Research & Development

Gary Baxter was employed with TAFCO part-time from 2007 until June 2102 as Project Officer for the "SMARTchoice" project and subsequent R & D Projects funded through a range of initiatives from LandCare, RIRDC and HAL.

The SMARTchoice project was funded until June 2011.  The project demonstrated and promote the adoption of sustainable production techniques in the former tobacco production areas of NE Victoria.  Implementing sustainable production techniques through soil management, crop nutrition, water use efficiency and crop production will underpin the project whilst building the capacity of land owners to assess new land use options to improve long term economic viability.
TAFCO secured funds to retain a part time information officer to assist with the development of horticultural and other niche crop industries in the Ovens, King & Kiewa areas of North East Victoria. 
Gary was engaged as a Chestnut Biosecurity Officer assisting the Chestnut Industry to improve biosecurity awareness within the industry as a result of the recent chestnut blight outbreak.  This position was been funded through Horticultural Australia and chestnut grower levies for one day per week which concluded in July 2012.

Farmers Guide to on-farm carbon Management

A farmers handbook Guide to on-farm Carbon Management

AgriFutures Aust has recently released a resource to farmers to better understand on-farm carbon management
This is the link to ‘A farmer’s handbook to on-farm carbon management’ 

Financial Impact - Bushfire Smoke NE Wine Region

The Financial Impact of 2020 Summer Bushfire Smoke on the Wine Regions of North East Victoria.

May 2020 report commissioned by The Rural City of Wangaratta with the assistance of the North East Catchment Management Authority, attempts to quantify the financial losses incurred by grape and wine producers in the Wine Australia geographic indications of King Valley, Alpine Valleys, Beechworth, Rutherglen and Glenrowan, commonly known as the zone of North East Victoria; and the subsequent impact on the national economy.

Download full report


Alpine Valleys Agribusiness Forum Reports

The Australian Alpine Valleys Agribusiness Forum [AAVAF] was established in 1997 by North East Victorian community leaders with the aim of developing sustainable agribusiness across the region and operated until October 2011. TAFCO were represented on the Board and have archived some of the valuable reports put together by this organisation.

The AAVAF covered the municipalities of Alpine, Indigo and Towong, the Rural City of Wangaratta, Rural City of Benalla and the City of Wodonga and represented 500 members that included individuals, agribusinesses, companies, government agencies and statutory authorities. The organisation ran a regular program of events and forums and at its peak, was widely considered to be Victoria's premier agribusiness forum.

Regional Industry Summaries

Download FileRegional Shire Profiles 2008
File Size 21KB
Download FileRegional Gross Value Agricultural
Products 2008 File Size 762KB
Download FileRegional Land Use 2008
File Size 16KB
Download FileRegional Profile Apples 2008
File Size 47KB
Download FileRegional Profile Cattle 2008
File Size 44KB
Download FileRegional Profile Cherries 2008
File Size 47KB
Download FileRegional Profile Dairy 2008
File Size 52KB
Download FileRegional Profile Grain 2008
File Size 39KB
Download FileRegional Profile Hay 2008
File Size27 KB
Download FileRegional Profile Nuts 2008
File Size 56KB
Download FileRegional Profile Sheep 2008
File Size 43KB
Download File2010 Dairy Analysis
File Size 1.2MB
Download FileRegional Shire Profiles 2004
File Size 762KB

Industry Reports


Future Dairy Supply for Alpine Valleys North East Victoria 2010


Newsletter 1st December 2007  File Size 1.96MB

Final Report 2010

Newsletter 2nd April 2008  File Size 1.30MB



Green Tea Study and Growers Guide Report 2006  File Size 49KB

Wine Bottling Report 2007    File Size 2.89MB

Hazelnuts – Varietal Assessments for South East Australia

This RIRDC report provides detailed information on the potential for growing hazelnuts in Australia, possible production areas and the characteristics and productivity of a range of varieties. It is the culmination of twelve years of research. It is intended to provide valuable information for existing hazelnut growers, those planning to grow hazelnuts, potential investors in the hazelnut industry, individual advisers and policy makers


