Growers’ e-bulletin – 7 February, 2022

7 February, 2022


Have your say on the future of TR4 management

Australian Agriculture Visa updated fact sheet

New infestation of Parthenium weed discovered in Utchee Creek area

Sediment management workshops on offer

Grower survey on Black Soldier fly technology

TR4 Compliance Strategy reviewed

Revamped on-farm biosecurity website


Have your say on the future of TR4 management

Do you support a potential Code of Practice to slow disease spread?

What are the most important features of a successful surveillance strategy?

Should growers fund diagnostics costs of TR4?

These are just a few of the many questions being asked by the ABGC as it launches into consultation-mode for the transition of TR4 management from government to industry which will take effect from 1 July 2023.

To assist in this process, the ABGC has released a Discussion Paper on the Panama TR4 Program transition.  The Paper explains how the ABGC will be making decisions that will change the size, structure and priorities of the current Program to operate on 40 per cent of its current annual budget.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, consultations are currently taking place on an individual basis with small grower-group meetings being planned over the coming weeks.

Cassowary Coast growers are invited to attend Thursday night’s meeting of the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association (CCBGA), where ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe and CEO Jim Pekin will discuss the transition.  They will be supported by ABGC Industry Transition Leader Geoff Wilson. The meeting will be held Thursday 10 February, 7pm, at the Silkwood Hotel*.

All growers are encouraged to have their say on the future of TR4 management.  Here’s how:

·       Read the discussion paper

·       If you’re a Cassowary Coast grower attend Thursday’s CCBGA meeting, or

·       Register your interest to attend a future meeting by emailing, or

·       Submit your feedback directly to Geoff Wilson by 31 March 2022

Appointments can be made directly with Geoff Wilson by calling 0418 644 068 or email

* Silkwood Hotel will only permit fully vaccinated people inside the venue. Facemasks will also be required on arrival but can be removed once seated 

Australian Agriculture Visa updated fact sheet

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has released an updated fact sheet on the Australian Agriculture Visa program.

It is available here 

For more information contact the Government’s Migrant Workforce Department at

New infestation of Parthenium weed discovered in Utchee Creek area

A new infestation of Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus) has been discovered in the Utchee Creek area on the Cassowary Coast. 

Parthenium is an invasive plant that colonises weak pastures and sparse ground cover and will take over disturbed, bare areas along roadsides and heavily stocked areas around yards and watering points. 

Council is working with the landholder to undertake control measures and survey the extent of the infestation.

For more information about Parthenium weed read here  

To report infestations, call Council on 1300 763 903.

Sediment management workshops on offer

The ABGC’s Best Practice Team is rolling out free sediment management workshops for growers who are interested in learning about soil management and retention on farm. 

Anyone interested in attending can contact the team at or phone 0418 692 449 for details on upcoming workshops.

Grower survey on Black Solider fly technology-made fertilisers

Researchers at the University of Western Australia in collaboration with rural Research and Development Corporations are seeking the participation of Australian farmers for an online survey. 

The survey is seeking grower feedback on organic fertilisers and soil improvers developed from agricultural waste using Black Soldier Fly (BSF) technology. 

The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete. Participants are entered into a prize draw on completion of the survey.

To participate click here

This research study has UWA Human Research Ethics Approval. 

TR4 Compliance Strategy Reviewed

The Panama TR4 Program Management Board has reviewed the Program’s Compliance Strategy with no major changes. 

The updated strategy and other TR4 resources can be viewed in the grower kit 

Revamped on-farm biosecurity website

Looking for some inspiration for your on-farm biosecurity? 

Check out the newly developed on-farm biosecurity information on the Better Bananas website here

There are plenty of pictures showing examples of zoning, footbaths, footwear exchanges, signage and disinfecting facilities that banana growers have implemented. 

The on-farm biosecurity resources have been compiled by the National Banana Development and Extension team with thanks to the support of growers who have shared their practices as examples. 

The team is available on 07 4220 4152 or

The Better Bananas website has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004) which is 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.