers and agricultural professionals work and live today. 

In this 2021–22 summer edition of Milking the Weather, we’ve been updated on how Kevin Fitzsimmon, Craig Dwyer and Brett Findlay have faired with strategies in managing seasonal risk successfully in the last three to six months and in this first week of December, we’ve heard about what their risk management strategies are for this summer. 

If you would like to hear more about how Brett balances location, variability and optimum capacity and you enjoy listening to podcasts click here to catch him on Epsiode 11 in Season 1 of AgVic Talk (as represented in the image below).

Recently released episodes (Season 2) focus on pathways into dairy farming and the different approaches farmers have taken to develop their careers in the dairy industry. So, if you want to hear about the story behind why Hans (who farms in the MID Gippsland) chose a dairying career as a sharefarmer rather than an owner of a dairy property and the huge benefits he has gained, click here to tune into Episode 9 of Season 2 (as represented in the image below).

AgVicTalk Season 2 is funded by the Victorian Government’s Smarter Safer Farms program to improve skills and safety outcomes for Victorian farmers.  

[Back to Top]

Managing the season ahead – summer 2021–22

Richard Smith, Agriculture Victoria Dairy Services, Maffra


  • The Bureau of Meteorology forecast for summer, issued on 25 November, suggests that most of Victoria has an increased chance of above average rainfall. The day and night temperatures are likely to be warmer than average. La Niña was declared in late November and is predicted to remain through to January, which can provide a supply of tropical moisture that can feed into any summer rain events we may get in Victoria.
  • Grain availability has been good. However, the recent weather events have seen harvest delays. Prices are around $85 per tonne higher than this time last year. Fodder prices have remained stable with damaged hay from this season expected to come onto the market over the coming months. Lucerne hay remains the highest priced of the high protein type hays. Get a feed test done if at all suspicious about the affect rain may have had on the quality of any grain or fodder you may buy this season.
  • Some areas in Gippsland and parts of the south west have had to delay their silage making until recent weeks when soils have dried sufficiently and enabled the excess pasture growth to be harvested.
  • Gippsland irrigators have had a good start to the irrigation season with good rain in October through November, combined with Lake Glenmaggie being at 93.5 per cent capacity, reducing the need to irrigate until very late November/early December.
  • All Northern Victorian irrigation storages are at levels higher than last year. The prediction of above average summer rain will hopefully improve the situation and may reduce irrigation requirements.
  • Soil moisture profiles are mixed with Gippsland wetter than the start of spring. Moisture levels in the south west and north of the state are reading below spring levels, which will help reduce prospects of flooding events if the predicted above average rainfall eventuates.
Silage rolls in a paddock

Factors favoring an average summer
With higher-than-normal summer soil moisture availability, predicted above average rainfall, and warmer days and nights, the current forecast favours good summer pasture and crop production. However, in some parts of Gippsland, waterlogging will have reduced pasture growth.

Pasture and crops
As a result of spring rain events, soil moisture levels are mostly at or above the levels we saw this time last year. This has allowed the conservation of excess pasture in preparation for summer fodder crops. However, several regions have delayed silage making in order to avoid contaminating silage with soil. The weather has caused issues with growers racing to bale as much hay as possible before rain events. This increases the risk of hay not being properly cured before baling and the potential for hay stack fires. Depending on how much rain falls in December, pastures may provide the bulk of the feed well into late summer and reduce the need to feed silage or good quality hay.

Fertiliser application
Rapidly rising fertiliser prices and difficulty in getting products like SSP, DAP and MAP are making it even more critical to get the best application response. If soil moisture is available, nitrogen (N) fertiliser could be used to generate some quick growth for green feed over summer. The cheapest source of N is urea at around $1500 per tonne (ex GST, spreading and freight) or $3.26 per kg N. However, this price has increased rapidly over the last two months, rising by $800 per tonne. There is potential for further fluctuations in the coming months. This means urea is now over $3.00 per kg of element N. Profitability of nitrogen use depends on both the nitrogen’s productivity, and on the productivity (as it is converted to milk) of the grass it might grow.

