Agribusiness Gippsland - Grow together with us



1 April, 2019

Edition 154

In this issue

-New entity supports Gippy food and fibre sectors
-Food & Fibre Gippsland to launch at farm world
-Farm profits second highest in a decade
-Food waste forum at Farm World
-Farewell from Gippy Agchat (in this format)
-Drought assistance
-Training, field days, resources, grants, funding, awards

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New entity supports Gippy food and fibre sectors

Agribusiness Gippsland and the East Gippsland Food Cluster are now officially united as Food & Fibre Gippsland, a single entity to support the region’s important $7 billion food and fibre industry.
This amalgamation follows an extensive consultation process throughout 2018 with members and other stakeholders across industry, government, research, education, and community around the benefits of joining forces.
Now officially endorsed by Consumer Affairs Victoria, the new incorporated entity of Food & Fibre Gippsland signals the beginning of an exciting new era for the sector and the region, with a determined focus on collaboration, innovation and engagement.
Both organisations bring a diverse and active member and stakeholder base, and it is anticipated that more and more Gippsland businesses and other organisations will join to access the benefits and be part of positive change initiatives that will naturally come from being a part of this new collaborative powerhouse.
The first board to take Food & Fibre Gippsland forward includes four representatives of the boards of Agribusiness Gippsland and East Gippsland Food Cluster.
The Board members are Stuart Quigley, Nicola Pero, Kate Wallis, Brian Davey, Damien Gannon, Andrew Bulmer Sallie Jones and Barry Rogers, who collectively bring a diverse wealth of skills and experience.
The Board will be co-deputy chaired by Stuart Quigley and Andrew Bulmer.
Recruitment processes will be initiated for an independent Chair and CEO.
Peter Schutz, Executive Chairman of Food Innovation Australia Limited’s (FIAL) – Australia’s Growth Centre for food and agribusiness – is filling the independent chair role in an advisory capacity until a recruitment process is concluded.
Dr Nicola Watts, former CEO of East Gippsland Food Cluster, will be the interim CEO through to 30 June.
More? Food & Fibre Gippsland

Food & Fibre Gippsland to launch at farm world

The official launch of Food & Fibre Gippsland will take place at Farm World, Lardner Park on Friday April 12 from 11.15am-3.30pm. The program includes:
  • projects currently underway and businesses benefitting from the amalgamation
  • new initiatives in the pipeline
  • details of a new ‘Excellence in Agribusiness Awards’ program
  • a networking lunch
  • a forum on turning food waste into profit, presented by the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre.
Tickets for the launch event are available online now; $53 for Food & Fibre Gippsland members and $73 for non-members. This includes a  lunch and day pass entry to Farm World. More? Click here or

Farewell from Gippy Agchat (in this format)

This is the final edition of Gippy Ag Chat in the current format. Food & Fibre Gippsland will commence distribution of a newsletter in the coming months. If you don’t wish to receive newsletters from Food & Fibre Gippsland, please opt out here.
Thanks to everyone who contributed news and events and laughed at my headlines over the past 10 years. Madeline Toner

FarmHub delivers a new farmer resource

FarmHub, an Australian Government initiative, administered by the National Farmers’ Federation, provides information for farmers experiencing tough times and connects farmers with services and support from government and non-government organisation. More?

Govt offers drought infrastructure support

The Victorian Government is offering On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants of up to $5000 to eligible farm businesses. Businesses are required to provide at least dollar for dollar matching funding contributions. The program is now available to Gippsland farm businesses in Wellington and East Gippsland shires. More? Click here

One-on-one support offered to producers

Agriculture Victoria is continuing to provide East Gippsland livestock producers with one-on-one consultation sessions to assist them to manage current seasonal conditions and access support services. More? Caroline Love (Bairnsdale) 0427 515 668 or Keren Walker (Swifts Creek) 5159 5134
Dairy farmers can obtain support and information on feed budgeting, feed rations, partial budgets, hay and crop decision-making, water use, resource management, and more. More? Maria Rose (Maffra) 5147 0843 or David Shambrook (Leongatha) 0427 350 928

Has your income been impacted by drought?

