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Grower case study. Tiger Mereider has more than just his footbath covered.

Grower case study

Tiger Mereider has more than just his footbath covered

John Mereider, better known as Tiger, has been farming in the East Palmerston area for over 23 years. He is no stranger to biosecurity, having endured Panama disease race 1 on his farm when he grew Ducasse and some Lady Fingers in his early years on the block. Back then he built a drive through vehicle dip to help protect his farm. So, when Panama disease tropical race 4 was detected in Tully in 2015, Tiger didn’t hesitate in quickly putting more on-farm biosecurity practices in place to protect his farm. 

This included converting his existing drive through dip into an automated disinfecting spray down facility for vehicles. Pick-up and delivery trucks accessing the packing shed drive through this automated spray facility and are disinfected with Steri-max. These vehicles movement is restricted to the driveway to the shed and turn around area.

Tiger Mereider showing his covered footbath
Entrance to Tiger's farm showing biosecurity infrastructure

To address the risk of the driver’s footwear, Tiger installed a footbath next to the vehicle spray down. Tiger supplies drivers with a pair of boots to change into prior to using a covered footbath. 

Keeping it simple, Tiger purchased a 70 litre shallow plastic tub and a boot scrubber that he placed in the footbath. Because the footbath is not undercover, he had a stainless-steel lid built with a handle to place over the plastic tub. The lid ensures that the liquid does not evaporate when the weather is sunny or diluted when it rains. All up the covered footbath cost around $300. 

Another important consideration for Tiger was placing the footbath on a concrete surface to reduce contamination and make cleaning easier. He also painted large arrows on the concrete to direct traffic.

Tiger changes the disinfectant in the footbath every 2 weeks to ensure it is effective. He has used Quaternary Ammonium test strips to check the concentration of his footbath solution and is confident that it is doing the job when changed at this frequency. 

Tiger said, ‘The pickup and delivery drivers are good and always use the footbath, but I think it helps that I can see the footbath from the packing shed.’

In addition to his vehicle spray down and footbath, Tiger’s entrance to his farm is gated and clearly signed to limit unauthorised access. 

 

Simple footbath design with lid
Footbath located on hard paved surface

Thank you to Tiger Mereider for providing his time and giving permission to use this case study for the benefit of the wider industry. 

Tips on disinfectants!
  • Use disinfectant products containing Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) or Benzalkonium chloride (BZK). These quaternary ammonium (QA) compounds have been tested and solutions mixed as per the label rate do kill the fungal spores that cause Panama disease.
  • It is important to remove all soil and organic matter before applying any disinfectant product.
  • Easy-to-use test strips can be used to regularly test QA concentration of solutions in footbaths, spray shuttles and wash-down facilities. 
Click here for information on disinfectants.

If you would like further information or assistance with setting up or improving biosecurity practices for your farm, please contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team on email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

This case study has been produced as part of project BA19004 the National Banana Development and Extension Program which is funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana industry research and development levies, 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. 

Meet a researcher – Tegan Kukulies

Tegan Kukulies

From soil scientist to extension specialist: the focus has always been bananas.

Tegan has worked with the banana industry since graduating from university in 2009. Completing an undergraduate degree at James Cook University in Cairns, Tegan commenced her career with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries working with renown soil scientist and nematologist Dr Tony Pattison. Under Tony’s mentorship, Tegan’s honours project looked at the effects of ground cover management on the biology of soils in banana production systems. Tegan continued working in the field of soil science for six years. 

