Growers’ e-bulletin – October 2, 2020


2 October, 2020


QLD Seasonal Workers trial approved
Get on top of your soil health
Job providers delivering TR4 message
Permit for Chlorpyrifos extended
Harvest to Home
Make the most of weather forecasts  


Seasonal Workers trial approved

An initial trial of the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Workers Program has been given the go ahead in Queensland, designed to help address workforce shortages in the agricultural sector.

ABGC today received advice that the state’s Chief Health Officer had approved the proposed guidelines, allowing Queensland and industry to progress towards a four-week trial. 

The Queensland Government has invited Approved Employers to prioritise recruitment proposals during the trial period, with limited availability at this stage.

You can find the guidelines and templates for applications under the “hotel” and “on-farm” quarantine here.

The Queensland Government will invite Approved Employers to a webinar this coming Wednesday, 7 October. This will include a detailed presentation on the guidelines and application process, and the opportunity to ask questions. A second general webinar will also be held for other interested parties.

ABGC contact: Leanne Erakovic 07 3278 4786.



Get on top of your soil health 

Learn how to make the most of one of your key farm assets with the next ‘Digging Deeper Plus’ soil health program. 

Led by agricultural-ecologist David Hardwick and North Queensland regenerative farmer Simon Mattsson, the program includes six soil health training days over a six month period. 

The training includes soil pits and farm visits, as well as the support you need to develop a soil action plan. 

Learn more here. Applications close Monday 19 October.

This project is delivered by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.


Job providers helping spread the word about Panama TR4

The Panama TR4 Program is pleased to report to growers that employment agencies across Far North Queensland are well informed about Panama TR4 and are helping to spread important biosecurity messages to people seeking work and travelling between banana farms.

The Panama TR4 Program has been visiting local agencies over the past six months, raising awareness of the disease, how it spreads, and the importance of the ‘come clean, leave clean’ message.

Shed posters, fact sheets, disease identification guides and pamphlets were given to agencies from the Tablelands to Mission Beach, especially around the Innisfail /Tully area.

Employment agencies were well informed about the disease, and many have procedures in place to assist farm workers reduce the risk of disease spread.

Backpacker hostels and other accommodation providers were also targeted, promoting the message “never enter banana farms without permission”.

A range of education material has been supplied, and you may see new posters around the region that aim to educate tourists about the serious nature of Panama TR4.

Please make sure that farm workers turn up in clean clothes and footwear. If you need any other educational tools to support you to protect your farm from Panama TR4, contact Rebecca Breaden on 07 4091 8140 or email . For further information, visit


Permit for Chlorpyrifos extended

The permit for bunch dusting with Chlorpyrifos has been extended until September 2022. 

The permit has been issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, with full details available on their website here. 


The permit is subject to the outcomes of the current APVMA review of Chlorpyrifos.


Who is buying your produce?

Get an insight into the people buying your bananas through the Harvest to Home interactive online dashboard.

An initiative of Nielson and Hort Innovation, the dashboard provides retail information and consumer trend data, which currently includes analysis of COVID 19. 

Nielsen collates the data via 10,000 Aussie households who record all take-home packed and fresh groceries from all retail outlets. The sample is demographically and geographically representative of the Australian household population.

You can view the banana data here, while the COVID fresh updates can be found here. 


Read weather forecasts like a pro

Find out how to accurately read and make the most out of weather forecasts with a free online short course for landholders. 

During a series of workshops across Northern Australia, the Northern Australian Climate Program recently discovered 7/10 producers had been misinterpreting the rainfall forecast for years. 

The course – Forecasting for Decision Making – includes information on the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD); Madden Julien Oscillation (MJO); and Interpreting the Forecast. 

One-on-one follow up ensures this information is tailored to your property. Places are limited, so find out more and register your interest at or contact

Supported by the Bureau of Meteorology and the UK Met office.


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.


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250 Sherwood Road ROCKLEA QLD 4106
Tel: 07 3278 4786 |  Fax: 07 3278 4938
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