Growers’ e-bulletin – December 1, 2017


1 December, 2017


Cassowary Coast meeting
Fans love Bananas on Facebook
Progress on Levy Payments
Familiar face on PHA board
Biosecurity support
New video of Top End tour
Reef Alliance Awards winners
Research: less run off and more profit
Global movement for Reef
Funding for women in farming

Growers invited to Cassowary Coast meeting and pizza

The final meeting for the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers Association will be held on Thursday, 14 of December at the Silkwood Hotel.

The CCBGA will shout pizzas and refreshments for the meeting, and ABGC Director Leon Collins will give an update from the Feral Pig Management Working Group.

All banana growers are welcome.

Fans love Bananas on Facebook

In the past week the Australian Bananas Facebook post ‘Giving you the energy to leap through the day’ reached over 410,000 people and received more than 1.2k comments which shows a very engaged community of banana fans.

If you’re not a fan of the page jump onto Facebook and follow Australian Bananas.

Progress on Levy Payments

The Annual General Meeting of the ABGC, held 29 November, was advised of the progress on the payment of industry debts to Government.

Banana Levy payers were estimated to owe approximately $13 million (i.e. $12.4m plus interest) through the Emergency Plant Pest Response Levy to repay the Federal Government the loan for the Banana Freckle Response. As at 30 September 2017, $5.4m of that had been repaid by Plant Health Australia (PHA).

Levy payers also have a PHA Levy that is for repaying the Federal Government for the refundable grant of $3 million for the purchase of the first infected farm in Queensland and for reimbursing expenses for the management of that farm.

As at 30 September, receipts to PHA were approximately $500,000, and $250,000 was repaid for farm management costs. At that point none of the refundable grant had been repaid.

Please contact ABGC CEO Jim Pekin on email or phone 07 3278 4786 with any queries.

Familiar face on PHA board

Former Australian Banana Growers’ Council chair Doug Phillips has been appointed to the Plant Health Australia board.

The appointment was confirmed at PHA’s Annual General Meeting in Canberra in November.

Mr Phillips will draw on his wealth of experience to contribute as a Director for the national body.

Biosecurity support available

Biosecurity Queensland have noted that growers that have robust on-farm biosecurity procedures in place can minimise production downtime, if TR4 is detected on their property.

Managing biosecurity risks is part of your general biosecurity obligation.

Biosecurity Queensland is here to support banana farmers to be Panama ready. Refer to the Queensland Biosecurity Manual or phone 13 25 23 for advice.

Video: Top End tour for NextGen

Thirteen NextGen banana growers from North Queensland recently took part in a study tour to the Northern Territory.

During the trip the group visited the Panama disease tropical race 4 variety screening and development trials at the Coastal Plains Research Station.

short video has been produced which features some of the growers who participated and their impressions of the trial.

You can read more about the trip in the upcoming Australian Bananas magazine.

The trip and the production of this video was funded as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA16007) by Hort Innovation with co-investment from the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and contributions from the Australian Government

Growers’ efforts celebrated at Reef Alliance Awards

Big congratulations to two Far Northern banana farming families, who were recognised at the recent Reef Alliance Awards ceremony in Townsville.

Boogan banana growers Frank and Dianne Sciacca walked away with the 2017 Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award. Mena Creek grower David Rolfe was also named a finalist in the Reef Nutrient Management category.

Read more about their great achievements here and in the next edition of the Australian Bananas magazine.

Less run off gives improved profitability for banana farms

New Queensland Government research shows that banana growers can improve their profitability and, at the same time, reduce the run-off of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and total suspended sediment (TSS).

The RP140B Banana BMP Project report presents the methodology and findings of the representative economic study, modelling the economic and water quality implications of banana BMP adoption.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) publication can be downloaded here.

Global call to action for Reef

People from Cairns to Cairo are being asked to show their support for the Great Barrier Reef as part of a new social movement.

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef will encourage people to take simple actions – like saying no to straws – to feed into an international dashboard that tracks their impact on the reef. Citizens can also claim a ‘colour’ to share on social media and raise awareness.

Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley is leading the campaign and Australian actress Teresa Palmer is on board as their first celebrity citizen.

For more information or to join the cause, visit

Last Call: funding for women in farming

Are you keen to take the next step in your career?

Women & Leadership Australia is currently taking expressions of interest for a scholarship to support participation in an accredited leadership program.

The scholarship, worth up to $8000, is open to women in the farming sector and covers a range of management levels.

Funding must be allocated by the end of 2017 and it’s unclear when the grants will be available again.

Find out more and register your interest by December 15 here.

Hort Innovation

This e-bulletin is produced by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council as a part of the Communications Project for the Banana Industry funded by HIA Ltd using the banana industry R&D levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.

Contact Details
It is important that ABGC is advised if you know of growers who are not receiving these e-bulletins or the Australian Banana magazine. We may have out of date email or postal addresses for these growers. Please email any updated contact details to:

Also, it is important for membership purposes that growers advise ABGC if they change trading name or their agent (wholesaler) or add one, and also to let their agent know.