Projects

Vic Drought Hub - Farmland 11

On this page you will find many of the Vic Hub's projects. At the top are those still underway, in various stages of development.

Below that, you'll find some of our projects that have been completed.

If you would like to know more about any of our projects, please contact us.

Agtech

Top Crop App (low to medium rainfall broadacre farming)

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group (NW Node)
  • Focus Area: Agtech
Aim: To develop a digital APP version of the MEYcheck manual, for use by farmers and advisors to deliver agronomic information in an updatable format which can be incorporate in Yield Prophet Lite and other simple calculators.
Circular Economy

Creating circular economies with biofertilisers to improve resilience and diversify incomes with farmers

  • Lead: Riverine Plains
  • Focus Area: Circular Economy
Aim: To examine circular economy options for farmers in the NE node as part of drought resilience.
Climate

Weather Station Network

  • Lead: Riverine Plains
  • Focus Area: Climate
Aim: To develop a more Robust Weather Station Network to support bushfire management.
Climate Resilience

De-risking the seeding program: adoption of key management practices for the success of dry and early sown crops

  • Lead: Riverine Plains
  • Focus Area: Climate Resilience
Aim: The project will provide a legacy through developed extension networks, resources, information and learning groups and see practice adoption across 2 million hectares of arable land.
Containment Feeding

Containment feeding adoption project

  • Focus Area: Containment Feeding
Aim: This project will build a small cohort of containment feeding experts across 3 states to assist with implementation of containment feeding facilities.
Drought Resilience Research

Small farm dams: Assessing the suitability of existing dams to prepare for, cope with, and recover from drought

  • Lead: Southern Farming Systems (SW Node)
  • Focus Area: Drought Resilience Research
Aim: Small farm dams are relied upon to provide stock and domestic water for many farms across Victoria. However, our understanding of their capacity to provide adequate water during drought and climate change is being questioned.  This project uses spatial imagery and allows a farmer to ‘click’ on an existing dam on a map. The tool being developed will automatically map the catchment above the dam and using 5km climate grids, along with catchment runoff models, predict the frequency and volume of runoff at that dam.
Economic

Central Highlands Growers and Producers Hub

  • Lead: Federation University
  • Focus Area: Economic
Aim: The goal of this project is to assist in identifying the support and training needs for Central Highlands growers and producers and other related businesses. The research will also investigate how enterprises can grow and expand, as well as how Commerce Ballarat can provide advocacy and industry development opportunities to this sector.

Optimising Slug Management

  • Lead: Riverine Plains (NE Node)
  • Focus Area: Economic
  Start date: 15 February 2024 Expected end date: 31 December 2026 Funding sources: Future Drought fund (FDF), SARDI, GRDC   spring bait, control plus 2 x baiting treatments spring prior to sowing canola. 1....
Environmental

Review of the Functioning of Victoria’s Emergency Supply Networks

  • Lead: Southern Farming Systems, with DWELP
  • Focus Area: Environmental
Aim: A review is being conducted and reported for government purposes to create a plan or action for repairs/maintenance.

Sovereign Fertiliser Manufacturing Capacity

  • Lead: Food and Fibre Gippsland
  • Focus Area: Environmental
Aim: To develop new fertiliser products supporting crop water use efficiency and production

Trigger Points for Containment Feeding

  • Lead: Riverine Plains
  • Focus Area: Environmental
Aim: To build farmer skills to create trigger points for containment feeding.
Farming-Systems Resilience

Animal welfare research, development & extension through industry collaboration & digital innovation

  • Lead: Federation University (Vic Hub Digital Platform Partner)
  • Focus Area: Farming-Systems Resilience
Aim: The research collaboration between Future Regions Research Centre (FRRC), Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) and industry partners is being progressed through several interlinked sub-projects and stages. The initial focus includes generating and publishing the insights gained by combining existing on-farm data on worm resistance with climate, rainfall, soil moisture and other data. The focus will then expand to accessing parasite data through industry collaboration.
Mental Health

Mental health awareness training (train the trainer)

  • Lead: Food & Fibre Gippsland
  • Focus Area: Mental Health
Aim: Food & Fibre Gippsland will be working with Latrobe Community Health and other agencies to develop a number of ‘train the trainer’ products to support rural mental health professionals in understanding the drought cycle.

Understanding the mental health impacts of drought on young people

  • Lead: Federation University
  • Focus Area: Mental Health
Aim: To contribute knowledge and insights into how the last drought (early 2000's) impacted young people in the Ararat district who were in secondary school at that time.
Physical Health

Health in Harvest

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Physical HealthSocial
Aim: To improve the health and wellbeing of farmers by providing locally-based fitness programs
Social

Health in Harvest

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Physical HealthSocial
Aim: To improve the health and wellbeing of farmers by providing locally-based fitness programs

Young Farmers Network

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Social
Aim: To build strong social and professional networks for early career farmers and young agribusiness professionals.
Soil

Drought Management for the Health and Longevity of Perennial Horticulture Plants

  • Lead: South Australia Drought Hub
  • Focus Area: Soil
Aim: Through collaborative co-design and implementation, the project teams will work with producers to identify challenges and needs in preserving plant health during drought.

