Hit the road, researchers

The latest banana research has been on tour, bringing valuable science and new on-farm strategies to growing regions around Australia.

The 2018 National Banana Roadshow began in Murwillumbah on July 24, making its way down the Pacific Highway to visit Coffs Harbour on July 26, before heading to Far North Queensland for shows in Tully (Aug 9), Innisfail (Aug 10) and Mareeba (Aug 17).

Well over 140 growers and industry representatives, took in the presentations across the five days.

Snappy, 10 minute speeches on topics including new varieties, Panama disease, nematodes and marketing were followed by interactive sessions and opportunities to ask questions.

Speed dating was also on the agenda – not a low budget version of Farmer Wants A Wife – but rather time to speak with researchers in much smaller groups.

“Traditionally we’ve had the short, sharp presentations but this allows for more interaction and it’s a great networking opportunity,” Shanara Veivers, research horticulturalist with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, said.

Ms Veivers was one of the organisers of the event, along with DAF colleagues Ingrid Jenkins, Stewart Lindsay and Tegan Kukulies.

Vicky McCudden attended the Coffs Harbour event and said she enjoyed the variety of information.

“I loved the short session times and the opportunity to ask questions.”

Results from research into the effect of bag colours on bunch management, reject analysis and a video featuring Mackay’s Bananas were also among the presentations.

Colin Singh, a Northern NSW grower said the Roadshow had been very useful.

“It’s great to see so many other growers here,” he added.

Guest speaker was Howard Hall, from Pinnacle Agribusiness, who shared insights from the latest industry benchmarking.

His data provides a range of interesting comparisons when it comes to profit, yield, biosecurity implementation and environmental management.

“Howard has recently completed his benchmarking project and this is a good chance to deliver this relevant information to as many growers as possible,” Mrs Veivers said.

The Roadshow also marks the launch of a new website specifically designed for growers: www.betterbananas.com.au.

At the time this edition of the Australian Bananas Magazine was going to print the National Banana Roadshow was headed to Western Australia.

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.

Qld CoA Stylised 2LsS mono