The response to N (additional grass grown) is highly variable as it is dependent on a number of factors in tandem with grazing management. For example, N is lost if the soil is too wet or too dry, if grazing occurs at 1.5 leaves, if grazed down to more or less than 2 cm, if weedy grasses are present, and if not enough P and K is available, etc.

It is important to only apply N to actively growing pastures where moisture is not limiting. The expected early summer responses on actively growing pastures from nitrogen range from 10 to 15 kg DM per kg N. Monitor the weather forecasts to make sure there is going to be enough rain to wash fertiliser in but not wash it away (such as a storm), and that the temperatures are suitable to encourage uptake of nitrogen or other fertilisers that may be applied.

The predicted warmer day- and night-time temperatures through summer will need to be monitored so that any hot periods are avoided when looking at nitrogen applications. Responses to any applied nitrogen is dependent on moisture, temperature, timing of application in relation to grazing and the amount of existing pasture. A tool on the Victorian Resources Online website has been produced to assist with the economics of the responses you may get. Click here to find out more.

Don’t forget that your dairy effluent is a good source of nitrogen and summer is a good time to irrigate this out onto pasture or crops.  If rainfall is higher over summer additional effluent will be generated and need to be emptied from ponds before the winter storage months.   

In areas where the soil moisture is lower than ideal, the prospect of above average rain, if it comes early in summer, may help alleviate the need to feed fodder supplements for a little longer. If it doesn’t arrive, then longer grazing rotations with increased levels of supplement will need to be implemented.

Fodder and grain
Wheat is selling for around $335-405 per tonne, depending on locality and grade. However, the continued lower price of barley, at around $275 to $320 per tonne, makes it more economic to use to assist filling the feed gaps. Barley grain contains about 10 per cent moisture so $297 per tonne fresh weight is about $330 per tonne of dry matter. This grain is about 12.0 MJ ME of energy or 2.1 c/MJ ME. With average quality silage being about 10.5 MJ ME of energy or valued at around 2.7 c/MJ ME, barley is still a good proposition to fill the energy feed gap.

If thinking of changing the type of grain fed based on availability or price, remember to check the calibration of your feeders to ensure the cows are getting the desired amount of grain.
It has been a mixed spring for making silage and hay, with producers in southern Gippsland and the south-west impacted by wet conditions making it increasingly difficult to produce silage. But if you don’t think that the quality of your conserved fodder is suitable for milking cows, then some good quality fodder may need to be bought-in such as lucerne hay. At around $441 per tonne, it is still a very expensive option. Vetch hay with a similar protein content to lucerne would be more economic to feed.

The spring rain has been impacting the amount of good quality cereal hay with prices at $180 to $230 per tonne depending on source, quality, and location. Prices are likely to fluctuate as the hay season finishes and the extent of the impact of the weather and flooding being experienced in NSW is realised. Remember to feed test, if required, to determine the quality of these feed sources. Keep track of grain and hay prices by referring to the Dairy Australia regular grain and hay reports.

There are some things worth highlighting regarding feed planning:

  • Do the numbers for your situation on a ‘feed consumed’ basis.
  • Complete or update your feed budget to know what you may still need to get through from early summer to the other side of next winter.
  • Consider how much feed you have on-hand now after this fodder season, and whether it can be carried through to next winter. Will you need to fill a feed gap with grain or fodder or use nitrogen?  What is the wastage for each option and the costs involved?
  • Have you enough feed reserves to cover the summer feed gap, even though summer is predicted to be wetter than average? Does extra feed need to be purchased?

Monitor stock health
The prediction of above average rainfall and warmer temperatures over the summer may be beneficial to keeping pastures green and growing, but it could have impacts on the health of the dairy herd. 