The Drought Employment Program provides temporary employment for individuals in East Gippsland and Wellington Shires who have been impacted by drought. This may include farmers, farm workers, suppliers and employees in related industries. More? Click here or Workaways 1800 631 196

Stay on top of livestock drought feed requirements

Agriculture Victoria’s drought feeding cattle or sheep resources clearly outline the feed requirements of livestock and can assist in determining if the feed being supplied to stock will meet their needs. Books are available from Agriculture Victoria. More? Visit or Caroline Love 5152 0603

Advice offered to East Gippy livestock producers

One-on-one advice is available for east Gippsland livestock producers to assist in management of current seasonal conditions, access support services and plan for the coming season. More? Agriculture Victoria 136 186 or click here

Help offered for future planning

The Rural Financial Counselling Service is offering farmers and owners of small rural business in south eastern Victoria free, independent and confidential assistance that will help plan for the future. Offices are located in Leongatha (Head Office), Ellinbank, Maffra and Bairnsdale. Eligibility criteria apply. More? Rural Financial Counselling Service 5662 2566  or

DA resources help with feed shortages

Dairy Australia has produced a range of resources to help farmers deal with the feed shortages. More? Click here

CWA offers help with household bills

The Country Women's Association of Victoria is offering drought relief grants of up to $3K to assist with household expenses such as groceries, school, electricity, rates, telephone and emergency dental and medical bills. More? Click here

Support is available for those in need

The Dairy Farmer Central website contains information on a number of dairy farmer support programs, including:
  • Dairy Australia's Tactic for Tight Times and Taking Stock programs, which provide specialist one-to-one farm business support.
  • The Rural Financial Counselling Service, which provides free financial counselling to farmers experiencing financial hardship.
  • The Look Over the Farm Gate program, which provides community wellbeing workshops and community events.
  • Mental Health First Aid Training, which provides support on mental health issues
The Department of Human Services also provides a Farm Household Assistance Package for eligible farmers. More? Department of Human Services website
A number of services provide support to those experiencing hardship including:

Do you have fire affected stock?

Agriculture Victoria is supporting Gippsland landholders impacted by recent fires through animal welfare assessments and the referral of urgent cases of personal need to the appropriate agencies. More? Agriculture Victoria 1800 226 226 or click here

Make the most of water

Dairy farmers have access to resources that help improve water-use efficiency including:

Council partnership to provide water to farmers

Wellington Shire Council is partnering with local water authorities and water carters to deliver household water to drought affected families. Council was successful in an application for $1 million from the Commonwealth’s Drought Communities Program, which is targeted at drought affected communities. More? Click here or Mark Coleman 0437 841 104

Sessions offer support for fire and drought affected

Community recovery sessions for bushfire and drought affected communities in the Wellington region are happening on:
  • April 2 from 11am-2pm at Heyfield Community Resource Centre, Heyfield
  • April 3 from 5-7pm at Briagolong Community House, Briagolong
  • April 4 from 6-8pm at Rosedale Neighbourhood House, Rosedale
  • April 5 from 10.30am-1pm at Loch Sport Public Hall, Loch Sport
The sessions offer professional advice on insurance, counselling, creative recovery and keeping safe and healthy while bushfires and drought are active. More? 1300 366 244 or click here

Learn dry strategies from home/work/anywhere!

Agriculture Victoria is hosting a series of phone seminars/webinars on Monday evenings from 8-9pm to discuss key livestock and farm management practices for dry conditions, including:
  • Farm water supply on April 1 with Ian Gamble, Agriculture Victoria
  • Livestock feeding and nutrition in dry times on April 8 with Garry Armstrong, Agriculture Victoria
  • Pasture recovery after rain on April 15 with Fiona Baker, Agriculture Victoria
Please here. More? Jo Cameron 5355 0523 or

Government reaches out to help with drought

The Australian Government is coordinating outreach activities in drought affected communities in East Gippsland to facilitate the delivery of federal, state and local drought support services. Sessions run:
  • April 2 from 9am-12pm at Omeo Soldiers Memorial Hall, 179 Day Ave, Omeo
  • April 3 from 9am-12pm at RSL, 2 Forge Creek Rd, Bairnsdale
  • April 4 from 9am-12pm at Mechanics Hall, 45 Main Rd, Buchan
  • April 4 from 3-5pm at Orbost Exhibition Centre, 10-12 Clarke St, Orbost
  • April 5 from 9am-12pm at Cann River Town Hall, Tamboon Rd, Cann River
More? 1800 900 090 or