Improving biosecurity awareness in the Australian chestnut industry

Improving biosecurity awareness in the Australian chestnut industry Jan-July 2012

Newsletter 1
Newsletter 2
Newsletter 3
Chestnut Biosecurity Survey

The Potential to Produce Pumpkin Seed for Processing in North East Victoria

The Potential to Produce Pumpkin Seed for Processing in North East Victoria

Report Released into the Potential to Produce Pumkin Seed in North East Victoria

An established pumpkin seed processing company, looking to source additional Australian-grown pumpkin seed for its operation, has identified a number of potential future production areas, includingthe north east of Victoria. For farmers on ex-tobacco farms in the Ovens, King and Kiewa valleys, their conversion to the production of pumpkin seed potentially fits well with their region and circumstances.

Like any farmers wishing to diversify or find alternatives to a crop-based industry that has faced closure, these farmers need good information on the agronomy of a potential new crop, the suitability of their area and circumstances for producing that crop, and information about potential markets. Prior to this study, there was little information published on the potential of an edible pumpkin seed industry in Australia.



Friday 2nd March 2012 10.30a.m to 12 noon
In store at TAFCO followed by BBQ lunch

Smyth Seeds agronomist Tom Dickson together with DPI’s Sue Briggs (Soil, water, climate group) will be conducting a short in store workshop on Pasture establishment & improvement. Tom and Sue can assist in your decision making about pasture species that suit your soil and climatic conditions. DPI have offered further assistance for farmers interested in more detailed farm planning through additional workshops.

SMARTchoice - Managing Healthy Soils July 2011

Monitor & Manage Healthy Soils
Monday 11th & 18th July 2011
9.00am - 4.00pm

TOPFODDER - Making top quality Silage & Hay

This TOPFODDER workshop is suitable for farmers, contractors and anyone interested in knowing more about the techniques required to make top quality silage and effectively meet the feed requirements of livestock.

SILAGE WORKSHOP - Your invitation to attend

TOPFODDER - Making top quality Silage
Do you want to reduce costs?
Boost returns?
Lift production?
Eliminate waste?
Improve pasture management?.......
Better silage could be the answer.

Workshop dates 10th, 11th Feb and 3rd March, 2011, 9.00am – 4.00pm At the Savoy Club, Myrtleford

September 2010 SMARTchoice Newsletter

Wed. 22nd SEPTEMBER 2010
10.45 a.m. for 11.00 a.m. start
Lunch provided

TAFCO and the SMARTchoice project staff would like to invite you to attend an information session to discuss lucerne management. This opportunity has been organised in light of the recent flooding event but will also have a more general lucerne management focus.

The aim of the meeting is to provide the opportunity to hear a recognised expert in lucerne production but who has also had experience with lucerne flooding issues.

August 2010 SMARTchoice Newsletter

TAFCO has been involved with the‘Alpine Valleys Agrifood’ initiative as reported in previous Newsletters.

Whilst marketing and investment attraction are pivotal elements in progressing this initiative, the business development role of working with existing supply chain operators and local farmers is of critical importance."

MAY 2010 SMARTchoice Newsletter

SMARTchoice Newsletter - Making the most out of your manures and organic waste

Making the most out of your manures and organic waste
Wednesday 17th March— 10.00a.m—4.00pm
Myrtleford Savoy Sporting Club

SMARTchoice Dec09 Newsletter

This is an update on the Commonwealth funded Caring For Our Country SMARTchoice project. The project has the general aim of supporting land owners in the Upper River Valleys of North East Victoria deal with land use change. There is part time staff involvement and the project is coordinated through TAFCO in Myrtleford. The SMARTchoice project has a funded role to assist landowners deal with soil moisture monitoring, product quality assurance, soil ‘health’ and general land management issues.

SMARTchoice Pasture Regeneration Field Day 7th October 2009

SMARTCHOICE Newsletter July 2009

Smart Choice Newsletter April 2009

SOIL HEALTH WORKSHOP 21.02.09 - invitation & registration

View invitation

 View Registration Form

Farm Smart Guides


Popular Broadleaf Herbicides


Worms and Fluke


Perennial Pasture Establishment