Growers’ e-Bulletin – 9 September 2016

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ABGC Board issues on the radar

The recent ABGC Board meeting focused on a range of matters, including the following :

1. Containment and Management of TR4

The Board discussed actions required to ensure property settlement, including a successful ballot and management of that farm if/when settlement occurred.

It also discussed R&D work on TR4, as well as industry’s need to detect any more incursions as early as possible through surveillance.

2. The market and supply levels

The Board discussed a number of areas relating to the market supply situation.

It was noted that the levy-based income showed production in 2015/2016 of 393,479 tonnes of bananas sold.

This compares to:

  • 2014/2015 – 370,989 tonnes
  • 2013/2014 – 370,176 tonnes

This is an increase in production of six per cent on last year. The ABGC noted that over the last five years, the increase in production was more a result of increased yields than increased plantings.

ABGC will seek from transport operators kilograms of bananas consigned from NQ in order to provide members with more accurate production figures than the existing carton numbers.

3. HIA-funded R&D projects

The Board considered the current status of the R&D work on plant protection and on the national Bunchy Top project. Actions were determined to progress both with HIA.

4. Banana Freckle Program

The program is going well in terms of ongoing management of the disease and the reestablishment of the industry in the Northern Territory. ABGC will obtain and report to all growers on Freckle levy income and expenditure on a regular basis.


Banana Marketing News

The latest TV campaign started on August 21 and will run for five weeks. The digital and ‘Out of Home’ campaigns – that’s buses, trains and shopping centre panels, are also underway.

Banana Marketing had some great coverage from its ambassadors in August:

  • Bill Slater’s monthly Instagram post was featured on The Footy Show. This post has over 5,500 likes! Go Billy!
  • New health ambassador, Susie Burrell, was featured in a segment on Sunrise speaking about the health benefits of bananas and why we should be eating two to three per day.
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The show’s host, David Koch mentioned he eats a banana every day.

More information is available here: https://australianbananas.com.au/ 


BetterBunch app launched!

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A big thank-you to Far Northern banana growers who attended the ABGC’s launch of the BetterBunch app at the South Johnstone Research Station last Friday!

The morning – which also included a water quality workshop – was very well attended by growers and industry partners and included presentations by John Amour, from Tropical Landscape Science, soil conservationist Darryl Evans and app developer Dan Hickey from Morgan Rural Tech.

Any growers wishing to access BetterBunch should contact Robert Mayers on 0447000203 or email robert.mayers@abgc.org.au


Trapping feral pigs - BQ event

Biosecurity Queensland’s Panama TR4 Program is launching the resource booklet for banana growers ‘Trapping feral pigs on the Cassowary Coast: a practical guide’. The booklet has been produced by the Panama TR4 Program in collaboration with Terrain NRM, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and DAF Invasive Plants and Animals Operations.

Controlling feral pigs on banana farms is one way to reduce the risk of spreading Panama disease tropical race 4. This guide gives banana growers the necessary resources to undertake a successful feral pig trapping program.

You are welcome to join us on the day, if you are unable to make it we will forward a copy of the booklet for your interest.

For further information about the booklet please contact Deanna Belbin on (07) 4091 8148 or via deanna.belbin@daf.qld.gov.au.

It would be appreciated if you could RSVP Ahna Kaihe via ahna.kaihe@daf.qld.gov.au or (07) 4091 8140 prior to the launch date for catering purposes.