AgVic hosts drought management workshops

Agriculture Victoria s hosting free drought management workshops in East Gippsland to discuss options for pasture recovery and management, feed and fodder, and animal health issues including livestock nutritional requirements. Workshops include:
  • Managing for Autumn -Livestock on Dargo on Thursday April 4 from 10am-12.30pm with Alison Gunn
  • Autumn Stocktake – Livestock in Swifts Creek on Tuesday April 9 from 12.30 pm with Fiona Baker and Eddy Mauger
  • Autumn Stocktake – Livestock in Buchan: Wednesday April 10 from 10am with Fiona Baker and Nicole Frost
Registrations here for catering purposes. More? Ag Vic Maffra 5147 0831 or Ag Vic Swifts Creek 5159 5134

Dry season support on offer

The Farm Business Assistance Program provides one-off support payments to eligible farm businesses in Wellington and East Gippsland shires. Eligible farmers can apply for a Farm Business Assistance payment of:
  • $3500 for Farm Household Allowance for Wellington and East Gippsland shires
  • $3500 for young farmers in Wellington and East Gippsland shires
  • $2500 for remaining commercial farms in Wellington and East Gippsland shires
Other drought and dry conditions support for farmers now available include the On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants of up to $5000 and the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme returning up to $25,000 to farmers. More? Rural Finance 1800 260 425 or Agriculture Victoria’s Customer Service Centre 136 186 or click here

Names in the news

Kate Gunn has been appointed Coordinator of Agribusiness Promotions and Strategy by the Latrobe Valley Authority to promote Gippsland’s competitive strengths to Victorian, Australian and International markets. More?

Watch the weather

The Bureau of Meteorology has released the April-June climate outlook. March was much warmer than average across Gippsland and soil moisture and stream flow are below average. There is a severe rainfall deficiency. The is currently an El nino watch alert in place. The outlook period is likely to be warmer than average and the autumn break may be on time or delayed. The climate outlook shows no clear indication for more or less rainfall than average. Watch the outlook here
Agriculture Victoria’s Fast Break climate outlook based on data from February is available here
Rural Bank’s Ag Answers monthly weather update is available here interactive Victorian autumn climate update webinar with Agriculture Victoria’s Seasonal Risk Agronomist, Dale Grey, will be presented on Monday, April 8 from 12pm. To join the webinar, register in advance via Event number: 576 480 388; Event password: VicAutClim19. More? Liz Hamilton 5226 4831 or

Make a difference with food waste

Food and Fibre Gippsland and the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre in collaboration will present a free workshops with CEO of Fight Food Waste, Dr Steve Lapidge on practical ways to make a difference every day at Farmworld, Lardner Park 155 Burnt Store Road Lardner on Friday April 12 from 11-15am-3.30pm with sessions:
  • 1.15-2pm Food waste opportunities for vegetable processing companies
  • 2.05-2.50pm Retail/restaurants can reduce landfill costs by reducing food waste
  • 2.55-3.30pm Family of fussy eaters? How consumers can reduce food waste
Book here by April 8. More? Lardner Park 5626 1373

Farm World offers a world of farming!

Farm World will be held on April 11-14 at Lardner Park. The event is widely regarded as Victoria’s premier regional agricultural event, attracts more than 55,000 visitors and over 800 exhibitors and features conference sessions, workshops, demonstrations, equestrian competitions, and more. More? Lardner Park 5626 1373 or

Weather is now conducive to blue-green algae

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Charles Milne, has warned livestock owners to remain alert for blue green algae poisoning, usually seen in late summer and early autumn. More? Click here

Farm profits second highest in a decade

Victorian livestock farm profits in 2017-18 were the second highest in over a decade according to the latest Livestock Farm Monitor Report, which analysed the financial performance of 77 sheep and cattle farms in Gippsland, South West and Northern Victoria. High prices boosted farm incomes in an otherwise difficult season with below-average rainfall and increased feed costs. Sheep producers had the greatest improvement in economic performance, with merino wool and prime lamb price gains outperforming beef prices. The report found farms achieving higher economic returns had economies of scale based on labour efficiency (owner-operator, family, employee and contractors) and higher stocking rates (DSE/ha). More? Click here

Govt seeks to protect strategic agricultural land

The Victorian Government is seeking input to identify and protect strategic agricultural land. A regional workshop will be held in Koo Wee Rup from 10am-12pm on Tuesday April 2. Feedback can also be provided online. The consultation is open until Tuesday April 23. More? Meredith Kermode 8392 5595 or or click here

It’s the end of winter as we know it

By 2050 Australians will no longer enjoy winter as they know it today and will experience a new season “New Summer” according to a new climate tool that visualises the impacts of climate change that was developed by academics from the Australian National University Climate Change Institute and the School of Art and Design. More? Click here

CarbonNet set to capture community interest

Locals are sought for CarbonNet’s Community Reference Group. CarbonNet, a Commonwealth and Victorian government funded project, is investigating the possibility of a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) network in Gippsland, potentially reducing industrial emissions while creating new industries, investment and local jobs. The newly-formed reference group will play an important role in forming a conversation with Gippsland communities and advising CarbonNet about local issues. Expressions of interest close on Friday 26 April 2019. More? CarbonNet 5160 9037 or or click here

Isn’t there an app for that?

