Banana growers get in the zone


Queensland Government

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries


Australian Banana Growers’ Council

30 October 2018

Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) is one of the biggest challenges facing the Far North Queensland banana industry – but simple steps can make a big difference in slowing its spread.

A free workshop for growers, hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council, will cover one of the most effective and budget-friendly ways to protect your farm – zoning.

Panama TR4 Program Leader Rhiannon Evans said zoning aimed to prevent the spread of disease by controlling the movement of soil or other disease carriers within farms and at the front gate.

“Zoning is essentially dividing a property into two or three different areas, such as exclusion and separation zones, so the vehicles used in one area, for example, do not enter another if they are at risk of spreading disease,” Ms Evans said.

“It is the foundation of effective biosecurity and is critical to trading with Panama TR4,” she added.

Ms Evans said the workshop would provide growers with practical examples and advice on applying this method to their own properties, or help them improve what is already in place.

“We’ll provide growers with a map of their own farm so we can get down to the nitty-gritty of how this can work for them,” she said.

“There will be informative presentations featuring real-life examples, as well as an opportunity to talk to experts one-on-one.

“Panama TR4 isn’t going anywhere, so growers need to do what they can to be prepared.”

Australian Banana Growers’ Council Chair Stephen Lowe urged growers to attend.

“I’d encourage any grower who is able to attend to make the most of this worthwhile opportunity,” Mr Lowe said.

“The simple steps you take to improve your on-farm biosecurity now could prove invaluable in the future.”

Zoning Your Farm workshop details:

Date: November 8, 2018

Time: 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Venue: Silkwood Hotel, 1 Edward Street Silkwood

RSVP: Required so we can bring the map of your property. Email | Phone 07 4091 8140 |Online:

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