Growers' e-bulletin - 19 June, 2024

Growers’ e-bulletin – 19 June, 2024

Staff from St Clare’s School celebrate Read to Me day as part of Tully 100 celebrations. The perfect way to capture Tully’s unique environment with a nod to rain and bananas! (Image kindly shared with ABGC)


VIDEO: TR4 Program update
Feral pig results in Tully 
Palm Scheme update
Banana industry at Tully 100 
Reminder: Disaster assistance extension
Video updates for members
Chemical update


Free carbon calculator for growers
Virtual tour: field trials at South Johnstone 


Consumer outlook webinar  

TR4 Program update

As you may have read in previous e-bulletins, the industry-led TR4 Program has paused surveillance due to a lack of grower consent for this service to take place on their farms.

ABGC’s CEO Leanne Erakovic has this update for growers:

ABGC Chair Leon Collins featured on ABC Radio Qld Country Hour last week talking TR4 and the pause on surveillance. If you missed it, listen to the full interview here.

Currently 20 per cent of growers have signed their consent forms to enable surveillance. 

We need more growers to return their forms to continue delivering this service. Contact with any questions or to receive another copy.

Grower meeting

Fifteen Punjabi growers met with TR4 Program Manager Geoff Wilson at the Sikh Temple in Innisfail on Monday night. An update on surveillance, consent form requirements and informative resources were presented. The meeting also provided an opportunity for growers to ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns.

Translated posters and factsheets were among the resources shared with growers at the meeting. View more here.

Code of Practice consultation – now closed

Consultation on proposed changes to the Panama TR4 Code of Practice, which would allow for smaller destruction zones, has now closed. A feedback report will be made available soon. More information can be found here:

Feral pig results in Tully

More than 100 feral pigs have recently been eradicated from banana farms in the Tully Valley as part of an ongoing TR4 management program spearheaded by the ABGC.

Feral pigs cause environmental havoc and pose a risk of TR4 spread amongst banana farms. At last count, more than 3000 feral pigs had been removed from the Tully Valley using aerial control.

Banana farm biosecurity for on-ground shooters, and anyone visiting banana farms, should be respected. Never enter a banana farm without permission.

PALM Scheme update

The ABGC has welcomed improvements to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme that will help to ensure it remains an accessible and viable workforce option for Australian farmers.

The change means from 1 July 2024, employers of short-term workers will be required to offer 120 hours of work over 4 weeks, rather than 30 hours each and every week as had been planned.

The ABGC is a member of the Horticulture Council, read their full statement: click here

Details on the PALM scheme: click here

Tully 100 

In Far North Queensland, the town of Tully has been celebrating its centenary – and there’s been plenty of banana history in the spotlight.

The parade on 8 June featured Benny Banana, some fantastic Australian Bananas merch and – perhaps most excitingly for the wettest town in the country – bright blue skies!

Reminder: Disaster Assistance Grant extension

The Disaster Assistance Recovery Grant for TC Jasper, associated rainfall and flooding has been extended to 20 December 2024.

Grants of up to $75,000 are available for affected producers following Tropical Cyclone Jasper, associated rainfall and flooding, 13 – 28 December 2023, to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace fencing and other costs associated with the recovery process. 

The ABGC lobbied for a grant extension after growers raised concerns about the ongoing wet weather and lack of access to qualified tradespeople.

Video updates for members

ABGC members are now getting the latest and greatest project and advocacy news via short video snippets from our member services and advocacy manager, Kathryn Dryden.

We’ve had great feedback from members so far, with the videos making it quick and easy for members to access and understand industry information and latest news.

Members can view these updates via the Members’ Portal:  If you are not a member but would like to know more, contact Kathryn on 0455 553 596 or email


Josh Chapman is part of the multi-pest surveillance and grower education project, working as part of the Bunchy Top team in SEQ/NSW. You can learn more about him and his role here:

Free tool for banana growers

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.

Growers also have access to a carbon calculator as part of the Hort Innovation-funded project.

VIRTUAL TOUR: Field trials at South Johnstone

Join principal horticulturist Jeff Daniells, from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, on a virtual tour of evaluation trials at South Johnstone Research Facility in Far North Queensland. This tour features Lady Finger-like selections and sugar banana hybrids.

Consumer outlook webinar

Hort Innovation is hosting a webinar looking at current consumer behaviour and providing insights providing insights into what is becoming more relevant to different groups of stakeholders. It’s part of the multi-industry program Consumer behavioural data program (MT21004).

Date: Thursday June 27, 2024 | Time: 11am to 12pm (AEST)

Affiliate Members

The ABGC thanks its Affiliate Members for their ongoing support, which helps ensure ABGC can continue to represent the interests of banana growers and advocate for a better banana future.

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