Landcare presents their top 10 digital technologies to help sustainable agricultural intensification and meet future demands for food security. More? Click here

Avoid getting a spray for poor spraying

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has produced a series of videos on spray application and spray drift management to support best practice to reduce the risk of off-target spray drift and to enhance awareness of the new instructions on use of 2,4-D. Presented by spray consultant Bill Gordon, the new series of six videos cover the topics of:
  • 2,4-D label changes – watch here
  • A spray contractor’s experience – watch here
  • Nozzle selection for larger droplets – watch here
  • Weather conditions and the 2,4-D label – watch here
  • Maximising spray coverage – watch here
  • Maximising spray efficiency – watch here

Don’t be sluggish to act on snails

Light showers and overnight dews signal the start of ideal autumn snail baiting conditions. Small amounts of moisture can stimulate snail movement and baiting must occur while snails are active, but before they lay eggs. More? Click here

Do you have a quad bike?

Victorian primary producers who have (or had) a quad bike on their property are sought by the Institute for Compensation, Safety and Recovery Research (ISCRR) at Monash University to take part in independent evaluation of the Victorian Government quad bike rebate scheme for WorkSafe Victoria. The survey will take 2-3 minutes to complete with respondents going into a draw to win an Apple iPad (three available). Respondents may be invited to take part in a short telephone interview (~20 minutes) where, if selected, will receive a $50 gift card. Take the survey here. More? Jimmy Twin 0419 727147 or

ChemClear safely disposes of farm chemicals

Agsafe’s national ChemClear service is a safe and effective solution for disposing of unwanted, inherited or unknown chemicals currently stored on farm properties. Illegal chemicals booked with ChemClear will not incur a penalty while  in storage pending the next Victorian collection. Register chemicals with ChemClear 1800 008 182 or

Netting support sought by fruit growers

Apple and Pear Ltd (APAL) has prepared a submission to Government for support for growers to protect their crops using netting. More? Click here

Step back and take steps

Stepping Back and Taking Steps assists farmers at all career stages to achieve their goals. Stepping Back helps farmers to develop a plan to ease back or transition out of the industry. Taking Steps is about share farming, leasing and shared equity arrangements. Both programs are facilitated by John Mulvany and run in Traralgon:
  • Stepping Back on May 1 from 10.30am-2.30pm
  • Taking Steps on May 15 from 9.45am to 3pm
Please RSVP. More? Leah Maslen 5624 3900 or

Wet your ears on a water board!

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is promoting board opportunities for around 120 board positions across Victoria. The government entities involved are: Water Corporations, Catchment Management Authorities and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder. Applicants are required to apply online via the Get on Board website (search under vacancies). Applications close April 1. More? Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning 9637 8218 or

It’s not joust a game!

Lardner Park will be transported back to the middle ages after being announced as the location of the 2019 World Jousting Championships. The event, on June 1-2, will see Lardner Park converted into a medieval village, with knights in armour wandering the streets, jousting, full flight birds of prey, Viking battles, a knightly foot tournament, archery, a trebuchet (giant medieval catapult), a Shakespearean tavern and more. More? Visit or Lardner Park 5626 1373 or

One farm’s litter is another farm’s fertiliser

Cost, quality, supply, management and RSPCA standards were found to be the major issues associated with the supply, management, disposal and use of litter in the Australian chicken meat industry, according to a recent AgriFutures report. The report also contains a review of the literature on alternative bedding materials and provides a ranked list of alternative bedding materials and management practises. More? Click here

Do you have Gippy news or events?

