Growers’ e-bulletin – August 3, 2018


3 August, 2018


North Queensland next Roadshow stop
BMP and your bottom line
WH&SQ Inspector Process 
Permit for TR4 decontamination chemicals
Panama TR4 grower kits
Trial a nitrogen trap
Websites launched to help growers
HARPS and HACCP training

North Queensland next Roadshow stop

Growers and industry stakeholders take in the information at Murwillumbah on July 24.

With less than a week until the Far North Queensland banana roadshows kick off, we urge growers to come along and take the opportunity to hear about the latest research and development.

Following the success of the New South Wales roadshow held in July, the first of the Far North Queensland leg will kick off in Tully next week.

Dates and locations:

– Tully, Thursday 9 August, Tully & District Senior Citizens Hall (9 am – 3:30 pm)

– Innisfail, Friday 10 August, Innisfail Showgrounds (9 am – 3:30 pm)

– Mareeba, Friday 17 August, Dept. of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy – John Charles room (9 am – 3:30 pm)

– Carnarvon, Thursday 30 August, Carnarvon Yacht Club (9 am – 3 pm)

These are your levies at work! Come along and see how the latest research applies to your business.

Register now through Eventbrite or contact your local industry extension officer:

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

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.

BMP and your bottom line

Industry-first economic information is now available to assist banana growers in considering the bottom line when implementing a range of best management practices on farm.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries economists, Samuel Cook and Caleb Connolly, will be on hand at the upcoming Banana Roadshows in Tully, Innisfail and Mareeba to discuss the Banana BMP Economics Project and answer any questions. More here:

WH&SQ Inspector Process

Inspectors from Workplace Health & Safety Queensland (WH&SQ) are on North Queensland banana farms again this week.

WH&SQ advise their process for visiting farms are as follows:

·         An Inspector arranges a time for inspection.  The inspector calls if he/she knows the grower’s number. Otherwise, he/she will show up at the farm to arrange a visit in the near future.

·         At that time, the grower will be advised which week the inspector is to visit and a suitable time for both parties is arranged.

Permit for TR4 decontamination chemicals

A minor use permit (PER86485)  has just been released by APVMA to allow growers to legally use products such as Sterimax, Agriquat and and Bactex (plus other registered products containing the same active constituents) for sanitising  and decontaminating agricultural surfaces against Tropical Race 4.

Examples of surfaces on which these sanitisers can be used include motor vehicles, tools, equipment and footwear that might have come in contact with plant material or soil.

These sanitisers may also be used against Panama Race 1. Growers are encouraged to consult the permit prior to use which may be downloaded from the APVMA web site  or contact ABGC for a copy.

Prices vary between products so growers should make sure they compare similar chemicals and how they are used prior to purchasing.

For further information contact the Rosie Godwin the Banana Industry R&D Manager 0732784787

Updated Panama TR4 grower kit resources

Biosecurity Queensland recently sent Far North Queensland banana growers a new Panama TR4 kit to replace the original kit that was mailed in mid-2015.

The new suite of resources includes updated fact sheets, a disease identification guide and shed posters to help growers and farm workers get Panama TR4 ready. You can also access the new resources online here.

Growers are encouraged to give their feedback on the new resources by completing this one minute survey here.

If you haven’t received your updated grower kit, or would like additional copies, please email or call 07 4091 8140.

Will you trial a trap?

Are you an innovative banana grower willing to trial a nitrogen trap (N trap) on your North Queensland farm?

An N trap once installed is an ‘edge of field’ technology – you won’t even know it’s there and it does not require productive land to be sacrificed. Once installed it does not require regular maintenance, simply set and forget!

The N trap is a trench filled with wood-chips, then covered over with soil to create a sealed, no-oxygen environment – ideal for the process of denitrification (nitrogen removal) by soil bacteria. Through this process it can remove nitrates from water passing through the trench.

This technology has been trialed widely in the United States with promising results and we’re keen to see if it’ll work in the Wet Tropics.

ABGC have partnered with James Cook University (JCU) to trial this technology on-farm.

This project will involve water quality monitoring prior to N trap installation to determine if the site is suitable and if nitrates are an issue on-farm. The N trap will be monitored by JCU once installed to determine its effectiveness over-time.

For further information on this trial please contact Sarah Simpson (ABGC) on 07 4015 2797.

Left & Middle: N trap being installed on a SEQ pineapple farm with sampling PVC pipes protruding through the top of the trench for trap monitoring. Right: Completed SEQ N trap. *All pictures are courtesy of Ian Layden from Queensland DAF.

Websites launched to help growers

Valuable banana information online –

Launched as part the 2018 National Banana Roadshow, Better Bananas features a range of resources specifically designed for banana growers. It includes the latest research, a ‘Problem Solver’ feature and upcoming relevant events. It’s the go-to location for R&D that benefits your business.

‘One-stop-shop’ for sustainable agriculture –

The new Queensland Government portal aims to be a single-destination for all things related to developing and expanding agricultural businesses in the state. It includes planning, trade & investment, mapping, business support and access to a range of laws that may need to be considered.

HARPS and HACCP training

The HARPS team is currently planning a training course, which also qualifies as HACCP refresher training, in Far North Queensland.

The course will cover a range of topics including

·         A HARPS overview

·         Legal requirements for food safety programs

·         Four hazards (biological, chemical, physical, allergen) and their sources

·         The HACCP process

The HARPS team said the course, which costs $680 per person plus GST, has been designed to reflect the immediate needs for producers to meet the HARPS requirements, using case studies and practical examples where possible.

To find out more or to register your interest in attending, visit contact ABGC on 07 3278 4786. Interest in the course will determine if one is held in your location.

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.