Growers’ e-bulletin – April 4, 2018


4 April, 2018


Consultancy to develop new plan for TR4
Panama TR4 ready?
Flood-hit areas eligible for help
Reminder: HARPS meetings
Australian Bananas mag out soon
Show Matt your rejects
Nuffield Scholarships
Hort Code now in place
Entries for Coffs Harbour show

Consultancy to develop new plan for TR4

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has advised that it has contracted the consultancy firm ACIL Allen to develop a long-term control and containment management plan for Tropical Race 4 (TR4) in Queensland.

Part of ACIL Allen’s work will be to consult with a range of growers and other industry stakeholders, as well as ABGC and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. ACIL Allen will be commencing their meetings in north Queensland next week.

ACIL Allen noted they are “to undertake an independent analysis on the control and containment of Panama TR4 in Queensland and provide recommendations on a fair and sustainable model for managing Panama TR4 going forward. The plan is aimed to be scalable, reflective of, and adaptive to stakeholder requirements, in the face of the possibility of future detections of an unknown quantity and rapidity.”

Further information: Jim Pekin ABGC – ph 07 32784786

What information do you need to be Panama TR4 ready?

Getting ready for Panama TR4 can be challenging, especially in amongst the busy day-to-day management of your property.

Biosecurity Queensland would like to hear from you if you need anymore information on farm and shed zoning, disinfectants, your general biosecurity obligation, some Panama TR4 educational support for farm workers, or another area of Panama TR4 readiness.

Contact Sarah, the Communications and Engagement Manager at the Panama TR4 Program via email to or phone 0400 867 264 or 4091 8159.

Flood-hit areas eligible for help

Growers directly affected by flooding in some areas of Far North Queensland may be able to access low interest loans of up to $250,000.

Councils declared eligible for assistance are: Cassowary, Hinchinbrook, Cloncurry and McKinley.

Find out more on the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority website, and get application forms here.

Reminder: HARPS meetings

Growers interested in attending any of the remaining information sessions about the Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme should register via this link.

New edition of Australian Bananas

It’s a question that’s crossed most growers’ minds at least once: what happens to my farm if Panama TR4 is detected? This and many more frequently asked questions are answered in the new edition of Australian Bananas magazine out soon.

You can expect the new edition to land in your mailbox from late next week -keep an eye out for features on varietal screening results, creative value adding and the latest on HARPS too!

Show Matt your rejects

As mentioned in the previous ABGC e-bulletin, NSW Industry Development Officer Matt Weinert is analysing reject and downgraded fruit as part of the new subtropical development and extension program.

The project, funded by the Hort Innovation Banana Fund, aims to improve understanding about reject fruit so growers can better manage these problems in the future.

The work is currently taking him around the Tweed, Brunswick and Richmond areas and he’ll be back in the Coffs region from April 17-20. If you’re keen to get involved, call Matt on 0438 644 136.

Nuffield Scholarships

Applications are now open for growers interested in becoming a 2019 Nuffield Scholar.

The scholarship provides a $30,000 bursary to study cutting-edge global agriculture in an area of your choice and includes 16 weeks of overseas travel.

Previous Nuffield Scholars from the banana industry include Paul Inderbitzin and Matt Abbott.

Applications close June 15. Find out more here.

Hort Code now in place

As of April 1, growers and traders operating through the Central markets must have a valid Horticulture Produce Agreement in place.

Growers who sell directly to retailers, exporters and processers are exempt.

Find out more, and access Growcom’s HPA templates, via this link.

Entries for Coffs Harbour Show

If you’re keen to take part in this year’s Coffs Harbour Agricultural Show, a few key dates for the diary from the Coffs Harbour & District BGA:

  • The Show takes place on Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th of April
  • Entry forms must be submitted to the Show Secretary by 5pm, Tuesday the 24th of April
  • Due to the ANZAC Day holiday, entries will be received for judging between 9.30am and 1pm on Thursday the 26th of April
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.