Much of Victoria has received below average rainfall since July 2014. Soil moisture is at record lows in areas of the state and water levels are falling. This is putting stress on many farmers, small businesses and rural communities, particularly in the north west.
Drought Response Package
In November 2015, the Victorian Government announced a $27 million Drought Response Package to support Victoria's drought affected farmers, small businesses and communities. The drought response package complements support which is already available to Victoria's farmers and communities statewide.
The support measures in the Drought Response Package are guided by Victoria's Drought Preparedness and Response Framework.
Minister Pulford video message: Shaping drought relief
Farm Risk Management Grants Program
The Farm Risk Management Grants program opened on 1 July 2016 and supports drought affected farmers in north west Victoria.
The program provides eligible farm businesses up to $10,000 to improve risk management and drought preparedness practices and enhance overall farm performance.
To check eligibility, apply, or find out more, contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit the Rural Finance website.
Case studies on managing through drought
Watch a dairy farmer who sought help during the Millennium drought.
A range of sessions are being run across the state to help farmers make good on-farm decisions in tough conditions
Drought is a major challenge for any farm business and the ability to make early decisions is key. The department has tools and resources to help.
Guides and information are available on farm management, and specific information on cattle, sheep, pasture, stock feeds, water supplies and horticulture during drought.
The department provides a range of services and information products to support Victorian farmers to effectively monitor and understand the risks and opportunities of a variable climate.
Early decisions are key to maintaining the welfare of livestock when on-farm feed and water supplies may be running low.
Information regarding the drought concessional loans and other support to help farmers.
Drought and tough seasonal conditions take their toll on individuals. Information and links regarding community support services.
Information regarding the support available to businesses impacted by drought.