Meet a researcher

Tegan Kukulies
Senior Development Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

With a passion for the banana industry, Tegan decided on a career change taking on an industry development role in 2015, leading the banana industry’s National Development and Extension Project. This decision saw Tegan hitting the ground running, as commencement of her new role coincided with the detection of Panama disease tropical race 4 in Far North Queensland. Tegan played an important role as part of the incursion response, developing information packages and facilitating extension services for the banana industry. This also led to Tegan and the extension team developing an important resource for industry, the on-farm biosecurity best management practices guideline.
Further to her experience in biosecurity extension, Tegan also leads key extension activities and initiatives for industry including banana roadshows, field days and workshops, NextGen activities, Better Bananas website, tailored on-farm biosecurity advice and assistance on general banana agronomy for growers.
Tegan is a local to the north Queensland area and was lucky enough to call Kurrimine Beach her home, growing up with all the beach and boating experiences the area has to offer. She now loves spending time with her young family, enjoying these and other outdoor adventures.
Tegan suggests you try a dessert pizza with Nutella, banana, and marshmallows.

Tegan Kukulies and Rob Mayers at banana industry field day at South Johnstone research facility.

Panama TR4 variety screening trial (December 2018) Sub-trial results (plant and first ratoon)

Contributions by:
Sharl Mintoff1, Samantha Bond1, Chris Kelly1, Maxine Piggott1 and Jeff Daniells2
1Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Darwin, NT
2Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, South Johnstone, QLD

Latest update

Good parents produce better progeny.

Four parents with stellar TR4 resistance have been identified. This will assist international banana breeding programs to incorporate TR4 resistance into new varieties.

Sub-trial results (plant and first ratoon)

Disease assessments

Disease assessments were carried out fortnightly once external symptoms became apparent in a susceptible variety. Assessments included noting the appearance of external disease symptoms and internal symptoms at plant death or harvest.
Disease resistance was determined by scoring the level of disease in each variety then grouping them into one of the following categories: 
Highly Resistant (HR) – No disease symptoms were observed within the crop cycle and may not show symptoms under high inoculum pressures.
Resistant (R) – Plants normally show no signs of infection in the presence of the pathogen. However, under high inoculum pressures low amounts of symptoms or losses may occur.
Intermediate (I) – Plants which can withstand some infection and suffer low losses under natural infestation conditions, with most completing their crop cycle. However, its susceptibility or resistance can be highly dependent on the inoculum pressure already present. With the appropriate crop management or environment to lower the inoculum levels, these should be commercially viable.
Susceptible (S) – More than 50% of plants show symptoms and/or killed due to pathogen infection.
Very susceptible (VS) – Majority of plants (more than 70%) showed severe symptoms, most of which died due to TR4.

Results

Highly resistant and resistant
The four parental lines – Inarnibal, M53, Manang, and Tjau Lagada, were highly resistant in both the plant crop and first ratoon, with no symptoms of TR4 infection. One of the Goldfinger plants (TR4 resistant reference) expressed disease symptoms resulting in the death of the mother plant, yet no disease symptoms were observed in the subsequent ratoon crop for the same plant or any of the other Goldfinger ratoon plants. Mild disease symptoms were observed for Pisang Bangkahulu
in the plant crop and this was repeated in the first ratoon.
Surprisingly, the two varieties, Sinwobogi and Pisang Sapon, made a major recovery – with no disease symptoms in the ratoon, compared to the plant crop where the disease was clearly prominent.
Intermediate
In the case of Formosana and Paka there was an increase in the number of diseased plants in the ratoon crop cycle, moving them into the intermediate category. Pisang Batu retained its intermediate rating whereas some improvement was observed in Pisang Madu where fewer diseased plants were noted in the ratoon crop cycle compared to its susceptible plant crop cycle.
Susceptible and very susceptible
The most susceptible lines were Heva and Nzumoheli, which were the most susceptible of the parental lines in both crop cycles, consistent with the Williams TR4 reference variety. Pisang Pipit showed an increase in disease symptoms in the first ratoon crop moving it into the susceptible category.
Table 1: Panama TR4 resistance ratings for the plant and ratoon crop cycles, with reference varieties in bold

HR = highly resistant, R = resistant, I = intermediate, S = susceptible, VS = very susceptible

The images below are representative resistance response in first ratoon plants exposed to Panama  disease TR4. Most Williams plants died due to infection, whereas parental lines such as Inarnibal and Tjau Lagada showed little to no symptoms in their first ratoon. 

