Bundaberg will host Australia’s pineapple industry this July when growers, researchers, and supply chain operators converge on the region for the Golden Circle 2021 Pineapple Field Days.
 
Delivered by Growcom on behalf of the Australian pineapple industry, the two-day event will include information sessions, practical field walks, gala dinner and a trade show.  
 
Australian Pineapples Chairman Stephen Pace said he is excited for the return of the Pineapple Field Days this year, after covid restrictions saw the event cancelled in 2020.
 
“This event brings growers and key stakeholders together to showcase the research and development occurring across the pineapple industry,” Mr Pace said.
 
“Though the trials are concentrated on pineapples, the event is designed to educate all horticultural growers on the ways we can improve productivity and environmental outcomes across the sector.”
 
Over the two-day event attendees will view research and development (R&D) trials underway at both Amaryllys Farming Co. and Littabella Pines properties.
 
Owner of Littabella Pines John Steemson said one trial that will form part of the Field Days is an erosion control site investigating several approaches to reduce losses of sediment, nutrients and pesticides. 
 
“The site was established for use as a benchmark and as a topic of conversation within industry,” Mr Steemson said. 
 
“What we want is for attendees to leave the event armed with new practices they can implement in their own operations, allowing the best financial and environmental outcomes for those businesses.”
 
In addition to the erosion control site the Steemsons are also involved in several other industry trials looking at improved fumigation practices, the effectiveness of bio-organic products, herbicide replacements, and monitoring the viability of bioreactors as an option to manage chemical and nutrient leaving growing sites. 
 
“All of these trial sites have progressed really well and are showing some exciting results which will be available at the Pineapple Field Days in July,” Mr Steemson said. 
 
The Pineapple Field Days will be held on July 8 and 9, 2021 and is expected to attract over 150 guests from across the pineapple and wider horticulture industries.
 
Early-bird tickets have been extended until May 30, 2021 and are available online via www.growcom.com.au/pfd2021.
 
Pineapples are produced significantly in Queensland (99%) and the Northern Territory (1%), with production valued at $52.2 million in the year ending June 2020.
 
The fruit is grown year-round with major growing regions including South East Queensland, Wide Bay, Yeppoon, Rollingstone, Mareeba, and Darwin.
 
The Australian pineapple industry’s Pineapple Integrated Crop Protection Program is funded by Hort Innovation using the pineapple industry R&D levy and funds from the Australian Government.
 
Under the project 17 demonstration trials have been established in major pineapple growing regions focusing on ground preparation, fallow management and bed formation, pre- and post-nutrition management, pesticide management, and management of erosion and sedimentation.