Gippy Agchat comes out on the first Monday of every second month, with no issue released in January. Send agribusiness news or events that you would like publicised to our almost 10,000 readers to Madeline Toner at:

Bee diversity makes better apples

Apple orchards with diverse bee species yield more, high-quality fruit than orchards with fewer, closely related bee species according to a Cornell University-led team of scientists. More? Click here

Mandatory dairy code mooves forward

The federal government is continuing to advance the Mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct that will clarify and strengthen relationships between farmers and processors across all states of Australia. More? Click here

Follow the path to biological farming

AgPath Laboratories, 105 Gunn Rd, Garfield, is hosting a biological workshop on the weekend of May 18-19, with Saturday covering biological farming, making thermal aerobic compost and compost tea; and Sunday including a small microscope course on soil biology, compost, and recognising various beneficial soil organisms. There will also be a discussion on burnt pasture and forest remediation. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea provided. Register here. More? Mary Cole 0413 013 247 or

Grow our food future

Hort Connections 2019 ‘Growing our Food Future’ will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre June 24-26. The event caters to every segment of the fresh produce and floral supply chain including seed companies, growers, packers, processors, shippers, importers and exporters, wholesalers and retailers, foodservice, associated suppliers to the industry, and many more. More? 9882 0277 or or click here

Farming gets more precise

Precision agriculture for improving nutrition management, irrigation and drainage management, insect pest and beneficial monitoring as a basis for soil and crop health in celery, leek and baby leaf production systems will be explored at a field day with Schreurs and Sons and the Soil Wealth ICP team on Tuesday April 9 from 3-5pm at 305 Eleven Mile Rd, Cora Lynn. Refreshments to follow. The project aims. Please RSVP. More? Carl Larsen 0419 622 393 or

Insight offered on horticultural price trends

The Ag Answers insights team at Rural Bank has developed a snapshot of price trends for summer horticulture categories, including tropical fruit, berries, grapes, leafy vegetables and nightshade vegetables such as capsicums and chillies. More? Click here

Tag your friends to attend the NLIS workshop

Agriculture Victoria is holding practical, hands-on workshops to assist sheep, goat and cattle producers use the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database in:
  • Maffra on Wednesday April 3
  • Ellinbank on Friday April 5
Register here. More? Garry Armstrong 0472 871 674 or click here

CSIRO gets smutty about weed control

CSIRO scientists have been testing a leaf smut fungus to control a weed called wandering jew or wandering trad. More? Click here

Take the dam to your device over dinner

The next Yarra Valley Agribusiness dinner on Thursday May 2 features a panel discussion on precision water and crop management technology….from your dam to your device. The panel of presenters will discuss water and weather focused technologies, environmental research and monitoring equipment, water and irrigation and more. Location tbc. More? Kylie 0419 141 008 or

Climate change brings more to wine about

The changing climate is causing many Australian grape varieties to ripen simultaneously, causing problems for winemakers. More? Click here

Plan maximises the value of water

The Lake Wellington Land and Water Management plan (2018) outlines how irrigators, industry and government will work together to achieve a highly productive and sustainable irrigation community that values and protects its natural and cultural assets. More? Click here

Nothing beats a good veggycation!

The Veggycation website aims to provide Australian consumers with information on the nutrition and health benefits of Australian-grown vegetables. This portal has recently been reviewed and updated to better meet the evolving demands of a modern audience. More?

Industry gathers in an ode to pome

Apple and Pear Ltd (APAL) Industry Forums on June 23-24 provides the opportunity to interact with over 100 pome industry growers, packhouse managers, researchers, and exporters and get the latest updates on export readiness, orchard management, business practices, new varieties, R&D and category marketing. More? Click here or 9329 3511 or

Recycle agvet chemical containers

Cardinia Shire Council is hosting a drumMUSTER collection event, where clean, empty agvet containers can be recycled, on April 27 from 9am-12pm at the Pakenham Depot, Purton Rd, Pakenham. Eligible containers must be:
  • rinsed until free of any visible chemical residue
  • clean and dry
  • punctured if made of metal
  • have lids removed.
Containers will be inspected by an authorised drumMUSTER inspector. More? Kristen Nettleton 1300 787 624 or

Out you pesky weedy, wabbit!

Agriculture Victoria is encouraging young people to become involved in managing invasive species at a free workshop at Melbourne Museum on May 6. Community volunteers can be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket travel expenses to attend. More? Click here

Analyse your dairy business

Dairy Farm Business Analysis workshops hosted by John Mulvany are scheduled for Orbost in April 24, 30 and May 6. Expressions of interests are open for other areas. More? Irene Baker 0428 889 337 or

Fruit growers helped to plan for climate change

Analysis of likely climate change impacts for the Australian apple, pear and cherry industries has identified lead times until critical temperature thresholds are crossed to allow growers to plan for adaptations to orchard blocks. More? Click here

Strip till the potatoes come home

A webinar on strip-tillage solutions for vegetables and potatoes with Steve Peterson (USA) and Ben Pogiolli from Niffty Ag shows how strip-tilling can save fuel and time, increase soil organic matter, reduce erosion and compaction, and how fertilisers can be banded at multiple depths. Watch it here

Are you an ag chemical user?

