Growers’ E-bulletin – 10 March, 2020


March 10, 2020


Industry meetings on the future of Panama TR4

Exotic pest detected in North Queensland

Learn how to better interpret soil and nutrient test results

Feast of the Senses

National Banana Day


Industry meetings on the future of Panama TR4

  • Find out how industry funding of the Panama TR4 Program will be managed
  • Ask questions about the future of Panama TR4 in Far North Queensland 


  • Wed 1 April | Tully |4pm to 6pm | Tully Country Club
  • Thu 2 April | Innisfail | 4pm to 6pm | Turf Club, Showgrounds
  • Fri 3 April | Mareeba | 1pm to 3pm| DAF Mareeba

The industry, through grower levies, is contributing to the delivery of the Panama TR4 Program between 2020 and 2023. The Panama TR4 Program will be overseen jointly by government and industry through the Panama TR4 Management Board.

The board will be made up of equal Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and ABGC representatives and the first official board meeting will be on 1 April 2020.

These industry meetings are for growers to get information on how the Panama TR4 Program will be overseen and to ask questions to DAF and ABGC management.





All are welcome.


Exotic pest detected in North Queensland


A new invasive moth pest has been detected in Far North Queensland.

Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has been found at South Johnstone, Tolga and Lakeland, after detections on two Torres Strait islands, at Bamaga and Georgetown last month. 

It is known to feed on more than 350 plant species including maize, cotton, rice, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat and many vegetable and fruit crops. While it will eat banana plants, they are not a preferred host.

Biosecurity Queensland has determined the pest is unable to be eradicated due to its rapid spread, and has established a surveillance program in Far North Queensland. 

Given the potential economic impact of the pest, growers are encouraged to keep a look out for it as it is difficult to predict exactly how it might spread in Australia. 

Fall armyworm can be confused with a number of armyworm species that are present in Australia. If in doubt, contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23. 

For more information on the fall armyworm, visit here


Learn how to better interpret soil and nutrient test results

Free soil and tissue nutrient analysis workshops will be held in northern NSW later this month.

They will provide growers with the confidence to better interpret results of soil and nutrient tests.

John Amour, who has more than 30 years’ experience in banana nutrition in north Queensland, will present the workshops, which will examine:

  • the importance of soil and leaf analyses as a tool to monitor plant nutrition and effectiveness of a nutrient program,
  • which soil analytical results are important and how to determine if a result is high or low, and
  • how nutrient analyses can help avoid loss of production from low fertility and avoid excessive fertiliser bills.

The workshops will be held at:

  • Murwillumbah Golf Club, Murwillumbah, 31 March, 6pm -7.45pm
  • Park Beach Bowls Club, Coffs Harbour, 1 April, 6pm-7.45pm

For further information, call NSW DPI Industry Development Officer Tom Flanagan on 0437 654 633 or email


Feast of the Senses

The Feast of the Senses will be held in Innisfail from 26 to 29 March.

The Cassowary Coast Banana Growers Association will run a stall at the Australian Bananas River Feast on Sunday, 29 March, from 9am to 4pm, on the riverfront at Innisfail.

The stall will sell smoothies and merchandise. Helpers are needed.

To organise a time to help, contact Josephine Borsato on 0417 611 996.


National Banana Day

The annual National Banana Day returns for a second year on 1 May and this year the public are invited to join the Australia’s Biggest Banana Breakfast.

It’s a chance for everyone to come together over banana toast toppers or banana pancakes to put breakfast back into their day helping Aussies to Peel Good, Feel Good.  

Last year we learnt that the media were keen to interview growers in the lead up to the day.

If you are a grower who is interested in helping promote the industry and National Banana Day, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Tate Connolloy here

More details to come in the next edition of Australian Bananas.



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.