Best management practices

Two complementary guidelines for best management practices (BMP) are now available to the Australian banana industry. These BMPs provide national guidelines to encourage continuous improvement and adoption of best practice in the banana industry. Both BMPs consist of a self-assessment checklist and corresponding information resources. 

Best management practices: Environmental guidelines

This guide reflects the structure of the Freshcare Environmental code of practice, while providing specific banana industry content and best practice. The voluntary guideline provides a single point of reference for information relevant to environmental practices. Some of the practices have benefits that go beyond environmental interests and are practices that could potentially improve productivity and profitability.

The online system for this BMP allows you to electronically select the environmental practices that you have in place which will then:

  • automatically generate a management plan (which can be used for some environmental auditing systems). 
  • allow you to action this management plan (e.g. assign budget and responsibilities to improve practices).
  • allow you to anonymously compare your practices to moving industry benchmarks.

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The banana industry’s ‘Better Bunch’  app is a time-saving device to assist growers to record their everyday farm practices to complement their BMP. If you complete your BMP on-line, you are currently able to access the app for free. 

Best management practices: On-farm biosecurity

The Australian banana industry is vulnerable to pests and diseases. This best management practice (BMP) guideline can help growers implement effective on-farm biosecurity practices. It was developed following the detection of Panama disease tropical race 4 in Far North Queensland in 2015. It includes examples of on-farm biosecurity practices that are not only relevant to Panama disease but also minimises the risk of introducing other new pests, diseases and weeds onto your property. 

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Work is in progress to develop a similar online system to the BMP: Environmental guidelines, so keep an eye out for updates as it is developed. 

For more information on these BMP guidelines contact the better bananas team – betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or 13 25 23. 
BMP: Environmental guidelines – The project was funded as part of Reefocus Extension, a Queensland Government Reef Plan initiative, working with growers to increase farm productivity and profitability and improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef. This project was funded as part of the Developing a best management practices guideline for the Australian banana industry project (BA11006). This project was funded by Hort Innovation using the banana research and development levy, co-investment from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and contributions from the Australian Government. 
BMP: On-farm biosecurity –This resource was developed as part of the Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 – Biosecurity and Sustainable Solutions project (BA14013). This project was funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana research and development levy, with co-investment from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and funds from the Australian Government.
Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.