Federation Training is running AgVET chemical user courses, covering preparing and applying chemicals (AHCCHM303) and transporting, handling and storing chemicals (AHCCHM304), at the following locations:
  • Leongatha - Full course April 15-17; refresher April 16
  • Sale (Fulham) - Full course April 9,10, 16; refresher April 10
  • Forestec - Full course July 2, 3, 9; refresher July 3
More? Federation Training 1300 133 717 or click here

Dairy gets excellent report card

The latest Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Report shows that dairy farmers and processors remain committed to conservation and biodiversity, and to protecting waterways on-farm. The report shows 81% of farmers are safeguarding some of their land for conservation and biodiversity, an increase from 45% in 2015. More than one third of farmers have a formal biodiversity plan for their farm. More? Click here

Website helps farmers plan autumn feed

Dairy Australia has produced a new website that supports farmers to plan autumn feed. More?

Product swaps on one well-viewed map

More than 4000 people have viewed the Google-map-based listing of produce swaps across Gippsland prepared for Agribusiness Gippsland by Dr Graham Moore from the University of Melbourne. You can view and edit the map at:

It’s time for ducks to duck

The 2019 duck hunting season has been reduced to nine weeks due to the dry conditions. Hunters are restricted to a five-game duck per day bag limit for the nine-week season. The hunting of Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited throughout the entire season. Hunting times are from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset. The season ends on Sunday May 19. More? Click here

Opera nets are out of tune

Recreational anglers are encouraged to swap opera house yabby nets for free wildlife friendly open-top lift nets at one of 60 tackle shops. The yabby net swap program is raising awareness of the impending ban on opera house nets in all waters, public and private, from July 1 2019. Opera house nets are associated with drowning wildlife such as platypus, turtles and native water rats, which can be avoided entirely if open-top nets are used instead. More?

Be a better employer

The Employment Essentials workshop introduces latest developments in employment and staff management to ensure compliancy in dairy farm businesses. Workshops run from 10am-2.30pm on:
  • 20 May at Poowong Football Club: Drouin-Poowong Rd, Poowong
  • 21 May at Bairnsdale City Oval: MacArthur St, Bairnsdale
  • 22 May at Manna Gum Community House 33 Station Rd, Foster
More? Leah Maslen 5624 3900 or

Funding is available for irrigation upgrades

Macalister Irrigation District (MID) irrigators can apply for funding for on-farm irrigation upgrades. Applications will be accepted and assessed on a monthly basis until all funds are allocated. Funding is available for on-ground works including converting to spray irrigation, constructing a reuse system or upgrading to best practice surface irrigation, including automated irrigation. More? WGCMA 5147 0800 or click here

Dairy farmers get new Johne’s Disease score

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has released a revised risk-profiling score to assess and manage the likelihood of Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) in dairy cattle. The revised score commences immediately but has transitional arrangements until September 30 for herds with low risk of the disease. More? Click here

Vegie market reports inform marketing decisions

Vegetable wholesale market price reports support vegetable growers to make informed marketing decisions by summarising a wide range of market price data into an easy to read format. More? Click here

Eat and drink the Tinamba harvest

Tinamba Food and Wine Festival is on Sunday April 28 from 11am-4pm in Tinamba celebrates the end of harvest for the local wineries and food producers. Entry is $15 for adults. More? Catherine Hicks 0407 754 797 or

Feed pasture for profit

Feeding Pastures for Profit (FPFP) develops dairy farmers’ skills and decision-making with pasture management and supplement use. Practical coaching is provided by GippsDairy Regional Extension Officers and a farm management consultant. Please RSVP for programs in:
  • Macalister Irrigation District on May 8 and 15
  • South Gippsland on May 9 and 16
  • West Gippsland on May 10 and 17
More? GippsDairy 5624 3900 or

Be prepared!

