Growers e-bulletin - 9 May, 2024

Growers e-bulletin – 9 May, 2024


TR4 Program update
Chemical update
PALM scheme reminder


Data analytics to help your business
Tackling crown end rot 
Yellow Sigatoka resources
Banana Food Waste Action Plan


ABGC’s recent action


NSW grower field day @ Tropical Fruit World
Nuffield Australia Scholarships 
Have your say on on-farm electrical issues
Food safety survey
Share your thoughts with Hort Innovation

TR4 Program update

The TR4 program, under industry management, has now delivered surveillance across 3,449 hectares. 

As you may have read in ABGC’s recent email update, due to the low return rate of the information exchange form that was sent by Biosecurity Queensland, surveillance for TR4 has been paused.

We need a lot more growers to participate in this Program for effective surveillance to continue. 

Biosecurity sign reminder 

Is your phone number still visible on your biosecurity signs? Please make sure your contact details are up-to-date to ensure people can reach you if they do have reason to come onto your property.

Chemical update
A list of current chemical permits for the banana industry can now be found on the ABGC website.
PALM scheme reminder 

From 1 July 2024, requirements for minimum hours for short-term workers change. 30 hours must be offered every week, rather than averaged out over a period of time. 


Banana growers across Australia, you can now get to know your ABGC staff and the projects they are working on via #abgcatwork

Stephanie is working with growers to improve water quality and farming sustainability as one of the BMP team. You can learn more about her and the rest of the team at the ABGC website.

Free farm business tool! Data analytics to help grow profit 

Get free access to Opttimo IQ, a new and improved form of data analytics and practical insights to support growers in their business decisions and profitability.

Unlike historical benchmarking projects that offered growers limited scope and information at a point in time, Opttimo IQ is the next generation in data analytics.

Opttimo IQ, under Aglytica, continuously provides a greater range of data analytics in an interactive dashboard. 

Read the first industry report to learn more.   

This project delivers the outcomes of the Hort Innovation-funded Banana Industry Benchmarking (BA22009).  

Better Bananas

Tackling crown end rot

Sellars Bananas are renowned for producing premium quality bananas. However, frustratingly, even when supplying the best quality fruit at the farm gate, fungal organisms can wreak havoc with consignments down the supply chain.

Feedback from market agents is, they are not alone. Naomi Brownrigg from Sellars Bananas shares their experience with Crown End Rot and what they have put into place to manage it. 

Yellow Sigatoka

The Better Bananas website is now home to a range of new yellow Sigatoka resources, including videos and factsheets.

Food waste action plans

End Food Waste Australia with the Australian Bananas Growers’ Council, Melons Australia, and the horticulture industry have released a new first of its kind, nation-wide plan to help save fresh produce and halve Australia’s food waste by 2030. 


Update from Stakeholder Engagement and Advocacy Manager, Kathryn Dryden

Advocacy is funded by ABGC through its members

A shout out, as always, to ABGC members who invest in the future of their industry. Member fees are different to banana levies and enable ABGC to operate and deliver levy-funded projects, while supporting the ABGC’s important advocacy role. 

Recent highlights:

Based on the outcomes of an ABGC member-only workshop, ABGC is collaborating with our partners at the NFF Hort Council in tackling the issue of compliance costs. With support from other horticulture industries, this has been adopted as a key delivery area in the NFF Hort Council’s 2024 Strategy.  

The NFF Hort Council has been heavily involved in making submissions to and participating in debate on a range of supermarket and competition-related enquiries. ABGC members will continue to receive exclusive updates delivered directly to their inbox.

The ABGC opposes unnecessary tax on growers. From July 1 2024, nearly all of Australia’s 85,000 farmers are being asked to pay a new tax for biosecurity. This includes banana growers who already pay levies towards biosecurity.  Read an explainer produced by the NFF here.

ABGC is advocating for its members on a range of issues. Reach out to ABGC’s Stakeholder and Engagement Manager Kathryn Dryden so she can take your issues to the table.

NSW grower field day 

Where: Tropical Fruit World (NSW)

When: Tuesday 28 May, 10:30am to 2:30pm

Come listen and learn about soil health and how to understand your soil tests. You’ll also be able to enjoy a farm tour, including a banana plantation walk-and-talk showcasing niche and alternative varieties. There’ll be tropical fruit tastings with different varieties of bananas. Lunch included and transport for southern NSW growers available.

Please follow this link to the website to sign up:

Alternatively, you can contact Steven Norman on 0432 680 532.

Electrical safety in ag 

Deakin University is seeking information from farmers and farmworkers to share their experiences and perceptions of electrical risks on farms. 

Food Safety survey 

Hort Innovation and FPSC-ANZ invite you to participate in a quick 10-minute research survey aimed at improving food safety standards within the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industry.

Nuffield Scholarships 

Applications are now open for 2025 Nuffield Scholarships. 

Nuffield Scholarships award primary producers with a life-changing scholarship to travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice to increase their knowledge, management, and leadership skills. It is a 14-week study program consisting of both group and individual travel. Applications close on May 31.

Hort Innovation survey in your inbox

Keep an eye on your inbox for a chance to participate in Hort Innovation’s Grower and Partner Survey. 

As they implement the Hort Innovation Strategy 2024-2026, they are seeking feedback on our performance, and your views on the industry outlook. 

Please note, member and advocacy related content is funded by the ABGC.