Williams
Inarnibal
Tjau Lagada
Inarnibal, M53, Manang, and Tjau Lagada had no disease symptoms in the plant and ratoon crops. A few of the other lines also had reasonable levels of resistance. Identification of these resistant parental lines is very encouraging for international breeding
programs and helps strengthen our linkages and access to their germplasm. When these results were shown to the breeding programs which use these lines they were very grateful:
• this provided CIRAD with – “…valuable information for planning better crossing schemes…”
• and from the breeding program of EMBRAPA (Brazil) “…Excellent news about the improved diploid – M53. He is the parent of many EMBRAPA hybrids…”
The information from this sub-trial could also be useful in identifying existing hybrid varieties bred from resistant parental lines to source and screen for TR4 resistance and general agronomic and market suitability.
Interestingly the varieties Sinwobogi and Pisang Sapon recovered from being symptomatic in the plant crop to exhibiting no disease symptoms in the first ratoon. A somewhat similar response was also noted in the main trial with CIRAD 06 and High
Noon. Further study on this recovery phenomenon could be advantageous for identifying potential crop management strategies to mitigate disease severity in the field, particularly during the plant crop cycle.
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 the Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.

Why biosecurity is so important for banana businesses

Why biosecurity is so important for banana businesses

The 2001 incursion of Black Sigatoka and the 2015 incursion of Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama disease TR4) in the Tully Valley certainly highlight the importance of biosecurity. Unfortunately, unlike Black Sigatoka, Panama disease TR4 cannot be eradicated. As of October 2021, the response over the past six and a half years has successfully limited it’s spread to five commercial banana farms in the Tully Valley. However, it will continue to spread and there is a real risk it could potentially infest other production regions within Far North Queensland and Australia. If you want to sustain a successful banana business into the future, having effective biosecurity practices on your farm has never been more important.
The devastating impact of Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) on a Cavendish plantation in the Philippines. Panama disease TR4 was first detected in Australia near Darwin in 1997 and has since been detected in Far North Queensland in the Tully Valley in 2015. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be eradicated.

So why are bananas so vulnerable and what can we do to protect our banana industry and the fruit that we love to eat? Accounting for 97% of the Australian market, the seedless fruit of the commercial Cavendish banana are sterile and are dependent on clonal propagation from bits, suckers or tissue culture. Growing large monoculture plantations with limited genetic diversity makes them extremely vulnerable to the impact of pests and diseases.    

For decades, breeding programs around the world have invested significant time and resources to find a commercially viable Cavendish variety, comparable to Williams Cavendish, that is resistant to Panama disease TR4. Unfortunately, bananas are very difficult to breed and the search for this ‘holy grail’ continues. This is why on-farm biosecurity is so important! Currently there are no varieties in Australia or the world, resistant to Panama disease TR4 or leaf spot, that can match the productivity of Williams Cavendish.  It may be some time before this is achieved, so why not do everything in your power, to protect what you have now.

The photos on this page show the devastating impact of serious banana plant diseases overseas, where biosecurity is limited. These are just a few examples of serious diseases, either already present in production regions of Australia or on our country’s doorstep, that pose a risk to our commercial banana industry. 

Severe banana freckle (Phyllosticta cavendishii) infestation in a Cavendish banana plantation in Indonesia. In 2013 Banana freckle (Phyllosticta cavendishii) was detected in the Northern Territory. A national response to the outbreak resulted in its successful eradication, with Northern Territory declared Banana freckle free on 1 February 2019.
Black Sigatoka streaks and lesions on banana leaf. Mature leaf symptoms of black Sigatoka are similar to those caused by yellow Sigatoka. The impact of black Sigatoka is through the early death of leaves reducing yield and green life of fruit. There have been several outbreaks of black Sigatoka in Australia, all of which have been successfully eradicated. Australia has been declared free of the disease since 2005.