Business Victoria has developed a crisis essentials checklist and other useful tools to help businesses plan, prepare, respond and recover from crisis events such as bushfire. More? Click here

Support Council to support your business

City of Casey and Cardinia Shire Council is asking local business, investors and jobseekers to take part in a short online survey help plan support for economic development now and into the future. The survey will take 8-10 minutes and is open until April 10. Survey responses remain anonymous. Take the survey here

Learn local in Gippsland

Keep up-to-date with the Adult Education sector in Gippsland, by following the Gippsland Learn Local Facebook page or visiting the Gippsland Learn Local website at There are 23 government registered Learn Local providers throughout Gippsland that offer a range of education and training programs including pre-employment training, digital, literacy, numeracy and employability skills. More? Marcia Thomas 4113 7431 or

Stay on top of spore counts

Facial eczema is a liver disease caused by a fungal toxin in perennial ryegrass pastures. Spore counting on sentinel farms across Gippsland commences in January each year. Facial eczema spore count data is available here

Arrest decline in soil nitrogen and organic matter

Read about the implications of declining soil organic matter and nitrogen and what is needed to fix it here.

Business mentors on offer

Councils across Gippsland, in conjunction with the Small Business Mentoring Service, are offering free business mentoring sessions in:
  • Cowes at Cowes Customer Service Centre, 91-97 Thompson Ave on April 3
  • Narre Warren at Casey Cardinia Business Hub, Lvl 2, 66 Victor Cres on April 30
More? Visit the Small Business Mentoring Service or 1300 816 817

Scholarship offers more than e-Nuff(ield)

Nuffield Scholarships award a $30,000 bursary to successful applicants for study on a topic relevant to their business and industry. The tenure of study is 16 weeks over two years with flexibility provided. The process for 2020 Scholarships includes an application and interview process in 2019. Applications close on Friday June 14. More?

Do you have a passion that needs to be explored?

Churchill Fellowships offer Australian citizens the opportunity to travel overseas to investigate a topic or an issue they are passionate about. It is for anyone who, after examining alternatives within Australia, would now like to see what other countries are doing successfully in a similar field to inspire new ideas and innovation. Applications for Churchill Fellowships are open until April 30. More? Click here

Winners get a warm, fluffy feeling

Nominations for the 2019 Australian Wool Industry Medal recognise men and women who have made an exceptional and sustained contribution to the Australian wool industry. Nominations close May 3. More?

Women with ambition wanted

Women in the grains industry with an ambition to shape the future of Australia’s food and fibre sector are encouraged to apply for the National Farmers’ Federation’s 2019 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program. The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is partnering with the NFF to support greater women representation in decision-making roles. Applicants must be 25 years or over. Applications close April 1. More? Click here

Victorian businesses get a boost

The Victorian Government’s Boost Your Business vouchers of up to $50,000 are available to eligible businesses in Food Innovation, Advanced Manufacturing, Asia Gateway and Victoria-Israel Innovation. The program allows successful businesses to partner with top universities and industry experts, to help identify new export markets, explore research and development opportunities and make new products. Applications close May 29. More? Click here

Funding supports new Gippsland businesses

The Latrobe Valley Economic Facilitation Fund of up to $10m is offered to support business growth and new job creation as the Gippsland region shifts out of coal production. More? Click here

Looking for a grant?

The free government Grant Finder helps find grants and assistance programmes that are relevant to your own business. More?

Fund supports regional events growth

The Regional Events Fund is a $20 million grant program designed to support the growth of events in regional Victoria. The Fund is administered by Visit Victoria, Destination Gippsland and Destination Phillip Island and aims to extend the length of visitation and economic yield. Three tiers of funding are available:
  • between $100,000 and $500,000
  • between $20,000 and $100,000
  • up to $20,000
Intending applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposal with their Regional Tourism Board to test alignment with regional visitor economy strategies. More? Click here or

Grants improve efficiency to boost productivity

The Victorian Government Boosting Business Productivity program supports businesses to cut energy and materials costs, reduce greenhouse emissions, and improve energy productivity. The program offers energy assessment grants, materials efficiency grants, and gas efficiency grants. More? Click here

Develop exports markets

Export Market Development Grants help small-medium businesses to develop export markets. The Austrade grants reimburse up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $5000 provided that total expenses are at least $15,000. The program can provide up to eight grants to eligible applicants. More? Visit

Quote of the week

Douglas Adams: "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

Need staff?

Connect with local job seekers via East Victoria Jobs Hub. Add a job at no cost and access a community of willing and active local candidates. Promote local opportunities on the web, mobile and social media. Access supporting information and useful links. More? Visit

Advertise your local jobs to local people

The Casey Cardinia jobs portal is a free and user friendly service provided by the Casey Cardinia Region to help local people get a jump on local jobs. To take advantage of the portal, simply become a member. More? Click here

And another thing ...

