Growers’ e-Bulletin – 3 February 2017

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Workshop to review the Banana Industry Strategic Investment Plan

Growers are encouraged to attend a workshop on the review of the Strategic Investment Plan for the use of the Marketing and R&D levy funds. It will be held at the South Johnstone Research Station on March 9, from 9am-12.30pm.

The current Strategic Plan 2014 – 2019 was finalised in 2014, but TR4 and other events have happened since.  Horticulture Innovation Australia is revising the Plan and has employed a consultant to draft a new one. It will build on the current one and has already had input from some people e.g. the Strategic Investment Advisory Panel.

Hort Innovation has asked Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) to convene this one-and-only workshop in north Queensland seeking growers’ input into the draft Strategic Plan 2017-2022.

Two of the main functions of the Plan are to ensure levy investment decisions align with industry priorities and to assist in the prioritisation and implementation of R&D and marketing programs.

Banana growers are estimated to contribute $33 million in levy funds to R&D and marketing over the next five years. So, this is a great opportunity to steer the funds into what you believe are the most appropriate directions.

If you would like more information or are unable to attend the workshop you can still have input into the Strategic Investment Plan through the Hort Innovation web page www.horticulture.com.au

It would be useful for catering if interested growers and researchers could advise attendance to Rosie Godwin at ABGC via email rosie@abgc.org.au or phone 07 3278 4786.


Ideas needed for major reef project

Do you have an idea that could make a difference to farming practice and water quality? And, do you know how you would spend a share of $33 million to make a real difference?

If you answered yes, your input is being sought for a major project to be implemented in the Tully and Innisfail districts over the next three years.

The Queensland Government is funding a Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project (MIP) to reduce the level of nutrients and pesticides reaching the Great Barrier Reef.

The project focuses on banana and cane farms in the Tully and Johnstone catchments, however it will also look beyond just farm practices and combine water quality solutions across all activities in the catchment areas.

To ensure local farming knowledge is incorporated into the project, growers are being urged to share their ideas.

A representative of Terrain – a project leader of MIP – will give a presentation at the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association monthly meeting next Thursday, February 9 at the El Arish Tavern at 7pm.

Growers are also urged to come along to one of two workshops – Innisfail on March 2 at the Australian Sugar Heritage Museum, Mourilyan; and Tully on March 3 at the Tully Mill Recreation Hall, behind the Mill.

For more information contact Tania Simmons at tania.simmons@terrain.org.au or 0417 986 499.


Bunch covers

ABGC has been approached by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council asking us to remind growers to ensure bunch covers and mats don’t fall off banana trailers.

Penalties can apply to growers and industry workers if this material is left on the side of roads or blown into other’s property.


Help stem invasive weed spread

Growers are being asked to assist in the effort to eradicate highly invasive weeds by allowing eradication teams access to their properties which border potentially affected areas.

Officers from Biosecurity Queensland’s Invasive Plants and Animals section routinely survey for invasive weeds such as miconia and mikania vine, destroying them before they reach maturity and set seed for future generations.

Miconia (a tree) and mikania vine have been found in rainforest creeks and gullies next to banana-production areas in the Cassowary Coast region including the Mission Beach and Nerada districts.

Systematic surveying by field crews extend out from where weeds have been found, to check that they have not spread. Often these areas need to be accessed via banana farms.

BQ has thanked growers for their ongoing co-operation in permitting access to affected areas for surveying, which does not include surveying banana blocks.


Women’s leadership subsidy

Women & Leadership Australia is offering 20 Australian Banana Growers’ Council members the opportunity to attend the 2017 Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium for $400 off the standard rate.

The Symposium provides women with an important platform to explore leadership, life and career development and will be held in all Australian capital cities later this year.

To take advantage of the discount go to www.wla-symposium.com.au

Select the city you would like to attend, click ‘Tickets Available Here’, enter your personal details and when you answer the question ‘How did you find out about this event?’ type in ‘Australian Banana Growers’ Council’. Enter Discount Code ASC2017 and click ‘apply’ to get the $400 discount. Only 20 seats are available at this rate.


Get your Congress tickets soon!

Tickets for this year’s Banana Congress will go on sale soon. Please note Congress is in Sydney on 22 -24 June.

Congress 2017 in Sydney coincides with State of Origin II – where tickets are selling quickly.

All 2017 Congress speakers have been locked in and the event is shaping up to be the best yet.

Keep an eye out on the Congress website for all the latest details and updates www.bananacongress.org.au


Growers' time to shine

And the latest Facebook campaign by Australian Bananas showcasing growers’ favourite family banana recipes, is proving a huge hit.

Debuted on Australia Day, the first ‘Grower Files’ featured Innisfail banana farmer Charles Camuglia sharing his most loved banana smoothie recipe.

The video has reached more than 480,000 Australian consumers and resulted in over 120,000 views.

Look out for more growers and their favourite family treats on the Australian Bananas Facebook page. If you’d like more information contact Elisa King at elisa.king@horticulture.com.au or phone 0403 378 888.