Growers’ e-bulletin – 24 May, 2022



Outcomes from ABGC board meeting 
Free nutrient management workshops for FNQ growers
FNQ Mini Roadshows
Tips for tax time
ABGC CEO announces retirement 

Outcomes from ABGC Board meeting

ABGC Directors and senior staff held their quarterly board meeting at Coolangatta (Gold Coast) last week.

While in the region, the board toured two banana farms in northern NSW and met with ten growers for dinner at Murwillumbah. It was a great evening and the Board thanks those growers who took the time to attend.

The following two-day Board meeting discussed a range of key issues affecting industry.

State of industry and marketing plans

Directors spoke at length about the current state of the industry, including severe economic pressures being felt by growers Australia-wide.

They also discussed the direction of future marketing programs planned by Hort Innovation, with further details about these plans to be communicated to growers through ABGC’s usual channels, including e-bulletins and the next Australian Bananas magazine.

Chemical update

The Board heard that there continues to be much concern within industry about the potential lost use of chlorphyrifos, including much misinformation being passed around to growers.

An update on the status of the review into chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid was published in the latest issue of Australia Bananas Magazine on Page 9.

The permit for bunch dusting with Chlorpyrifos ends on the 30 Sep 2022. The permit allows for use of the chemical until the date the permit expires, so growers do not have to stop using the chemical prior to the expiry date.

TR4 transition

Directors were updated on the broad consultation that was conducted during the first quarter of this year to gain grower feedback on the future management of TR4 in North Queensland, after the Panama Program transitions to industry leadership from July 2023.

The next phase of the transition is the current development of a Code of Practice which will effectively replace the current Notice given to infected property owners and TR4 destruction protocols contained in the existing Biosecurity Manual.

Congress 2023 

Planning for the next Australian Banana Industry Congress is well underway. The event will return to Far North Queensland in 2023 and will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre and the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino from May 17-19.

Free nutrient management workshops for FNQ growers

FNQ growers are invited to attend one of the ABGC’s free nutrient management workshops in South Johnstone and Mareeba, in early June.

Led by a local soil and plant nutrition expert Charissa Rixon, this workshop will help growers build on their knowledge of nutrient management, while providing an opportunity to share on-farm experiences with other growers. 

Spaces are limited to small groups of up to six growers to allow us to provide tailored information and discussion.

The workshop covers: 

  • The basics of banana nutrition
  • How to identify common nutrient deficiencies, toxicities and diseases
  • How to take and read your own soil and leaf tests
  • How to develop a nutrient management plan
  • How to read your fertiliser labels
  • Understand the Queensland Government Reef Regulations

Watch this short video about the workshops delivered so far.

The next available workshop dates are scheduled for:

  • Mareeba – Thursday 9 June, 10am to 3pm
  • South Johnstone – Friday 10 June, 12.30pm to 5pm 

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

RSVP to Molly Blake by Tuesday 7 June at or 0419 602 864. 

FNQ Mini Roadshows

The next round of mini roadshows will take place in Far North Queensland in June. 

The roadshows will focus on integrated pest and disease management in banana production and will feature presentations on bunch pests, yellow Sigatoka and mites.

The sessions will include current best practice to reduce chemical resistance and discuss new research and discussion on the future of bunch pest management, considering the possible deregistration of products containing chlorpyrifos. 

The roadshows will run from 1pm to 4pm, with a light lunch at 12.30pm. 

  • Tully – Thursday, 16 June – Tully and Districts Senior Citizens Hall, 19 Blackman St, Tully
  • Innisfail – Friday, 17 June – Brothers Leagues Club, Cnr Campbell & Ernest St, Innisfail 
  • Mareeba – Wednesday 22 June – Mareeba Soccer Club, Borzi Park, Chewko Rd, Mareeba

To RSVP contact Tegan Kukulies at or 0459 846 053

These extension events are funded as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004). This project is funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation 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.

Tips for tax time

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a range of resources and tips to help you through tax time.

  • Check out the ATO’s work-related expenses guide for agriculture. The guide has also been translated into other languages.
  • If you’re lodging online, the best time to lodge is from late July. By then, all your information from employers, banks and health funds will be automatically included in your tax return.
  • Once you’ve lodged, you can check the progress of your return online by logging into ATO online services through myGov or using the ATO app.

CEO retirement

The ABGC today publicly announced the retirement of long-serving Chief Executive Officer, Jim Pekin.

Members and growers were contacted yesterday, as it was important the news reached the banana industry first.  

media release was distributed this morning. You can read it here:

For further information about this news, please contact ABGC via or 07 3278 4938.

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.