Growers’ e-bulletin – 11 May, 2023

Growers’ e-bulletin – 11 May, 2023

11 May, 2023

Federal Budget
In-store banana merchandising & education program
Update on chemical reviews
New video: Bunchy Top Tips
FNQ Soil to Food Conference
ABGC job vacancy
Banana Congress 2023

Federal Budget

The Federal Government has released its 2023/24 Federal Budget, addressing some key areas of concern for agriculture, but unfortunately falling short on others.

In particular, while the ABGC welcomes additional funding for biosecurity, the announcement of a new levy to help pay for this would add to the already significant financial strain facing many growers right now. In addition, any new biosecurity levy would essentially mean slugging banana growers twice, as they already contribute money to fund banana specific biosecurity activities.

The ABGC will speak with members and actively engage with the Government in consultation around this levy, and ensure banana growers’ views are heard. 

The government will also increase the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge rate from 27.2 cents per litre of diesel by 6 per cent per year over 3 years, from 2023-24 to 32.4 cents per litre in 2025-26, which will have an impact on the cost of getting bananas to market.

The ABGC believes this is another blow to Australian banana growing families who continue to feel the squeeze of increased costs.

For more on the Federal Budget:

  • The budget papers are available here: LINK
  • Read the NFF’s statement here: LINK
  • View the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry fact sheets here: LINK
  • PALM Scheme reform fact sheet here: LINK
In-store banana merchandising and education program

(BA22505 – Banana In Store Merchandising Program FY23 and BA22005 – Banana Quality and In Store Education Program FY23)

Beginning this month (May 2023), an in-store banana education and merchandising program will take place over 18 weeks in 1000 Coles and Woolworths stores.

The key objectives are improving banana merchandising and stock handling standards, reinforcing retailer merchandising standards for yellow and green bananas, and capturing data on stock handling in store.


  • Ensure adequate stock of green and yellow bananas available, and work with in-store teams to ensure regular stock-on-hand levels are appropriate for run rates
  • Ensure correct storage and refilling standards are being used
  • Educate in-store staff on best practice standards for both merchandising and handling, including using the ABGC-produced retail training video
  • Leave behind an educational poster (below) to be displayed in the storeroom to further reinforce optimal practices on an ongoing basis

Further detail is available by clicking here. 

The project is funded by Hort Innovation, using R&D and Marketing levies.

Update on chemical reviews

Information provided by Dr Rosie Godwin, ABGC R&D Manager

  • The regulatory decisions on chlorpyrifos (e.g. Strikeout and Lorsban) have been delayed with an expected date for the proposed decision in the latter part of 2023.
  • The next compound the APVMA will be seeking to engage with stakeholders on is diazinon with a proposed regulatory decision expected mid-year.
  • The APVMA is also looking to undertake spray drift reviews to ensure product labels carry appropriate instructions on managing risks. The initial focus is likely to be based around the hazard characteristics of compounds, i.e., those judged likely to pose the greatest risks of adverse effects from spray drift.
New video: Bunchy Top Tips

Banana Bunchy Top disease symptoms are typically observed in the newest emerging leaves of a banana plant. These symptoms generally include dot-dash lines and hooks in the leaf, stripes up the mid-rib, pale leaf margins and shortening and narrowing of each new leaf that emerges.

But, if a plant contracts Bunchy Top in the late stages of its growth, the typical symptoms may not be visible. This is why it’s always a good idea to look at the banana bunch. Most Bunchy Top infected plants become stunted and won’t throw a bunch, but if they do, the bunch will usually be small and deformed. And if the bunch still has the banana flower (bell) attached, the tips of each bract will usually have some dot dash lines, similar to those observed in leaves with symptoms.

Check out the new video from the ABGC’s Bunchy Top Team for more:


Keep an eye on the Bunchy Top team’s Facebook page for more.

FNQ Soil to Food Conference

3-4 June 2023 | The Sunflower Farm | Atherton

The Soil to Food Conference is an opportunity for farmers and the agricultural industry to connect with each other and share ideas and innovations that support healthy soil leading to healthy people and profits. Visit the Terrain NRM website for more.

ABGC Job Vacancy: Stakeholder Engagement & Advocacy Manager

We’re on the lookout for someone ready to take on a leadership role with the ABGC, focusing on policy development and advocacy, and helping drive engagement for Australia’s banana industry. Apply today:

Banana Congress 2023
Day registrations: Your Congress, Your Way

Registering for a single day of Congress, or even just the Banana Ball, is now even easier. Simply click the image below to view your options.

Science Poster Pitches

Ready for your crash course in Banana R&D?

Join us at for the Science Poster Pitches during the Thursday afternoon plenary session at Congress!

This is a fast-paced dynamic session where the Banana R&D community deliver one minute elevator pitches to highlight the fantastic work being presented in their scientific posters.
See more about the program and the posters by clicking here.

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