Growers’ e-bulletin – 11 August, 2022

Proposed Code of Practice for the management and control of Panama disease tropical race 4 in Queensland

A more streamlined, modern approach to the regulation of managing the biosecurity risks associated with Panama TR4 is on the horizon thanks to the development of a new banana industry Code of Practice.

The ABGC’s proposed ‘Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Panama disease tropical race 4 in Queensland’ has been developed through a series of steps, including: 

  • grower feedback from the discussion paper earlier this year
  • consideration of successful strategies and other options
  • a review by a stakeholder reference group.

The Code’s purpose is to provide growers with a tool to help prevent a TR4 infection on their property and take charge of their biosecurity futures.

For infested property owners, the proposed Code captures the mandatory measures of containment that have shown to be effective in minimising the level of spores produced by an infected plant, so farming in the presence of the disease can continue.

Developed through the ABGC in consultation with the project reference group the Code facilitate disease management beyond the Panama TR4 Program’s transition to industry leadership from 1 July 2023.

The proposed Code is now published and open for feedback until Friday 16 September 2022.

For further information contact:

Geoff Wilson, Industry Transition Leader

0418 644 068 |

Banana freckle update

An update from the Northern Territory Government on the banana freckle outbreak.

  • Banana freckle has been detected at 12 new sites in Fly Creek, Batchelor, Marrakai and the Tiwi Islands. Biosecurity staff will be continuing surveillance across the Top End to gather more information on the potential spread of the disease.
  • Following the detection of these samples, the commencement of a Banana Freckle Response Plan has been put on hold until more detailed surveillance has been completed to better understand the extent of the spread and develop the best possible strategy for banana freckle.
  • There are currently 29 sites infected with banana freckle, the majority are in the Batchelor and Rum Jungle region.
  • Please monitor and report any suspect cases of banana freckle to 1800 084 881 or email photos of suspected cases to
  • For more information about this plant pest, visit
CCBGA meeting tonight – Building Farm Resilience

Growcom will address tonight’s (Thursday 11 August) Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association meeting on building farm resilience.

Assistance is available to help banana growers complete a farm business resilience plan and access funding.

The meeting will be held at the Silkwood Tavern from 7pm.

Country of Origin Food Labelling

Growers are reminded to check their compliance with the Country of Origin Food Labelling (CoOL). 

CoOL gives Australian consumers clear information about where their food comes from.

Changes were introduced in 2016 which made it mandatory for most food grown, produced or made in Australia (including fruit and vegetables) to carry a symbol and bar chart with text showing the proportion of Australian ingredients.

Businesses supplying goods that do not comply with CoOL – the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 – may face penalties and be in breach of their food safety audit requirements.  

For more information, read here (

Careers in agriculture

The National Farmers’ Federation has opened applications for this year’s AgCAREERSTART program.

AgCAREERSTART matches young Australians with paid on-farm jobs in Australia while addressing barriers and attitudes to work in Australian agriculture.

The program ensures participants are employed under award wages on qualified farms for up to 12 months, receiving essential training and the opportunity to join the farm after completing the program

To apply, visit

Future Foods Roadshow in Mareeba

The Northern Australia Food Futures Conference will host a roadshow in Mareeba on 30 and 31 August.

The two-day event will feature presentations from farmers and experts regarding the future of agriculture in the region.

For more information, visit

Growers encouraged to consider cane as fallow crop

MSF Sugar is encouraging banana growers to look at sugarcane as a profitable rotation crop.

MSF is offering cash bonuses and no-interest loan incentives for growers moving into cane.

To discuss, contact MSF representatives Dennis Wright 0475 785 891, Ann Stephensen 0418 438 358 Fergus Darveniza 0438 453 284, Duane Roberts 0409 179 699 or Anna Sacchi 0417 795 514.