Panama Open Day

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council is encouraging local banana growers to attend a unique Panama disease open day at South Johnstone next week.

Hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), the day is designed to highlight the latest research and development focussed on Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4), which remains a constant threat to the country’s $600 million banana industry. 

 The interactive event will include a field tour and exhibits at the DAF research station, to see and hear about;

 ·         Tolerant varieties and the strategies being used to develop them

·         Soilhealth practices

·         Disinfectant demonstrations

·         Options for remote and proximal sensing

·         Understanding the effect of urea in the TR4 destruction process

ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe said the half-day event would provide a unique opportunity for growers to learn about some of the current applied research and development focussing on the short-to long-term management of TR4.

“The open day is designed to show growers first-hand some of the latest Panama advances and increase their confidence in the future containment and management of this disease.” 

The open day will be held on Friday, May 12 at the South Johnstone DAF Research Station from 8.30-12.30pm.


A key component of the day will be the launch of the new Banana Best Management Practices, On-farm Biosecurity manual, which is the latest tool designed for growers to help tackle on-farm biosecurity risks.

Queensland DAF’s Team Leader of Banana Production Systems Stewart Lindsay said the manual was a valuable resource for all banana farming businesses, whether they already have on-farm biosecurity systems in place or are planning to implement them. 

“The Australian banana industry is vulnerable to pests and diseases,” Mr Lindsay said. “This manual is designed to help growers implement effective on-farm biosecurity practices. 

“It consists of a self-assessment checklist and reference materials divided into four major sections: zoning, general farm operations, crop production and fruit movement.” 

The manual was jointly funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using banana research and development levies and funds from the Australian Government with co-investment from DAF.

For catering purposes and since strict on-farm biosecurity practices will be required to enter the paddock, please RSVP to the open day, with your shoe size, to Tegan Kukulies on 0459 846 053 or email