Agronomic evaluation of new varieties
South Johnstone screening trials (October 2020)

Latest update...

Evaluation of the 2020 variety screening trial is progressing. Assessment of the plant crop is now complete and results are now available. Harvesting of the first ratoon was completed late in 2022 with data analysis underway. The new varieties are now being screened for yellow Sigatoka resistance.

About the trial

This agronomic evaluation screening trial was planted at South Johnstone Research Facility in October 2020. Building on previous variety evaluation work, the trial is looking at new introductions that may have commercial potential for the Australian banana industry, forming part of the recently completed project ‘Improved plant protection for the banana industry (BA16001)’.  

Assessment of agronomic traits is being collected over a plant crop and first ratoon with leaf spot screening performed in a nurse-suckered third crop cycle.

Trial five months after planting in March 2021.

Below is a video of a field walk of the evaluation trial taken in September 2021.

About the varieties being evaluated

Three Cavendish selections, four CIRAD hybrids, and six Lady Finger selections were included in the evaluation trial, including two varieties with TR4 resistance.

Observations and results

Observations and results are now available for the plant crop and will soon be available for the first ratoon.

What's next?

Currently, screening is underway to evaluate these selections for their tolerance to yellow Sigatoka. Plants will be assessed over three months during the wet season (March, April, and May 2023) and compared against control varieties with known resistance/susceptibility to this fungal leaf disease.

In December 2022, a new variety evaluation was planted as part of the project ‘New varieties for Australian banana growers (BA21002)’. This will again look at the agronomic traits as well as disease tolerance of recently imported varieties.

More information...

If you would like further information, feel free to contact the Better Bananas team via email at

This research has been funded as part of the project Improved Plant Protection for the Banana Industry (BA16001), which is funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana research and development levy, co-investment from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.