Growers’ e-bulletin – September 16, 2019


September 16, 2019


Chemicals up for review
Speed dating is back! 
Sciaccas win FNQ Award
Banana biosecurity on show
New laws for farm trespass
Rural reset for NSW farmers


Chemicals up for review


A number of commonly used chemicals are under review by the APVMA. Among those being surveyed are 2,4 –D, Chlorpyrifos (eg Lorsban or Strikeout dust or spray), Fipronil (Regent) and Paraquat (Gramoxone).

The ABGC’s R&D Manager, Dr Rosie Godwin, is currently collating information about the use of these chemicals in the banana industry to prepare a submission for the APVMA.

If you’d like to contribute to this submission by sharing your thoughts, please email by this Wednesday 18 September to arrange a suitable time. 


Speed dating is back!

A banana extension event featuring the popular speed-dating researcher session from last year’s Roadshows is set to take place on October 3 from 4-7pm at Brothers Leagues club in Innisfail.

The session gives you the opportunity to talk directly with researchers and ask targeted questions. Researchers you’ll be ‘speed dating’ include Jeff Daniells (variety evaluation), Stewart Lindsay (variety development), Richard Piper (bunch pest management), David East (Yellow sigatoka), Ingrid Jenkins (Better Bananas website and online on-farm biosecurity BMP) and Peter Trevorrow (Erwinia).

The afternoon will also feature:

·         Observations from banana varieties trials in the Northern Territory: Ten growers who recently visited the variety trial site near Darwin will share their reaction to Panama disease tropical race 4 in the NT. They also visited an Asian vegetable grower and a mango grower. Hear about what their impressions where and take the opportunity to ask questions.

·         On-farm biosecurity scenario session: letting banana growers share ideas about getting started or improving your practices

RSVP is essential for catering purposes, as a light meal will be provided following the event. Beverages will be available to purchase at the venue. RSVP by Thursday 26th September by contacting Tegan Kukulies on 0459 846 053 or email, or via Eventbrite here.

This event is organised as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program BA16007. 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.


Sciaccas recognised with FNQ award

A big congratulations to Frank and Dianne Sciacca from Eco Bananas, who were recently announced as the 2019 Charlie Nastasi Horticultural Farmer of the Year award winners.

The couple’s passion for the environment and unique, trademark certified farming system were among the many reasons they were recognised. Read their North Queensland Register feature here.

A shout out to the other finalists too – fellow banana grower & ABGC director Paul Inderbitzin and the papaya industry’s Candy McLaughlin.


Banana biosecurity on show

Banana grower Andrew Serra and the ABGC’s Strategy Manager Michelle McKinlay recently spoke at the Queensland Biosecurity Partners forum in Brisbane.

Mr Serra spoke about biosecurity from a grower’s perspective, while Ms McKinlay gave insights into a shared biosecurity response.

Former ABGC Chair Doug Phillips also took the stage recently, speaking at the 2019 Plant Biosecurity Research Symposium.

Thank you to Sarah Simpson for supplying photos.


New laws for farm trespass

The Federal Government has passed new legislation to prevent people from using ‘carriage services’ like websites or social media to encourage others to commit trespass, property damage or theft on agricultural land.

Passed on September 12, the new offences carry a penalty of up to five years jail time.

More details via ABC News here.

Rural reset for NSW farmers

If you need a chance to reset and relax, the NSW DPI Rural Resilience program has a unique opportunity for you. Combining life and leadership skills with a genuine chance to take a moment away from the farming business, there’s a program for women in October and a program for men in November.

Shaping Our Futures Together (rural women’s workshop) – Kyogle 23-24 October

o   Book here

o   For more info, contact: Jen Haberecht 0400 160 287

Tune Up for Fellas (for farmers, fishers and rural blokes) – Kyogle 11-13 November

o   Book here

o   For more info, contact: Peter Brown 0437 671 459

Workshop registration fees are covered by the DPI and accommodation/food is sponsored by Kyogle Council.


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.