Growers’ e-bulletin – September 14, 2018


14 September, 2018


Industry condolences
Update on Folimat cancellation
Farm visits still available 
Watch your way to Better Bananas
Date set for Cairns HARPS training
Mapping banana block productivity
Awards and grants up for grabs

Industry condolences 

On behalf of industry, ABGC offers its deepest sympathies to the families of two truck drivers tragically killed in a highway crash east of Mareeba yesterday.

Both men worked for Blenners Transport and condolences also go out to the company and their staff.

As an industry, a tragedy like this is widely felt by growers and many others, and we hope that the families and all who knew the two men can find the comfort and support they need during this very difficult period.

Update on Folimat cancellation

All uses of Omethoate (Folimat) will be cancelled at the end of 2018 and it will be illegal to use after that time.

However, there are two alternative bell injection chemicals currently approved for use: acephate (e.g. Titan 970, Orthene Xtra, Imtrade acephate) and Bifenthrin (e.g. Talstar 80, Venom 240, Fivestar).

Other products such as Success Neo are registered to control rust thrips and sugarcane bud moth in bananas but are not approved for bell injecting.

The Registrant is currently working towards getting Success on label for bell-injection but this is still 2-3 years away. ABGC is preparing a minor use permit application for Success for bell injecting but APVMA approval may take 6-9 months to be granted.

Other chemicals are also available to help control of bunch pests with other methods of application – Consult the Fact sheet ‘Update of bunch pest control’ for more information.

Trials are currently in progress at QDAF to investigate the potential of new actives for bunch pest control. Preliminary results are promising and larger scale trials are now necessary to fully investigate their potential.

It is recommended that you do not bell inject and bunch spray with one product continually, as this can cause resistance problems with rust thrips.

Contact ABGC’s R&D manager for more information

Farm visits still available

Biosecurity Queensland is reminding growers it’s not too late to arrange a visit from BQ officers to discuss how you can get your farm ready for Panama TR4.

Many growers have already seized the opportunity for a one-on-one visit from Biosecurity officers.

At a farm visit they can talk through biosecurity requirements for your farm to keep trading if detected with Panama TR4 and problem-solve any potential issues.

Panama TR4 is unpredictable, easily spread and is here to stay. And, growers who are prepared for Panama TR4 by having on-farm biosecurity measures in operation will be best placed during a challenging time for their business to meet the requirements and resume trading where a notice is given.

If you’d like us to come to your property to help you prepare your farm for a Panama TR4 detection, contact us by phone on 07 4091 8140 or email:

Watch your way to Better Bananas

A reminder that there is now a one-stop location for all your industry R&D videos thanks to the Better Bananas website.

Controlling burrowing nematodes, NextGen reports, on-farm biosecurity, importing banana material and diagnostic testing are just a few of the topics covered:

One of the videos featured shares Gavin and Stephen Mackay’s experience of farming with TR4 – if you didn’t catch it at the recent Roadshow, it’s well worth a watch.

Date set for Cairns HARPS training

A HARPS training course, which also counts as HACCP Refresher Training, will take place in Cairns on Thursday October 4.

The course is particularly aimed at Tier 1 and 2 growers, suppliers, packers and wholesalers to the major grocery retails.

Topics include a HARPS overview, legal requirements of food safety programs and hazard sources.

More information and registration here.

Mapping banana block productivity

DAF and the University of New England have been investigating the use of Worldview-3 satellite imagery as a decision support tool for the banana industry.

Results show that while a single satellite image may show productivity issues in other crops, the high level of in-field variation in bananas means this approach simply isn’t reliable.

Instead, an amalgamation of multiple images over the life cycle of the plant is required to highlight low performing areas to allow diagnosis and targeted management.

You can read a more detailed update on this research here.

Awards and grants up for grabs

AGRIFUTURES RURAL WOMEN’S AWARD: An award for innovative women who want to make a difference to their rural and regional communities. The program seeks projects and initiatives in various stages of development. Each state and territory winner receives a $10,000 bursary. Details here.

TWEED SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE SMALL GRANTS: Tweed Shire Council’s Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program assists landholders to implement best land management practices that benefit the farm, community and environment. A limited number of grants up to $4000 available. Details here.

QLD RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GRANTS: Grants of up to $250,000 (to be matched by applicant) are available to ‘shovel-ready’ projects across regional Queensland. DAF is looking for projects that add value to agricultural products, help develop new markets, or expand job opportunities. Details here.

2018 QLD AGRICULTURE AWARDS: Nominations are now open for the Peter Kenny Medal and Emerging Leaders Award. Each award recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sector and comes with a $3000 prize. Details here.

LAST OPPORTUNITY FOR REEF AWARDS: The Reef Champion Awards close next Thursday (September 20). Details here.

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.