Growers’ e-bulletin – January 12, 2018


12 January, 2018


Panama tracing & surveillance
Feral Pig Field Day
Have your say: pest & disease research
Banana marketing update
Research fellowships available

Panama TR4 tracing and surveillance strategy review

Biosecurity Queensland has redefined surveillance priority and frequency for banana farms in the Tully Valley region.

Panama TR4 infested properties will undergo surveillance every six weeks. Properties that are deemed at high risk of exposure to the disease will undergo surveillance every three months and medium risk properties will undergo surveillance every six months. Lowest risk properties will not undergo any scheduled surveillance. More information about these changes can be found here.

Growers will shortly receive a letter in the mail advising of their property categorisation and surveillance schedule. Any questions regarding your property assessment can be directed to the Panama TR4 Program tracing and surveillance coordinator, Amanda Palmer on 07 4091 8146 or email

Have a field day with feral pigs

Trapping demonstrations, baiting options, trigger bar set-ups and surveillance technology will all be on display at a Feral Pig Field Day in Tully next week.

Hosted by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, the event will also include presentations from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Southern Cross Trapping and UAVIEW Drone.

The training is free, includes lunch and a motion camera is up for grabs as a lucky door prize.

The event will take place at Tully Sugar Mill Hall in Writ Lane from 9am-2pm on January 19. The full invitation can be viewed here.

 For more information, contact,

Have your say on pest & disease research

Growers are invited to attend a short, one-hour meeting in Tully at 2.30pm on January 19 to provide input on the direction of integrated pest and disease management research.

As part of the project “Improved Plant Protection for the banana industry” project funds have been allocated for high priority research on topics like bunch pests, leaf diseases and nematodes. Your input on what areas of this research you would like to see occur will help guide researchers in the five year project.

For more details, contact Stewart Lindsay on (07) 4220 4120/0428 112 657 or email

HARPS concerns

ABGC has raised some Members’ concerns on the new Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS) with Hort Innovation and the project’s leader, Tristan Kitchener.

Concerns have also been raised in the media and by other industry bodies about the scheme which involves growers supplying the major retailers directly and indirectly.

As a consequence, the HARPS project team will be developing improved communications on the Scheme.

This will be followed by workshops convened by the HARPS team, in north Queensland in February or March. These workshops will be an opportunity for growers to raise or make sense of all, including low-risk and odd, requirements.

In the meantime, growers could ring the HARPS hotline number: 1300 852 219 or check

New year, new chance to promote bananas

Media Marketing Planning

Planning is complete for our next burst of media we will launch on TV (national metro, regional and subscription), Out of Home (shopping centre panels, Transit (bus), Gyms and Cinema) and Digital in February 2018.

Grower Files

The Australian Banana Facebook page featured NSW growers Ethan and Zak McKeever in December. This inspirational post reached over 356,000 people and, if you missed it, you can check it out here.

Encouraging innovation in horticulture

If you have a big idea to benefit your farm – and the industry more broadly – a Churchill Fellowship could provide the means to make it happen.

Under a partnership with Horticulture Innovation Australia, three Churchill Fellowships will be offered in 2018, specifically for international research on a topic related to horticulture.

They are awarded on the basis that the research undertaken will provide clear benefit to the Australian horticulture sector and, ultimately, to the wider community.

The scholarships are available to anyone working in a registered levy-paying Australian horticulture business. Applications open on February 1 and more details can be found 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.