Growers' e-bulletin - 18 December, 2023

Growers’ e-bulletin – 18 December, 2023

Ex TC Jasper 

Situation update

Conditions following (former) Tropical Cyclone Jasper making landfall continued to deteriorate over the weekend with the slow-moving system dumping record-breaking rain over Far North Queensland, including in banana growing regions.

The cyclone itself severely impacted a handful of farms, but the effects of ongoing flooding will be more widespread, with potential issues including supply and quality. As it stands, many roads and farm access points are inaccessible. Daily rainfall totals of up to 450mm are being recorded in the area and the weather situation is constantly evolving.

While the extent of impact is not yet known, and will be different across farms and growing regions, the Australian Banana Growers’ Council has written to major retailers to advise them of the current state of play. In addition to alerting them to potential supply and quality issues, ABGC has urged them to keep in close contact with their suppliers and to continue supporting industry during this uncertain time for many growers.

Consumers will be advised that some lacklustre/dull fruit will enter the market in a few weeks, but this won’t affect what’s under the peel.

To growers in the affected regions, we hope you and your families stay safe throughout this unprecedented weather event. 

Reporting damage

Queensland growers can report damage directly to DAF via this survey link:

Amendment to ICA-06 operational procedure 

Biosecurity Queensland, in consultation with Queensland’s interstate trading partners, successfully negotiated an amendment to the ICA operational procedure Hard Green Conditions of Bananas [ICA-06].

This arrangement provides for fruit that are in hard green condition and free from broken skin to be harvested from fallen plants within 14 days of a cyclone or disaster event, that being until 27 December 2023 following cyclone Jasper. 

The amendment to ICA-06 will be applicable in the future should the banana industry be subject to natural disasters.  

Accredited businesses do not need to do anything to be eligible for these arrangements. 

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has made amendment to the ICA-06 operational procedure and is providing advice to all ICA-06 accredited businesses. 

Please note, it is a good idea for your own business – and the industry more broadly – to speak with your agent/wholesaler before sending fruit (as always).

Please find here the full media release

Other links

Chlorpyrifos update

Last week, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) released its proposed regulatory decision on the reconsideration of chlorpyrifos (e.g Strikeout 500 plus many other products), which is widely used in for the control of pests in agricultural, horticultural, commercial, and veterinary industries.

What has been proposed for Horticulture

The cancellation of all uses with products containing chlorpyrifos except:

  • Impregnated banana bunch covers.
  • Potted ornamentals – commercial cultivation only and 
  • Container plants in soil or other growing media – for commercial production 

Public consultation on the proposed decision is open until 11 March 2024, after which time the APVMA will make their final decision.

A 12 month phase out period is expected after a final decision is announced, starting from mid-2024 to mid-2025.

For further information please see

EOI for international tradeshows
Hort Innovation is seeking expressions of interest from industry participants who are keen to be involved a unified Australian horticulture presence at international tradeshows in 2024.

Following this consultation, Hort Innovation will develop a proposal to create a multi-industry, multi-year trade show package to help interested industry participants attend key events and drive international demand.

More information and the Expression of Interest form are here.

The cut-off is COB February 12.

Australian Bananas magazine 

Download the latest digital edition today: CLICK HERE

In the December issue, you’ll head to the front line in the fight against Panama TR4, get a wrap on events like the NSW Roadshows and National Banana Day, plus gain plenty of information on the latest banana R&D happening around the country.

BOM Climate Tool

BOM has a climate tool designed to help farmers make informed decisions now to build climate resilience for the future. Read more here or go to My Climate View and take a look for yourself.

BOM’s Youtube channel has a range of useful videos including the long-range forecast for summer 2023-24. Also, MetEye now has 7-day forecasts for rainfall, wind, temperature, storms, humidity, and more.

Rebates to improve digital connectivity for farmers 

The On Farm Connectivity Program provides eligible Equipment Suppliers with up to $30,000 rebate for sales of digital farming technology to eligible Primary Producers to help improve their connectivity and productivity.

ABGC Head Office 

A quick note that the ABGC Head Office in Brisbane was damaged during a severe storm and will be closed until further notice. Staff are still working remotely – please contact them via mobile or, if you unsure of who best to speak to, email and we can point you in the right direction.