Growers’ e-bulletin – July 16, 2021

$75,000 TC Niran grants now available

Banana growers affected by Tropical Cyclone Niran in March can now access grants of up to $75,000.
The grants are available to cover the costs of hiring or purchasing equipment/materials, clean-up, removal of debris, replacing fencing and other costs related to the recovery process.
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council recently raised concerns over the two-month delay in allowing cyclone-affected farmers to access the grants, which were announced by the State and Federal Government on April 30.
The grants are available through two applications – an initial amount of up to $15,000 and a subsequent amount of up to $75,000. Details here:

Field trials on display at South Johnstone

Come along to South Johnstone research facility on Friday, July 30 and:

  • see plant crop bunches in the new variety trial with non-Cavendish types including Lady Finger types, some CIRAD varieties, High Noon as well as a few Cavendish varieties (GCTCV 106 selection, Asia Pacific No. 1, Formosana and Williams)
  • learn about the latest findings on the effects of early desuckering of tissue culture plants, which will get you thinking about your desuckering practices
  • gain insights into research looking at altering an aspect of the tissue culturing process which aims to reduce sucker production
  • hear an update on the nutrient rate trial being run at the research station.

When: Friday 30 July 2021

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm (followed by light lunch)

Where: South Johnstone Research Station, 24 Experimental Station Road, South Johnstone

Follow the signs and meet at the farm sheds.

Strict on-farm biosecurity practices will be implemented so please RSVP with your boot size by Tuesday 27 July. Phone or text Tegan Kukulies – 0459 846 053.

This is a COVID-19 safe event and you will be required to sign in. Please do not attend if you are unwell.

The event is organised as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004). This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana research and development levy, co-investment from the 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.

Piece rate hearings under way

Hearings in relation to pieceworker rates have begun this week, as the Australian Workers’ Union seeks to vary a clause in the Horticulture Award 2020 and introduce a floor price.

The application was made last year to the Fair Work Commission. The National Farmers Federation Horticulture Council (of which ABGC is a part), AFPA and others have provided submissions and evidence. To view these, click here.

Review into future of SWP and PLS

Last month, the Australian Government announced a six-week consultation process on the future arrangements for the highly-valued Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS). Details can be found here.

The ABGC’s Executive Officer Leanne Erakovic this week took part in a virtual roundtable to provide ABGC member feedback on the programs directly to various Federal Government departments. The Hort Council (of which ABGC is a member) is putting forward a submission on these valuable schemes.  

Growers can send in their own submissions via the consultation website. The consultation process is open until Sunday 18 July.

Nominate for Australian Biosecurity Awards

Do you know an individual or farming business going above and beyond in biosecurity? The Australian Biosecurity Awards are now taking nominations across eight categories. Check out the details here. Nominations close July 30.

Nuffield Scholarship applications closing soon

Time is running out to apply for a 2022 Nuffield Scholarship. Scholarships are valued at $30,000 and provide a unique chance to join a global network of primary producers, while also discovering new best practices and ideas. Find out more here. Applications close August 6.

TR4 program continues community education

This infographic was shared in the Wet Tropics Times along with the article. It shows the current situation in Queensland.

Growers in the Cassowary Coast region might have spotted a feature on Queensland’s success in containing Panama disease TR4 in the local newspaper recently. The Panama TR4 Program published an article in the Wet Tropics Times, highlighting the biosecurity put in place by many growers and how the community can continue to help protect industry.

Community members – and growers – are encouraged to visit to access the latest resources and information.   

Black Soldier Fly tech survey 

Researchers at the University of Western Australia in collaboration with Rural RDCs are seeking the participation of Australian farmers for an online survey about organic fertilisers and soil improvers developed from agricultural waste using Black Soldier Fly (BSF) technology. 

The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete. You will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five $100 e-gift cards of your choice.  The survey is open till mid-August.:  

Keep up to date on COVID-19

The Queensland Government has this morning announced that it will declare Victoria a hotspot from 1am tomorrow (Saturday July 17). The state joins the Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shell Harbour regions of NSW. Keep up-to-date with latest restrictions and requirements here:

Flegler in Origin debut

A huge congratulations to Tom Flegler who made his State of Origin debut for Queensland on Wednesday night. The NRL young gun no doubt did his Tully banana farming family proud. Check out his post-match interview here.