Agricultural industries in the Wimmera Southern Mallee

The Wimmera Southern Mallee is a major agricultural and food producing region. The grains industry dominates the region and it produces much of Victoria’s grain crop, oilseeds and pulses as well as hay fodder. The region is also a significant producer of lamb and wool, and, in the southern farming areas, beef cattle. Other agricultural industries include intensive animal production such as feedlotting, pigs and poultry and horticultural enterprises such as grapes, olives and flowers. 

Supporting industries and services include agricultural research, agronomists, marketing, equipment and transport including:

  • The Birchip Cropping Group Inc (BCG) is a not-for-profit agricultural research and extension organisation led by farmers from the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria. Based at Birchip, the organisation aims to improve the prosperity of farmers and agricultural communities through farmer-driven innovation, research and extension.
  • Longerenong College offers vocational education and training in agriculture and land management. Located 14 kilometres from Horsham, the 1070-hectare farm includes cropping, sheep (merino and prime lambs) and beef cattle enterprises.
  • Wimmera Catchment Management Authority works in partnership with the community, stakeholders, and partners to deliver a range of services to improve and enhance the condition of the region’s environment.
  • Agriculture Victoria's Grains Innovation Park in Horsham is a world-class research facility delivering science and innovation to the local, national and international grains industry. Research activities include new pulse variety breeding, crop agronomy, soil sciences and nutrient management, crop protection and biosecurity and the Australian Grains Genebank and Plant Phenomics Victoria facilities.
  • The Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange is an important part of the local economy and one of regional Victoria's main livestock selling centres. The livestock exchange is Victoria's fourth-largest sheep and lamb market and is the major livestock selling centre in the Wimmera, attracting vendors from as far afield as the South Australian border and southern New South Wales.

WSMD advocacy for agricultural industries

Wimmera Southern Mallee Development is working to support a sustainable agricultural industry with the adoption of leading-edge technology and adaption to climate variability. We also advocate for the development of local industry, facilities and educational opportunities. Local projects include:

  • The Longerenong DATA Farm is the farm of the future. The DATA Farm showcases the latest digital agriculture technologies, with financial support from the Victorian Government. It will promote and encourage farmers, students and industry to engage with digital agriculture to enhance on-farm decision making.
  • The Horsham SmartFarm, based at the Grains Innovation Park and a 600-hectare research farm, is using and demonstrating innovative, cutting-edge digital technology to increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of grain growers.
  • In partnership with the Barenji Gadjin Land Council, WSMD is working to develop Indigenous agriculture on a commercial scale.

In 2020, WSMD responded to the draft Australian Government National Agricultural Workforce Strategy. The Strategy confirms that Australian agriculture is a complex and sophisticated system. Its performance relies heavily on the quality of its people.

WSM National Agricultural Workforce 2020 Submission (820kb PDF)