Assistance is available

If you need help to get started with your on-farm biosecurity or would like assistance to improve on existing practices contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team via email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

This resource has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program ( BA19004) 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. 

Starting your biosecurity plan

Starting your biosecurity plan

The first step is to understand the potential risk pathways on your farm. Each farms layout is unique, and it may seem challenging if you must consider roads, rivers and railway tracks which pass through your property. The best way is to break it down.  
1.  Grab a map of your farm and a pen. Google Maps is a good source of satellite imagery.
2. Think about all the different ways people, vehicles and machinery move on and off your farm. With these movements in          mind divide your farm into zones: exclusion, separation (The separation zone manages movement of essential vehicles                  entering your farm, as it acts as a buffer between the exclusion and farming zones) and farming. 
3. Choose one point at the edge of each zone where people, vehicles and machinery can move in and out.
4. Then consider what you will put in place at each of these points to cross between zones – e.g. boot exchange, footbath, spray    shuttle, wash-down pad. 
5. Think about water movement and mark down on your map any areas which flood and where you source water from. 
6. Consider where you get planting material from. Do you know the risks associated with the type of planting material you use      and are you happy with this risk?  

Handy tips!

  • Tissue culture from a QBAN approved facility provides the best protection against moving and spreading Panama disease or other banana pests and diseases such as nematodes and banana weevil borer.
  • Some things are always beyond your ability to control, focus on the things you can do.
  • Think of your farm as an airport where everyone needs to enter through a security barrier.  Instead of a metal detector you might have a boot exchange, a footbath or something else which stops an unknown threat from getting in.  
  • Making a start is often the hardest part. Make a list of practices;  start with one practice and work your way down the list as you can. 
  • Start with temporary measures like flagging tape before installing a permanent fence to see if it works first.  
Using aerial maps of your farm is a good way to identify biosecurity risk pathways.
Flagging tape can be used to temporarily mark out zones. This allows you to trial the zones before putting in permanent structures.

Assistance is available

You’re not on your own. The following video features advice from banana growers on starting your biosecurity plan. The National Banana Development and Extension Team is also available to help you get started. Contact our team today via email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

This resource has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004) 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. 

Grower case study. Reinventing the pod into a spray shuttle

Grower case study

Reinventing the pod
Spray down with the Randhawa brothers

1000 litre pods can be useful in many ways. After Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) was found in Tully, brothers Paramadeep and Harpreet Randhawa, like many banana growers, recycled one to use as a disinfectant spray down unit at the entrance to their farm.
Paramadeep and Harpreet Randhawa started growing bananas in 2015, the same year that Panama disease TR4 was found in Tully. To help protect their farm, they purchased a pod from a local fertiliser distributor and engaged a local electrical contractor to install a 12-volt pump, hose and spray wand. They used a spare tractor battery to power the pump and installed a solar trickle charger to keep it charged. The whole setup cost around $500 at the time.
Harpreet said, ‘We placed the pod right at the start of the driveway to our shed. The position of the pod is good as I can see it from the packing shed, so I can make sure everyone that comes onto the farm sprays their vehicle down.’ In busy times the pod lasts about a month, so Harpreet tops up the pod with fresh disinfectant mixture as required. 
Disinfectant spray pod located at entrance to farm.
Paramadeep and Harpreet use a quaternary ammonium based disinfectant product which has been shown to be effective in killing the fungal spores that cause Panama disease. They have also installed a water supply to make refilling the pod easier.