Hot humid conditions can cause heat stress for dairy cows, so be prepared for the forecasted hot days by providing shelter or areas on the farm where cows can be kept cool with good access to water. For further information on heat stress, click on this Dairy Australia link

The other stock health issue to be watchful for in these weather conditions is the development of a disease called facial eczema, particularly in Gippsland where it has been known to occur in other years. There is a spore monitoring service that has been set up by Dairy Australia to help avoid grazing pastures with high spore counts that may cause facial eczema, resulting in lost productivity and possible ongoing lifetime production impacts on cows.

Information on monitoring and prevention of this disease is available here.

Continued water inflows throughout spring have seen an increase in storage levels in the northern Victorian systems.  This has enabled the Murray, Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon to currently have an allocation of 100 per cent high reliability shares. Regular rainfall over spring has the Macalister system at 100 per cent high reliability allocated, with a high level of soil moisture present. The prediction of better than average rainfall over summer should help reduce the number of irrigations required for the season. However, the weather will need to be monitored as windy hot dry days can increase evapotranspiration rates and dry out soils very quickly, and may result in reduced irrigation intervals. Keep an eye out for your local irrigation update

Availability of water for irrigation in Northern Victoria can be viewed online here. This site is maintained by Goulburn Murray Water in accordance with Victorian water sharing rules. In southern Victoria, Southern Rural Water manages a site where this information can be found.

Stock and dairy shed water supply for non-irrigated farms
Most dryland farm water storages are either at or near full going into summer.  With the expectation of warmer than average days it will be important that there is enough water available for stock and for the dairy if dams are the main source for clean-up activities.  Any rain that does come throughout summer will be a bonus, but it may be worth doing an audit now to determine if you have the water you need to get through to winter. The large rain events have actually led to some dam bank and spillway damage which will need to be repaired when the opportunity arises in late spring or summer.  Now is the time to check your dams for any possible leaks, this will be easy to see if some areas in the paddock remain green when the rest seems to be dry. Repairs can be carried out toward the end of summer.

New location-based Bureau of Meteorology seasonal forecacsting tool
This year’s Climate and Water Outlook issued by the BOM includes a new feature. By clicking on the map and searching for your location (e.g., Heyfield), it opens up to show actual forecast model runs for the next three months and where they sit across the wettest (Decile 9–10) to driest (Decile 1–2). For further information click here

Example Map of BOM's new location-based seasonal forecasting tool

This tool has been developed under the Forewarned is Forearmed project which includes the Bureau, Agriculture Victoria, University of Melbourne and Dairy Australia as partners and is funded through the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s Rural R&D for Profit Program.  

[Back to Top]

Victorian Dairying Areas Seasonal Soil Moisture Condition Assessment – spring 2021 review and summer 2021–22 update

Richard Smith and Michele Jolliffe, Dairy Extension Officers, Agriculture Victoria

Agriculture Victoria’s network of soil moisture probe sites that sit on a range of soil and pasture types across Victoria in dryland sites has expanded over the last seven years to over 30 in total. They greatly assist with making early decisions related to crop and pasture management decisions in the cropping, meat and wool grazing, and dairying industries. In spring 2017, three monitoring sites were established on dryland dairy farms in Jancourt (South West), Longwarry (West Gippsland) and Jack River near Yarram (South Gippsland). More recently four new dairy sites have been installed and are yet to be validated, at Koorooman and Foster in South Gippsland, Terang and Bessiebelle in the South West.

right: Solar powered soil moisture monitoring site at Yarram Victoria

Solar powered soil moisture monitoring site at Yarram Victoria.

These probes installed and used to measure adjacent soil moisture are best described as capacitance types. They are are 80 centimetres long with eight internal sensors to provide soil water content values and temperature every 10 centimetres. Probe sites are best assessed individually as the different soil types means they cannot be directly compared with others. Also, they are useful in showing total soil moisture levels from estimated plant available water and relative movement/use of moisture down the profile.

