On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program

This program is now closed.

This program will close on 28 August 2020, or when government funding for this program is fully allocated, whichever comes first.

The Victorian Government through Agriculture Victoria of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Agriculture Victoria) has established the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program to assist eligible farm businesses to invest in on-farm drought preparedness and to seek business advice.

The program is a key component of the increased drought assistance being provided to Victorian farmers.

Eligible farm businesses can now apply for:

  • Up to $5,000 for business decision making activities (with no-contribution required)
  • Up to $5,000 for infrastructure investments (with at least 50 per cent co-contribution required)

The combined maximum value of the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants has increased from $5,000 to $10,000 to boost farmers’ access to professional services whilst still enabling farmers to invest in drought preparedness infrastructure.

Farmers who have already received the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant can submit a further claim to top up their grant up to a total of $5,000 for business decision making activities and $5,000 for infrastructure investments.

To make an additional claim simply email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), and include your contact details, quotes and/or receipts and previous reference number. eg. OFDRG123.

The Scheme is available to eligible farm businesses in the following Local Government Areas:

Wellington and East Gippsland

Eligible farm businesses located in Wellington Shire and East Gippsland Shire.

Far North West Victoria – Millewa

Eligible dryland farm businesses located in the far north west corner of Victoria, generally known as the Millewa and surrounding areas.

This incorporates the following towns and locality areas in the Mildura Shire: Carwarp, Cullulleraine, Lindsay Point, Meringur, Merrinee, Neds Corner, Wargan and Werrimull.

Goulburn Murray Irrigation District

Eligible irrigation farm businesses, including those that have transitioned from irrigation production systems to dryland production since 1 July 2018, located in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID).



Business decision making (no co-contribution)

Eligible business decision making activities are those that will help farmers make decisions about how to manage drought conditions, reposition the farm business, improve on-farm practices or make a significant farm business change. The eligible activity must be purchased and undertaken on or after the 2 October 2019.

Business decision making activities include engaging professional services to:

  • Prepare, review or update strategic business plans
  • Undertake a whole farm plan
  • Undertake business risk assessment
  • Engage agronomic services for the purpose of converting the farm to be more drought resilient (e.g. pasture restoration or improvement plan, feed budgets for drought, managing soils)
  • Undertake business benchmarking
  • Undertake financial management assessment and planning
  • Undertake succession planning

Business decision making activities must be completed by a consultant who is a full member of a recognised professional body such as CPA, Chartered Accountants, Irrigation Surveyor and Designers Group, Ag Institute Australia.

Infrastructure investment (dollar for dollar co-contribution required)

Eligible infrastructure improvements are those that will improve drought preparedness and better position the farm business into the future. The eligible activity must be purchased and undertaken on or after the 2 October 2019.

Infrastructure improvements include the following:

  • Items to construct a new or upgrade an existing Stock Containment Area (SCA) – such as fencing, gates, troughs, piping, tanks, pumps and livestock feeders. SCAs have specific design and sitting requirements that must be met.
  • Reticulated water systems using pumps, piping, tanks and troughs for livestock
  • Irrigation system upgrades (e.g. automated systems, irrigation pumps)
  • Drilling of new stock water bores and associated power supply such as generators or desalination plants
  • Desilting works of existing stock and domestic dams
  • Farm development to improve drought management efficiencies to farm production systems (e.g. soil moisture monitoring, weather stations, telemetry sensor equipment)
  • Adoption of reduced tillage practices, including purchase and/or modification of equipment
  • Grain and fodder storage (e.g. silos, silage bunkers, hay sheds)
  • Internal re-fencing to better match property layout with land capability
  • Fencing for the exclusion of wildlife to protect and manage crops and pastures
  • Pasture restoration (e.g. associated seed and fertiliser costs)
  • Establishment of ground cover (e.g. fodder crops) as a remedial action before pastures can be established
  • Addition of shelter belts for shade, wind breaks and erosion control
  • Upgrading of areas (e.g. laneway upgrades, repairs or expansion) to deliver lasting benefits directly linked to productivity and profitability
  • Feeding system upgrades (e.g. feed pads or feed troughs)
  • Improving waste water and effluent management systems
  • Permanent milk vat upgrades (e.g. electronics)
  • Adoption of precision farming techniques (e.g. auto-steer tramlining, yield mapping and weed-seeker technology)
  • Mechanical seeding (e.g. hire or purchase of seeding machines, roller).

There are three new eligible infrastructure investments under the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants program, including:

  • Items to improve mobile phone connectivity, such as permissible antennas and mobile phone repeaters, to support farmers to access internet-based information and support services.
  • Weed control, such as purchase of registered herbicide, to support maintenance of healthy pastures and to protect environmental assets.
  • Soil moisture probes as an explicit investment under soil moisture monitoring activities.

Farmers in East Gippsland and Wellington Shires that are also impacted by the bushfires will be able to reapply for the grant where their previously funded investment was destroyed or damaged.

Scheme eligibility criteria are contained in the attached guidelines.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 if further assistance is required.

Victorian Government Support

For more information about other drought support being provided by the Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government, please contact Agriculture Victoria.

A range of other support is available to farmers affected by the drought and potential applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in these programs.

Telephone: 136 186

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Web: agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons