Led by the University of Melbourne and with headquarters at UM’s Dookie Campus, the Vic Hub is a Partnership between five farming organisations (Birchip Cropping Group, Food & Fibre Gippsland, Mallee Regional Innovation Centre, Riverine Plains and Southern Farming Systems), four universities (UM, Deakin, Federation and La Trobe), and the State Government (through Agriculture Victoria).
One of eight hubs established nationally under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF), the Vic Hub works to enhance the drought preparedness and resilience of Victoria’s agricultural industries, the environment and regional communities, encompassing broader agricultural innovation. Engaging with a range of industry and community stakeholders, the Vic Hub links research with community needs for sustainable outcomes.
The Hub uses this four-phase Drought Cycle explanation:
1. The Good Period: average or above average rainfall and good conditions.
2. The Uncertain Period: growing conditions are below average.
3. The Drought Period: rainfall is consistently below average; several expected 'good events' don't occur.
4. Recovery: rainfall increases, but farm businesses are recovering from drought.
The North West Node is currently consulting farmers, councils, businesses, health organisations and community groups across Victoria about how to best meet local needs. The feedback is already uncovering key priorities for action. Those who have lived through drought can provide valuable input – whether practical actions or blue-sky ideas – all are vital in ensuring the Victorian Drought Hub delivers the biggest impact for your farming business or community.