The only hitch the brothers have come across is the solar panel doesn’t keep the battery charged when there are long periods of overcast wet weather. On these occasions they just take the battery back to the shed to charge it.
Paramadeep said ‘Make sure that the hose is long enough to be able to spray all around the longest truck that comes onto your farm. We have found that most people that come to our farm follow our instructions to spray down to help us to protect our business.’
Pod located at entrance to farm. Boom gate to restrict unauthorised access.
Thank you to Paramadeep and Harpreet Randhawa who provided their time and gave permission to use this case study for the benefit of the wider industry.
Tips on disinfectants!
  • Use disinfectant products containing Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) or Benzalkonium chloride (BZK). These quaternary ammonium (QA) compounds have been tested and solutions mixed as per the label rate do kill the fungal spores that cause Panama disease.
  • It is important to remove all soil and organic matter before applying any disinfectant product.
  • Research has shown that DDAC and BZK disinfectants used in infrastructure such as spray shuttles, that isn’t contaminated with soil and organic matter, will be effective for an extended period of time when exposed to outdoor conditions. 
  • Easy-to-use test strips can be used to regularly test QA concentration of solutions in footbaths, spray shuttles and wash-down facilities. 
Click here for information on disinfectants.

If you would like further information or assistance with setting up or improving biosecurity practices for your farm, please contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team on email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

This case study has been produced as part of project BA19004 the National Banana Development and Extension Program which is funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana industry research and development levies, 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. 

Grower case study Reinventing the pod into a footbath

Grower case study

Reinventing the pod into a footbath

Steps to help protect your farm from Panama disease don’t need to cost big dollars. There are some great examples of innovative and cost-effective solutions that banana growers have implemented to help manage their biosecurity risk. Something as simple as cutting down a 1000 litre pod to use as a footbath can be a big saving. The banana extension team recently had a chat with a grower about why he uses a pod.
The grower said that he purchased the pod as they are easy to come by with most of the fungicides applied by the aerial operators coming in 1000 litre pods.
1000 litre pod modified for use as a footbath.
‘We cut the supporting frame and the plastic liner down to 200 mm, the same as a normal step, so it was easy to step in and out of,’ the grower said. ‘We then placed a piece of expanded mesh in the bottom of the pod, mainly to prevent anyone slipping’, said the grower. ‘When we started using the pod as a footbath, we found that we had to protect the pod from the mesh with irrigation pipe so that it wouldn’t wear a hole in the plastic. We also put pipe on the edge of the pod to cover any sharp edges,’ the grower explained.
Positioning of any footbath is important. When you walk into the shed the pod is located between a shed wall and the bench seat where you change shoes before walking through the footbath. ‘The pod is also good as it is long enough and wide enough that it is difficult to step over and you need to put both feet in,’ the grower said. There are also signs to direct people to use the footbath.
‘Another point with using a pod is that it comes with a built-in valve, making it easy to drain and clean. If we want to shift the pod for cleaning, we can do that with our forklift,’ said the grower.
Overall, the grower said, ‘We have found that if you make biosecurity easy to do, practices will be followed’.
Pod footbath placed at boot exchange at entrance to shed.

Thank you to the banana grower who provided his time and gave permission to use this case study for the benefit of the wider industry.

Tips on disinfectants!
  • Use disinfectant products containing Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) or Benzalkonium chloride (BZK). These quaternary ammonium (QA) compounds have been tested and solutions mixed as per the label rate do kill the fungal spores that cause Panama disease.
  • It is important to remove all soil and organic matter before applying any disinfectant product.
  • Easy-to-use test strips can be used to regularly test QA concentration of solutions in footbaths, spray shuttles and wash-down facilities. 
Click here for information on disinfectants.

If you would like further information or assistance with setting up or improving biosecurity practices for your farm, please contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team on email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

This case study has been produced as part of project BA19004 the National Banana Development and Extension Program which is funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana industry research and development levies, 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. 

Biosecurity for bananas

Protect your farm today!