Other than Agribusiness Gippsland’s events/surveys, all other events/surveys are user-submitted and we cannot vouch for the information provided. Please contact the organiser to confirm details. Nor can we endorse any agenda, product, process or techniques that might be based on information in GippyAgchat.

Gippy Diary

Apr 2 Community Recovery Session Heyfield Wellington Municipal Recovery Manager 1300 366 244
Apr 2 Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land  Workshop Koo Wee Rup Meredith Kermode 8392 5595
Apr 2 Government Outreach Centre Omeo 1800 900 090
Apr 3 Small Business Mentoring Service Cowes SBMS 1300 816 817
Apr 3 Managing for Autumn -Livestock Dargo Ag Vic Maffra 5147 0831
Apr 3 Government Outreach Centre Bairnsdale 1800 900 090
Apr 3 Community Recovery Session Briagolong
Wellington Municipal Recovery Manager 1300 366 244
Apr 3 NLIS Database Practical Workshop Maffra Garry Armstrong 0472 871 674
Apr 4 Community Recovery Session Rosedale Wellington Municipal Recovery Manager 1300 366 244
Apr 4 Government Outreach Centre Buchan 1800 900 090
Apr 4 Government Outreach Centre Orbost 1800 900 090
Apr 5 Community Recovery Session Loch Sport Wellington Municipal Recovery Manager 1300 366 244
Apr 5 Government Outreach Centre Cann River 1800 900 090
Apr 5 NLIS Database Practical Workshop Ellinbank Garry Armstrong 0472 871 674
Apr 9 Autumn Stocktake – Livestock Swifts Creek Ag Vic Swifts Creek 5159 5134
Apr 9 Precision Agriculture Koo Wee Rup demo site farm walk Cora Lynn Carl Larsen 0419 622 393
Apr 9,10, 16 AgVET chemical user course Leongatha Federation Training 1300 133 717
Apr 10 AgVET chemical user refresher course Leongatha Federation Training 1300 133 717
Apr 10 Autumn Stocktake – Livestock Buchan Ag Vic Swifts Creek 5159 5134
Apr 11-14 Farm World Lardner 5626 1373
Apr 12 Official Launch of Food & Fibre Gippsland Lardner 5626 1373
Apr 12 Fight Food waste Forum Lardner Lardner Park 5626 1373
Apr 15-17 AgVET chemical user course Sale Federation Training 1300 133 717
Apr 16 AgVET chemical user refresher course Sale Federation Training 1300 133 717
Apr 24, 30, May 6 Dairy Farm Business Analysis Workshop Orbost Irene Baker 0428 889 337
Apr 27 drumMUSTER collection Pakenham Kristen Nettleton 1300 787 624
Apr 28 Tinamba Food and Wine Festival Tinamba Catherine Hicks 0407 754 797
Apr 30 Small Business Mentoring Service Narre Warren SBMS 1300 816 817
May 1 Stepping Back Traralgon Leah Maslen 5624 3900
May 2 Yarra Valley Agribusiness dinner tbc Kylie 0419 141 008
May 6 Weeds and Rabbits Project -Youth engagement training workshop Melbourne
May 8, 15 Feeding Pasture for Profit Macalister Irrigation District GippsDairy 5624 3900
May 9, 16 Feeding Pasture for Profit South Gippsland GippsDairy 5624 3900
May 10, 17 Feeding Pasture for Profit West Gippsland GippsDairy 5624 3900
May 15 Taking Steps Traralgon Leah Maslen 5624 3900
May 18-19 Biological Workshop Garfield Mary Cole 0413 013 247
May 20 Employment Essentials Poowong Leah Maslen 5624 3900
May 21 Employment Essentials Bairnsdale Leah Maslen 5624 3900
May 22 Employment Essentials Foster Leah Maslen 5624 3900
Jun 1-2 World Jousting Championships Lardner Lardner Park 5626 1373
Jun 23-24 APAL Industry Forum Melbourne 9329 3511
Jun 24-26 Hort Connections Melbourne 9882 0277
Jul 2, 3, 9 AgVET chemical user course Forestec Federation Training 1300 133 717
Jul 3 AgVET chemical user refresher course Forestec Federation Training 1300 133 717
This regular news digest comes from Agribusiness Gippsland Inc which works with farmers, local councils, state and federal government, catchment management authorities, community groups and others to support regional agribusiness and work in partnership with existing regional organisations. Visit 
Disclaimer:  The board of Agribusiness Gippsland Inc 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 solely on any information contained within this publication. Readers are advised to investigate each of the articles by following the links and or contacts as provided.

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