Growers’ e-bulletin – 26 August, 2022


ABCG Board meeting outcomes
Share your thoughts on TR4 Code of Practice
Market stats available to growers
La Niña alert declared
Australian Bananas magazine
TropAg early bird registrations

ABGC Board meeting outcomes

ABGC Directors and senior staff met for their quarterly Board meeting at South Johnstone last week (Aug 18-19). It was the first time since COVID that all Directors were able to attend the Board meeting in person.

A number of key industry issues were discussed including;

Workforce labour issues

The ABGC Board agreed to put forward a submission to the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit regarding the ongoing problem of lack of workers in regional areas. The submission has since been developed and sent, asking the Federal Government to map out immediate and long-term solutions that are both achievable and practical. ABGC is aware many growers are frustrated by the processing times of visa applications and need a range of avenues and measures to attract, support and retain essential farm workers in horticulture.

TR4 Industry Code of Practice

Directors were given an update on the development of an Industry Code of Practice for Panama TR4 once industry is managing the TR4 program from mid-2023.

A draft Code to manage biosecurity risks associated with Panama TR4 has been developed through the ABGC in consultation with a Project Reference Group and is now open for grower feedback.

The Code will be used by the ABGC as a legislative tool to facilitate a smooth transition to industry management by 1 July, 2023.

The Code can be found on the ABGC website here. All growers are encouraged to read the document and offer feedback by the close of the consultations on 16 September 2022.

Feral pig funding

The ABGC has made progress on receiving additional funding for its feral pig eradication program as part of efforts to help stop the potential spread of TR4.

At the July meeting of the Feral Pig Executive Oversight Committee (EOG), it was resolved to allocate $63,000 in unspent program funds to the ABGC, for its aerial shooting controls on banana and cane lands.

Since the ABGC launched its eradication program on 1 July 2017, more than 7260 pigs have been removed from TR4 high risk zones, including 3171 in aerial shooting and 4095 in ground control.

Chair resumes role

The Board meeting saw Stephen Lowe resume his role as ABGC Chair, after temporarily stepping aside from the role in June.

Deputy Chair Leon Collins took on the role of Acting-Chair while Mr Lowe dealt with a positive detection of Panama TR4 on his Tully Valley farm. Mr Lowe thanked Mr Collins for his duties during this period.

Share your thoughts: Proposed TR4 Code of Practice

As reported above, growers are invited to provide feedback on the ABGC’s proposed ‘Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Panama disease tropical race 4 in Queensland’.

The Code aims to provide a more streamlined, modern approach to managing the biosecurity risks associated with Panama TR4.

Have your say by Friday 16 September 2022 (and find out more) by visiting this link: It is also accessible via the ABGC’s homepage.

Market stats available to growers

Growers can access a range of data relating to household buying behaviour, dollar sales growth, volume growth and more via the Harvest to Home website.

Funded by Hort Innovation, the site uses data from Nielsen Homescan, a continuous panel of 10,000 households who record all take-home packed and fresh grocery from all retail outlets.

Recent activity shows that bananas were growing by about 4.8% in terms of dollars ($), while showing no significant change at 0.1% in terms of volume (kg). A summary is also provided in spreadsheet format here.

Access the Harvest to Home website here:

La Niña ALERT declared

The Bureau of Meteorology this week announced that there is around 70% chance that a 3rd consecutive La Niña event will develop later this year.

Combined with a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event and warm sea surface temperatures, this favours above-average rainfall for much of northern Australia in the early wet season.

The chance of a tropical cyclone developing in November is also increased during a negative IOD event and during La Niña. Full Tropical Climate Update (23 August) here:

The BOM has also advised showers and periods of drizzle increase about the Cassowary Coast over the coming weekend, peaking on Sunday before gradually easing. Daily rainfall in excess of 100mm is possible on Sunday, but likely to be in the form of persistent light to moderate showers. Peak wind gusts in the 50-60km/hr range are also possible over the weekend about the coast and in exposed nearby areas.

Australian Bananas Magazine

The latest edition of Australian Bananas will be arriving in your mailbox shortly and is available online now:

Fair Farms National Conference & Awards

The inaugural Fair Farms National Conference and Awards will take place at Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW, on Friday 14 October.

The event will include discussion the current state of workplace relations in Australian horticulture before continuing into a dinner and awards night. More information and registrations here:

TropAg early bird registrations closing soon

Early bird registrations for the TropAg conference close next Wednesday 31 August.

The conference will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from Monday Oct 31 to Wednesday Nov 2. More than 240 international and domestic speakers will present across themes including predictive agriculture, agribusiness, sustainable agrifood systems and more.

Delegates who register prior to the early bird deadline will also go into the draw to win a refund of their registration. Details here: