Growers’ e-bulletin – January 30, 2018


30 January, 2018


Update on suspected TR4 detection
Banana Women’s Network event
NSW grower meetings
Reef regulation feedback sought
Basin Coordinator latest
AgTrends banana forecast

Grower back in production following suspected TR4 detection

A Tully Valley grower who is waiting for confirmation of a suspected Panama TR4 detection went back into production on Saturday, after complying with a TR4 notice issued by Biosecurity Queensland (BQ).

The grower has been working closely with BQ and successfully met all of its requirements.

On January 24, BQ announced that a suspect plant showing visual symptoms of the disease was found on the property on January 15, during their regular surveillance.

It also announced that a sample from that plant returned a positive result from an initial molecular test. Definitive results from further tests are expected by the end of February.

Find updates and simple biosecurity advice for all growers on the Australian Banana Growers’ Council website.

Biosecurity Queensland has provided the following information on what generally occurs after a Panama TR4 notice is given.

If a farm is suspected to have Panama TR4, Biosecurity Queensland’s main focus is to work closely with the business owner to meet their biosecurity obligations so their farm is back in business as soon as possible, whilst minimising the risk of the disease being spread off the property.

A small team of BQ staff will visit the business owner to provide practical advice and assistance on how they can best meet the requirements of the notice. Surveillance teams will also be present to determine the possible extent of the disease, and the grower will be guided through a tracing survey relating to the movement of any plant material purchased and planted, machinery movement and farm contractors.

In close collaboration with the ABGC, Biosecurity Queensland ensures the industry is kept updated on any developments and that information delivered to growers is accurate and timely.

You can read more about the Biosecurity Queensland process via this link.

Banana Women’s Network plans next gathering

The 2016 Queensland Rural Woman of the Year will be the guest speaker at the next Banana Women’s Network event.

Emma Robinson, a Charters Towers cattle producer, will share her insights on Friday February 23.

Location: The Palms Event Centre – Castaways Resort Mission Beach – 2 Pacific Parade, Mission Beach

Time: 6-9pm

Dinner:  $37.50pp for dinner (alternate drop), dessert platter and drink

RSVP: 16/02/18 via the Facebook invite on the Banana Women’s Network Facebook page or to Sarah or Dale on 07 4015 2797

Save the Date: NSW grower meetings

New South Wales banana growers are invited to attend their upcoming Growers’ Association meetings.

Nambucca BGA: Tuesday February 6

Coffs Harbour BGA: Wednesday February 7

Tweed BGA: Wednesday February 14

For more details, contact Matt Weinert on

Have your say on reef regulations

Consultation has reopened on the Queensland Government’s proposals to enhance reef protection regulations around nutrient and sediment pollution.

The proposals were outlined in a paper released in March last year, and were followed by the 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement. Both documents, and feedback, formed the regulatory feedback statement which you can read here.

Proposals include setting nutrient and sediment load limits for each reef catchment area, and providing the ability to apply minimum practice standards for key industries. This will include the north Queensland banana industry.

The ABGC will be making a submission on behalf of the industry but any positions put forward by growers will be keenly considered by government.

Submissions close February 19 and can be made via this link.

What’s your Basin Coordinator up to?

The Wet Tropics MIP is the first of its kind – a reef water quality program funded by the Queensland Government but entirely designed by the community. It focuses on the Johnstone and Tully catchments.

Banana farmers have said for a long time that water quality is not just a farmer issue, and the Wet Tropics MIP is working with all parts of the community to drive catchment-wide change.

This wet season a baseline water sampling program is well under way and the Basin Coordinators say there’s plenty of grower commitment.

They have recently been monitoring at the top of Tully Gorge in Far North Queensland. A sampling site has been put in the rainforest, and below a well-managed farm. This will allow them to see what levels of nitrogen are being contributed from above and below the farm.

Stay up to date with the action in each catchment – visit

AgTrends banana forecast

The Queensland Government has released its 2017-18 AgTrends forecast, predicting that the GVP for bananas will be $580 million.

The figure is 1 per cent greater than the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ final estimate for 2016-17 and 5 per cent greater than the average for the past five years.

While last year was a record production year, AgTrends expects this year to be slightly lower due to unfavourable seasonal conditions.

The lower supply is expected to lift wholesale prices.

Read the full report 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.

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