There are some simple, cost-effective practices that can be implemented today to reduce the risk of a serious pest and disease impacting your farm. Biosecurity can be viewed as a layered approach; with each practice you apply reducing the risk of a serious pest or disease being introduced onto your farm. Having some practices in place is better than having nothing at all.
Growers often start with simple measures and continually improve their system to further reduce their risk. There are some circumstances where managing the risk is challenging, such as public roads and flooding, however a disease may enter your farm through other risk pathways such as footwear, which can easily be managed. Practices such as zoning, signage, footbaths, disinfectant shuttles, boot exchanges, toolbox talks are all simple things to reduce risk. See below for examples of what growers have implemented.
For some of us, it may also mean a change in how we think about biosecurity. It’s a long-term commitment. Unfortunately, bananas will always be vulnerable to the risk of pests and diseases, so it’s recommended that on-farm biosecurity becomes a part of your daily operational procedures. Some growers have said they think of biosecurity as insurance, that adds value to their business and provides a certain level of assurance. 
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council have developed some fantastic resources tailored specifically for the banana industry. For Queensland and New South Wales growers, the National Banana Development and Extension Team are available to come and visit your farm to help you develop a biosecurity plan or discuss how you can improve your existing practices.  For Western Australian growers the team is available to discuss over the phone or via video link. Contact the team via email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

Get on the front foot with your on-farm biosecurity.

Click the images below to see what growers have implemented.

Zoning
Signage
Footwear management
Drainage management
Disinfecting facilities
Tips for starting your plan

Biosecurity resources available and tailored for banana growers

National Banana Development and  Extension Team
Email: betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au
Ph: 07 4220 4152

Contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team today if you would like to start or make improvements to your biosecurity plan.

Panama TR4 Protect website
panamatr4protect.com.au

Hosts information on Panama disease TR4 for banana growers, banana workers, service providers and community members. Resources include videos, best practice guidelines, posters, fact sheets, growers’ kits and more!

Better Bananas website
betterbananas.com.au

Hosts information on Australian research undertaken on Panama disease, including information on disinfectants, reducing inoculum, alternative host information, variety screening and development activities and biosecurity.  

Australian banana industry website that hosts information on biosecurity, including the Biosecurity Code of Practice available for download. The Code of Practice outlines reasonable and practical steps to minimise biosecurity risks in sourcing and planting banana material within a biosecurity or control zone. It also includes information on industries high priority pests.

This resource has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program ( BA19004) 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. 

Disinfecting and wash-down facilities – grower practices

Disinfecting and wash-down facilities

Disinfecting and wash-down facilities are used to clean and disinfect vehicles and machinery that access your farm and shed. The design and location of these facilities will depend on your farm’s layout and zoning.

Remember, disinfectants can’t penetrate large clods of soil, mud or planting material. Therefore, it’s important that vehicles and machinery are clean prior to being disinfected. With this in mind, disinfecting facilities are used to treat lightly contaminated vehicles and machinery that require access to your shed, for example, trucks that pick-up fruit or deliver goods. Disinfecting facilities range from 1000 litre pod systems to drive through dips and automated spray grids.

A wash-down facility is used to thoroughly wash and disinfect vehicles and machinery that require access to banana paddocks within your farming zone. 

If you would like more information on disinfecting and wash-down facilities refer to page 24 of the Banana best management practices – On-farm biosecurity or contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team via email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

Image gallery of grower practices

Thank you to the banana growers who gave permission to use their biosecurity practices as examples for the benefit of the wider industry.

Available resources

This resource has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004) 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. 

Drainage management – grower practices

Drainage management

Managing run-off water is vital to protect your property and neighbouring properties from potentially contaminated water. Although difficult in the high rainfall environments in which bananas are grown in Far North Queensland, run-off from neighbouring properties should be diverted away from your production area. Practices such as grassed interrows, contouring, laser levelling and sediment traps, will minimise water and sediment movement within and off your farm. For more information on managing run-off refer to page 33 of the Banana best management practices – On-farm biosecurity or contact the National Banana Development and Extension Team via email betterbananas@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 07 4220 4152.

Image gallery of grower practices

Thank you to the banana growers who gave permission to use their biosecurity practices as examples for the benefit of the wider industry.

Available resources

This resource has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004) 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.