South Johnstone field walk

Field day extension event held in FNQ

The project team in Far North Queensland (FNQ) facilitated a field day event on the 22 September 2023.  The half-day event was held in the paddock at the South Johnstone Research Facility and featured talks on the following  research topics:

A tour with Jeff Daniells and Katelyn Robertson through the current new selections of Cavendish with improved resistance to Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) to see the plant crop bunches. This was the first look in FNQ at selections developed by DAF using mutagenesis which were initially screened for TR4 resistance in the NT (BA21002).

An interactive display and discussion on latest bunch pest management research including the results from trials using current registered chemistries for bell injection and bunch spraying presented by Ingrid Jenkins and Tegan Cavallaro. This was complimented by information shared by Richard Piper and Daniel Farrell on the ‘biological’ bunch pest management research that is underway (BA21004).

An overview of the new fertiliser rate trial, funded by the Queensland Government’s Queensland Reef Water Quality Program, which will test the effect of varying rates of nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser on banana productivity and profitability.  Also, the instruments that will be used to monitor the movement of nutrients, sediments and chemicals in overland flow and deep drainage in the trial.

Jeff Daniells giving a tour of the Cavendish variety trial block.
Richard Piper and Daniel Farrell presenting on the latest biological approaches being trialled to manage bunch pests.

Attendees were then offered the opportunity (optional) to take a tour through the plant crop bunches in the latest trial of the new Lady Finger-like varieties with improved resistance to Panama disease Race 1 and yellow Sigatoka.

Attendees of the field walk.
Variety field day sept 2023
Cavendish variety block.

Feedback from the event

The varieties, well we don’t have an answer yet but we may be getting closer, it is important work that needs to be happening – Grower


Good to see variety R&D progress and know that there is work happening in that space as TR4 spreads. It was good that we split into groups to make it more manageable and easier to talk and ask questions – Private consultant/agronomist

The presentations and effort put into it was fantastic. Bunch pest management is a complex thing and there is no single approach that will work across farms. Generally, I think there needs to be a bigger focus on biodiversity.  – Grower

Extension events are funded as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004). This project is funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation banana research and development levy, co-investment from the Queensland 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.
Hort innovation logo