Growers’ e-bulletin – September 24, 2019


September 24, 2019


Reserve your spot for R&D speed dating
Banana production figures 
Industry represented in Canberra
Rum Jungle named Landcare finalists
Free soil health program
Bananas fuel tennis players
Rural Women’s Award


Reserve your spot for R&D speed dating


It’s speed dating – but not as you know it!

This short, sharp extension event is your chance to chat face-to-face with some of the banana industry’s leading researchers, in a format made popular at last year’s National Banana Roadshow.

The event will be held on Oct 3, 4-7pm, at Brothers Leagues Club in Innisfail.

Growers will hear about the latest progress towards new varieties, bunch pest management and chemical control, Erwinia and Yellow sigatoka.  You will also hear about the newest online resources.

RSVP by this Thurs Sept 26 is essential, as a light meal will be provided following the event. Contact Tegan Kukulies on 0459 846 053 or e-mail or use this Eventbrite link.

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.


Banana production figures

Based on 2018/19 compulsory levy figures, the national industry sold 372,000 tonnes of bananas last financial year. This is 4.1% less than the 2017/18 production of 388,000 tonnes.

The banana levies received by Hort Innovation and Plant Health Australia provide a comparable estimate of annual production. However, each year there is a lag in payments – for example, levies on June production are paid in the following financial year.


Banana industry represented in Canberra

ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe and CEO Jim Pekin last Wednesday met with Federal Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Bridget McKenzie in Parliament House, Canberra.

The ABGC also discussed key issues facing the banana industry with other key ministers and politicians.

On Thursday, while in Sydney, Mr Lowe and Mr Pekin met with the Hort Innovation board. The objective was to ensure the HIA board understood and was in sync with what is happening in the banana industry and to discuss areas for focus, improvement and achievement in the Banana Strategic Investment Plan.

They then had discussions with key staff on HIA processes, as well as marketing and promotion matters.


Tweed BGA – AGM next month

The Tweed/Richmond Banana Growers Association AGM will be held on Thursday October 24 at the Murwillumbah Golf Club, starting at 6pm sharp.

Following the AGM a normal BGA meeting will be held. The AGM agenda and minutes from the previous AGM will be distributed closer to the date.

For further information contact the BGA secretary Zac Mckeever on 0403 223 579.


Rum Jungle a Landcare finalist

Good luck to Top End growers Rum Jungle Organics, who are finalists in the 2019 Government Landcare Farming Award.

The NT Landcare Awards highlight and celebrate the achievements of groups and individuals in the landcare community who have made a significant contribution to the environment, sustainable farming practices and natural resource management.

The winner will be announced on Thursday night but, regardless of the final result, a big congratulations to Rum Jungle co-managers Alan Petersen and Julie Murphy for their work.


FNQ banana growers to benefit from free Soil Health Program

Free soil tests and on-farm soil health advice are again on offer to Far North Queensland banana growers.

The popularity of a ‘Digging Deeper Plus’ soil health program has led natural resource management organisation Terrain NRM to run a second round for farmers across all industries.

There are places for 18 landholders, who will meet once a month at farm workshops led by agroecologist and soil fertility specialist David Hardwick.  The program is open to farmers in the Wet Tropics as well as neighbouring Northern Gulf and Cape York regions.

For more information about the new Digging Deeper Plus program, visit


Bananas fuel competitors at Cairns Tennis International

A big thank you to grower Steve Lizzio who generously donated bananas for players at the Cairns Tennis International – Pro Tour last week.

The fruit proved to be the perfect, nutritious snack to fuel players during the week-long event – including Calum Puttergill and Dane Sweeny (pictured), who were vying for points to qualify for the Australian Open.


Rural Women’s Award open for entries

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award is currently taking entries from across Australia, acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.

The Award aims to provide a platform for women to use their skills to benefit their industries and communities.

Each state or Territory winner receives a $10,000 bursary for innovative ideas and projects, access to professional development opportunities and alumni networks.

Applications are open until October 31. More 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.