Growers’ e-bulletin – June 8, 2018


8 June, 2018


Free TR4 Workshops
ABGC Board Meeting
Last chance for Nuffield
A surprising statistic
Banana Roadshow dates

Free Panama TR4 workshops

Do you know what it takes to keep trading if Panama tropical race 4 is detected on your farm?

Free workshops are being held to help growers prepare for any future detections, focusing on the immediate biosecurity requirements.

There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and hear first-hand experience from Mackay’s Bananas.

·         14 June – Silkwood Hotel Function Room

6.15pm for a 6.30pm start to 7.30pm (followed by the Cassowary Coast BGA meeting)

·         15 June – Department of Natural Resources and Mines, John Charles Room (First Floor) at 28 Peters Street, Mareeba

9.45am for a 10am start to 11.30am (light refreshments will be served).

The workshops are hosted by Biosecurity Queensland and ABGC.

Register online here or by contacting the Panama TR4 Program on 4091 8140 or via

ABGC June Board Meeting

The ABGC Board met at South Johnstone this week. Highlights included the LEAD Program, the BQ-led Panama TR4 program and Congress 2019.

LEAD Program

The ABGC Board was informed that nine banana growers have signed up to take part in the ‘Leadership Exploration and Development in horticultural industries’ (LEAD) program, which ABGC is a part of.

Funded by the Federal Government, LEAD will be delivered over three years to 40 tropical fruit growers through a combination of workshops and webinars to encourage industry dialogue, innovative practices, strategic thinking, planning and problem solving.

The program will cover a range of topics including crisis management, understanding and managing biosecurity, international trade, networking and effective lobbying.

There were nine places available on this program for ABGC members. These nine places have now been filled.

The LEAD program has been made possible through the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to support Australian agricultural industry.

Panama TR4 Program

The board had a lengthy presentation and informative discussion with Panama TR4 Program Leader Rhiannon Evans.

During the meeting, Directors reconfirmed ABGC’s support of the BQ-led TR4 Program and acknowledged that ABGC would continue to encourage growers – particularly those most ‘at risk’ – to continue to engage with TR4 Program officers to improve on-farm biosecurity readiness.

The BQ Panama team is offering two free Panama TR4 workshops in the Far North next week to help growers prepare for a potential TR4 detection. The sessions will highlight what immediate biosecurity measures growers would need to address in order to return to production after receiving a TR4 notice.

ABGC would urge growers in the region to attend these workshops, which will be held at Silkwood and Mareeba.

Further details are listed below, in this e-bulletin.

Congress 2019

Planning for the next Australian Banana Industry biennial Congress is progressing well, with plans for an exciting and informative program for all banana growers and other delegates.

The 2019 event will be held at the Gold Coast from May 22-24 at Royal Pines Resort.

After listening to considerable feedback from growers, next year’s program will be shortened to two-days, culminating in the Banana Ball on the Friday night.

Off-site tours are also being planned, to allow growers to visit innovative farms and other progressive industries, the day before the official plenary program begins.

As always, there will be plenty of networking opportunities and social gatherings to ensure growers have a fantastic experience at a beautiful location.

Keep an eye out on the official Congress website – – which will soon have exciting updates on the 2019 program.

And, don’t forget to get in early when registrations open later this year. There will be  considerable savings for those taking advantage of our ‘early bird’ offer!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Congress in 2019!

The Final Countdown: Nuffield Scholarships

There’s just a week left to apply for the opportunity of a lifetime – a 2019 Nuffield Scholarship.

If you need a refresher on the value of this program, check out Matt Abbott’s reflections here or find out about Paul Inderbitzin’s experience here.

More details can be found at:

Now that’s bananas

An article featured in The Courier Mail this week (Tues, June 5) quoted some interesting statistics from a 2014 study.

The study – commissioned by Woolworths – found that 92 per cent of Aussie six to 17-year-olds didn’t know bananas grew on plants. In a world where ordering food is sometimes as easy as tapping your phone, it’s a good reminder about the importance of sharing what you – the growers – do!

Roadshows: Save the Dates!

The six-stop National Banana Roadshow Series is again touring the country during July and August 2018. The fast-paced events will feature the latest research and development including information on banana varieties, soil health, pest and disease management, QBAN, environmental practices, benchmarking and marketing.

The events will feature several short, sharp 10 minute presentations from researchers, a ‘speed meeting’ session with the presenters and interactive displays.

Dates are –

New South Wales

– Murwillumbah, Tuesday 24 July, Murwillumbah Services Club

– Coffs Harbour, Thursday 26 July, Coffs Harbour Showgrounds

Far North Queensland

– Tully, Thursday 9 August, Tully & District Senior Citizens Hall

– Innisfail, Friday 10 August, Innisfail Showgrounds

– Mareeba, Friday 17 August, Dept. of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy – John Charles room

Western Australia

– Carnarvon, Thursday 30 August, Carnarvon Yacht Club

Event organisers are urging growers and industry stakeholders to RSVP for these events. These are your levies at work! Come along and see how the latest research applies to your business. 

You can register for the events through Eventbrite or by contacting your local industry extension officers.

For Queensland and WA events contact Shanara Veivers (DAF) at or phone/text 0400 870 731.

For NSW events contact Matt Weinert (NSW DPI) at  or phone/text 0438 664 136.

 The strategic levy investment project National Banana Development and Extension Program BA16007 is part of the Hort Innovation Banana Fund. The project is funded by Hort Innovation using the banana research and development levy, co-investment from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.

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.