Growers’ e-bulletin – April 26, 2019


April 26, 2019


Win at Congress! 
National Banana Day
Soil conservation advice
Water quality info for FNQ
NextGen gets taste of tech future
Gascoyne River flows 
HARPS training
Banana Congress sponsors


Register before May 1 to win at Congress!


There’s less than a week left to go into the draw to win a $250 bar tab – or hotel voucher – at the 2019 Banana Congress.

Growers who register before National Banana Day (May 1), will automatically be entered in the competition, with the winner announced at Welcome Drinks by the Pool on May 22.*

View the exciting program and register here:

The voucher could be the perfect addition to one of the many social functions, from the Welcome Drinks, to the Exhibition Evening, the Banana Ball and the Banana Women’s Network luncheon. Congress is a great chance to get off farm to network, learn – and to get social!

*T&Cs: Competition closes midnight, April 30 and is open to all growers who register in the competition period. Voucher is for drinks, or agreed Royal Pines Resort services only – it cannot be claimed in cash or spent externally. Voucher must be spent during the Banana Congress (May 22-24). This competition not affiliated with Facebook.


National Banana Day

On May 1, Australia is celebrating all things bananas and the people behind the industry.

Sydney-siders geared up for the event with a Banana Bootcamp on Wednesday, featuring fitness guru Sam Wood and Illumination’s Minions. Watch the video here.

You can get involved by sharing a #ShedSelfie or a big bunch or hand on social media (be sure to tag #NationalBananaDay and Australian Bananas) or send via email to

On May 1, a media event will be held at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, so keep an eye out for more stories on your telly!


Free soil conservation advice for NQ Growers

A familiar face has joined the ABGC Reef Extension Team.  Local Soil Conservation expert Darryl Evans will be working with ABGC over the next couple of  months to help growers reduce the amount of soil leaving their farm.  North Queensland growers are invited to take advantage of Darryl’s expertise and book him in for a free* farm visit to get advice about sediment management for their farms.  Darryl can assist with whole farm planning, including:

·         Contour layouts and row direction

·         Headlands and roadways

·         Waterway location and design

For further information or to book a time with Darryl, please call Dale Bennett at ABGC on (07) 4015 2797 or email

*To qualify for a free on-farm visit, growers must have completed or renewed their Environmental BMP within the last twelve months.  If you wish to complete or renew your BMP please contact Robert Mayers at ABGC on 07 4015 2797. This extension activity is possible through the Reef Alliance and the Reef Trust III project.

The Reef Alliance Program is a partnership between agricultural industry, regional NRM bodies and facilitated by the Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF), with a common goal of securing the future health of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Alliance Program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered through the Reef Trust.


Water quality info for FNQ farmers

Growers around the Tully and Johnstone basins now have a better idea of the water quality in their backyards, thanks to monitoring conducted by the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project.

Almost 30 new sites are being studied, providing data at a range of scales – from paddock through to end-of-catchment.

More information can be found here.


NextGen gets taste of tech future

Working ON your business as much as in your business was the hot topic from recent NextGen visits.

Growers visited Blue Sky produce, engaging in conversation with Matthew Fealy who is a passionate avocado, mango and Tahitian lime grower. Matt shared his learning from his recently completed Nuffield scholarship which investigated the use of robotics, automation and emerging technology in horticultural crops. He also shared some simple record keeping tools for monitoring farm inputs and outputs which help him benchmark farm activities.

The group then inspected avocado production at Serra Farming, followed by discussions about their banana operations. Similarly, recording and setting benchmarks for farm activities was the hot topic of these visits. The group is gearing up for a bigger activity later in the year.

If you are interested in getting involved in NextGen or have a suggestion for things you would like to learn or visit contact Tegan Kukulies (DAF) – 0459 846 053 


The mighty Gascoyne flows

The Gascoyne River has flowed at Carnarvon for the first time in 2019. What a spectacular sight! 

This picture was taken by ABGC WA Director Tom Day earlier this week. 


HARPS training at major markets

The HARPS project team have arranged another round of training at the three major Australian markets in June.

The course is particularly aimed at Tier 1 and 2 growers, suppliers, packers and wholesalers to the major grocery retailers. It will cover a range of topics including a HARPS overview, legal requirements for food safety programs and related issues in the produce industry.

·         Melbourne Markets: 18 June

·         Sydney Markets: 19 June

·         Brisbane Markets: 20 June

Register here.


Thank you to our Banana Congress sponsors!

A big thank you to all of our Congress sponsors – including Colin Campbell (Chemicals) and SunSuper – who are helping to make this year’s event one of the best yet.


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.