New mini roadshow format a hit with growers
The latest banana roadshow series that ran throughout November has wrapped up for Queensland and New South Wales growers, with events held in Innisfail, Tully, Mareeba, Murwillumbah, and Coffs Harbour.
This series focused on providing updates of industry’s banana variety research and development activities, including the latest results from the Panama TR4 screening trial in the Northern Territory, South Johnstone’s agronomic varietal evaluations and industry’s pre-commercialisation trials.
In addition, growers were given an overview of the activities included in the new National Banana Development and Extension Project and participated in a discussion on Rust Thrips management. Growers frequently report Rust Thrips as a pest affecting fruit quality.
Taking the lead on running the events this year was the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Stewart Lindsay ‘It was great to have attendance at the events during a difficult year. The roadshows offer a mutual benefit for growers, researchers and other industry stakeholders getting together in the same room, talking about the latest R&D and banana farming in general. These one-on-one and group discussions facilitated as part of the event are highly valued by all parties. It’s certainly not just about information delivery, it’s about collaborating together as an industry’.
Like many activities and events in 2020, COVID-19 forced a rethink on how the series would be delivered this year. As a result, the extension team ran ‘mini’ roadshows with less people and a shorter format running over an afternoon, instead of the full day events that previously ran every two years. Many growers that attended said that they preferred the shorter format. DAF’s extension team is now looking at holding mini roadshows more frequently, themed on different topics as new research and development emerges.
Interstate travel restrictions also meant that some researchers couldn’t make it to all the events, so some presentations were pre-recorded, and researchers joined group discussions live online via the internet.
The extension team would like to thank all growers and industry stakeholders who attended, as well as banana researchers Sharl Mintoff (NT DITT), Jeff Daniells, Katie Ferro and Richard Piper (DAF) for their contribution and Leanne Davis (NSW DPI) for her support with the NSW events. The team would also like to thank ABGC’s communication team for promoting the events.
Future mini roadshow events are planned for 2021, so keep an eye out via ABGC communications.
Photos of Queensland roadshows courtesy of Sonia Campbell (ABGC).
If you missed the roadshows, click on the links below for a recording of the presentations.