Top soils and soil coring program * UPDATED Dec 2023 *

  • Lead: Food and Fibre Gippsland (South-East Node lead)
  • Focus Area: Soil
Aim: “Topsoil, do you want more?” seeks to answer the questions: (1) “can we double the water holding capacity of our topsoil?” and (2) “can we extend our topsoil from 150mm deep to 300mm deep?”.
Water Management

Green Dams Project: Improving vegetation management around dams

  • Lead: Food & Fibre Gippsland
  • Focus Area: Water ManagementWater Quality
Aim: To improve water harvesting, maintain water quantity and quality in dams in Gippsland as part of drought preparedness.

Managing drought risks through new water-allocation outlooks: promoting adoption & supporting decision making

  • Lead: MRIC (NW Irrigated Horticulture Node)
  • Focus Area: Water Management
Aim: Identified as a priority during the initial round of drought consultations with stakeholders, this project will use a proof-of-concept project calibrated earlier for Goulburn River System and calibrate it for Murray River System. The proof-of-concept project used BOM stream-flow forecasts to provide real-time forecasts grounded in current-year weather, rather than in potential climate scenarios. Using actual stream-flow forecasts reduces uncertainty of water allocation by 50% and improves decisions making with better prediction of available water in the current season.

Zero Row Spacing

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Water Management
Aim: To improve drought resilience through research into “Zero Row Spacing” for improved water use efficiency and minimising herbicides through crop competition.
Water Quality

Green Dams Project: Improving vegetation management around dams

  • Lead: Food & Fibre Gippsland
  • Focus Area: Water ManagementWater Quality
Aim: To improve water harvesting, maintain water quantity and quality in dams in Gippsland as part of drought preparedness.
Agtech

Monitoring Hive Health * UPDATED Dec 2023 *

  • Lead: Agriculture Victoria
  • Focus Area: AgtechHorticulture
Aim: This proof-of-concept project investigated whether traceability devices and environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance could be used to monitor hive health
Climate Awareness

Climate Courage

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Climate Awareness
Aim: To inspire courage and discussion for future climate action.
Climate Change

Student Workshop – Climate Change

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Climate ChangeEducation
Aim: To increase the awareness for opportunities with the agricultural industry and inspire students to pursue a career within the sector.
Climate Resilience

Greener and climate resilient dairy production

  • Lead: The University of Melbourne
  • Focus Area: Climate Resilience
Aim: To explore the effects of feeding conserved forage in typical dairy diet on enteric CH4 emissions and its intensity.
Containment Feeding

Containment Feeding Innovation: Enhancing stock containment practices before, during and post drought

  • Lead: Riverine Plains
  • Focus Area: Containment Feeding
Aim: To improve pasture and livestock management prior to, during and post drought in NE Victoria.
Drought Recovery

Horticulture Skills Capacity Framework to Build Resilience and Skills Retention

  • Lead: Mallee Regional Innovation Centre
  • Focus Area: Drought RecoveryWorkforce
The project is looking at a skills capacity framework to assist in building resilience and provide pathways for drought recovery when rebuilding workforces. Regional Development Australia Loddon Mallee provided funding for a study to create...
Drought Resilience Research

Over the Fence, a drought resilience lens

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Drought Resilience Research
Aim: To inspire information sharing and innovative ideas within the North West of Victoria and boost mental health through positive imagery.
Education

Student Workshop – Climate Change

  • Lead: Birchip Cropping Group
  • Focus Area: Climate ChangeEducation
Aim: To increase the awareness for opportunities with the agricultural industry and inspire students to pursue a career within the sector.
Farm Finance

Farm Finances and Drought: Examining the role of farm advisors

  • Lead: Deakin University
  • Focus Area: Farm Finance
Aim: To bring all Hub partners together, plus key industry and researcher guests to come up with ways to improve linkages and the overall role of farm advisors, to enhance the resilience of farm businesses.
Fodder Storage

Future Fodder Project: Supporting improved fodder storage to enhance quality

  • Lead: Food & Fibre Gippsland
  • Focus Area: Fodder Storage
Aim: To improve preparedness for drought on livestock farms in Gippsland.
Gender

Women’s Voices in the Face of Drought

  • Lead: Mallee Regional Innovation Centre
  • Focus Area: GenderWater Management
The project considers how women are being heard on issues of water and drought in the Mallee Region. This research will aim to document women’s place in society regarding issues of drought and water scarcity...
Horticulture

Monitoring Hive Health * UPDATED Dec 2023 *

  • Lead: Agriculture Victoria
  • Focus Area: AgtechHorticulture
Aim: This proof-of-concept project investigated whether traceability devices and environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance could be used to monitor hive health
Mental Health