A monthly analysis of all monitoring sites is produced by Agriculture Victoria. It is available as an e-newsletter.

Live interactive Soil Moisture Monitoring Dashboard

In this article, we feature a detailed update of the key recent soil moisture level observations from spring 2021, as well as relevant future insights for this summer for the Jancourt site in the south west, monitoring a perennial ryegrass paddock. A summary of key soil moisture trends for the perennial pasture and prairie grass paddock at Yarram in Gippsland will also be provided.

Jancourt (south-west Victoria) perennial pasture

Soil Type: Grey Dermosol  Soil Texture: Clay Loam

The soil moisture levels on the Jancourt site rose above saturation point for most of September and parts of October, with the highest falls occuring in October, which delivered a combined 114 mm of rain. These rainfall events put a halt to harvest, as many paddocks became too wet to traffic with machinery.

Good pasture growth was continued and by early November many farms had been able to recommence harvest activities. Heading into summer, soil moisture levels are beginning to drop due to the combination of good pasture growth resulting from warmer days.

For current and overall soil moisture (10 to 80 cm) data  for the Jancourt perennial ryegrass mix pasture probe site, as shown below, visit:

Current and overall soil moisture data for Jancourt perennial ryegrass mixture pasture probe (30 November 2021) as shown in following three images.

Moisture speedo for perennial ryegrass mix pasture probe (30 November 2021)

Moisture Speedo for Jancourt perennial ryegrass mix pasture probe - 30 November 2021
Graph of current Jancourt summed soil moisture 0-80 cm
Graph showing last 12 month trend of soil moisture for every 10 cm from 0 to 80 cm for the Jancourt perennial pasture mix probe site.

Yarram pasture, South Gippsland Victoria, summary

Soil Type: Brown S\odosol Soil Texture: Clay Loam

The spring rainfall total (September–November) of 301.4 mm, resulted in a saturated soil profile during winter and extending into September through to late November. While it has been of benefit for farm dams, with most full across the region, many farmers have had a challenging spring managing pasture to reduce pugging problems. Also, silage harvests have shifted or been put off, as many paddocks became too wet to travel with machinery. With a good level of moisture across the profile, combined with the prospect of a wetter than average summer, both the perennial and prairie grass should continue to grow sufficiently.  Refer to Moisture Speedo for Yarram perennial pasture probe (30 November 2021) below. 

Current and overall soil moisture data for the Yarram pasture site in Agriculture Victoria’s network of soil moisture monitoring probes

Moisture Speedo for Yarram perennial pasture probe (30 November 2021

Moisture Speedo for Jancourt perennial pasture probe (6 September 2021)

For current and overall, soil moisture (10 to 80 centimetres) data, as shown above, for the individual Jancourt pasture site in Agriculutre Victoria’s Agriculutre Victoria’s soil moisture monitoring dashboard click here

[Back to Top]

Receiving Milking the Weather

The Milking the Weather newsletter provides seasonal and climate risk information for the dairy industry, four times per year (summer, autumn, winter and spring).

Information includes regional round ups for the previous season, seasonal climate outlook summaries, strategies on managing the season ahead and case studies on farmers managing climate risk successfully on their farms.

To subscribe to the Milking the Weather e-newsletter or request the latest edition in PDF format, Email: Maria Rose

© The State of Victoria Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence. You are free to re-use the work under that licence, on the condition that you credit author. To view a copy of this licence, visit creative commons.

If you would like to receive this publication in an alternative format please telephone the Customer Service Centre on 136 186, or via the National Relay Service on 133 677

This publication may be of assistance to you, but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.


To provide feedback on the newsletter, request the latest edition in PDF format, or for assistance to subscribe/unsubscribe, please contact:

Maria Rose, Editor


Privacy | Email:

Agriculture Victoria

This newsletter is distributed by the Agriculture Victoria.