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Sustainable use of insecticides & on-farm implementation of integrated pest management strategies in the Southern region
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The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a statutory corporation established under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989. It is subject to accountability and reporting obligations set out in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. It is responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing research and development, and delivering improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.
The cost of insect damage to crops and implementation of management strategies targeted at control have potential to cause major impacts on the profits of grain growers in the GRDC Southern Region. The species of insect pests present, incidence and frequency of occurrence and severity and economic impact of damage incurred are variable depending upon seasonal conditions, and continue to evolve in response to environment, new farming systems and practices. The historic reliance upon insecticides for control has contributed to the development of insecticide resistance in several important pests including green peach aphid, diamondback moth, and red-legged earth mite. An increase in the number of cases and extent of insecticide resistance in the future poses a threat to the future ability of growers to cost-effectively manage these important pests. Whilst the prophylactic use of insecticides is often routine in grain production systems due to scale of operations and/or perceptions of being a ‘cost-effective insurance’, this practice has significant potential to impact on beneficial insects that may otherwise result in a reduction in pest numbers. If current practices persist, negative impacts associated with an increase in the extent and impact of insecticide resistance and off-target effects on beneficial insects and natural enemies will continue to affect grower profitability and limit the effective chemistry for future insect control.
Fortunately, attitudes are shifting and growers and advisors recognise the need to change insecticide use to minimise impact on beneficial insects, and manage the risk and impact of insecticide resistance development. There is increasing recognition that the integration of a range of non-chemical control strategies is required to encourage natural enemies and beneficial insects to assist in suppressing pest populations. Industry stewardship which utilises the practical knowledge of specialists in the industry will continue to be essential in driving on-farm practice change.
Activities designed to further raise awareness and build knowledge relating to the relative risk and impact of insecticide resistance and broader principles and applied implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) based on local farming systems, pest complex and environment are required. There is an identified need to motivate growers and advisors to reduce prophylactic insecticide application through more strategic and targeted use. The development of locally relevant best management guidelines and extension activities will help up-skill growers and advisors to abate the impacts of resistance, ensure responsible and sustainable insecticide use, minimise potential impacts on off-target species and delay future increases in the cost of control associated with the availability of fewer higher costs control options. Agronomists and advisors are often key influencers of insecticide use, and hence, are key target audiences. Regionally adapted, science-based recommendations and decision making tools fit to farming system should be delivered through relevant local communication and extension activities. All messaging must aim to extend current R&D outcomes and expert knowledge from a range of relevant historic and current GRDC investments including the Grains Pest Advisory Committee (GPAC) and the National Insecticide Resistance Management working group developed insecticide resistance management strategies for key pests.
A recent publication released by the Grains Pest Advisory Committee (GPAC) entitled a Status Report on Insecticide Resistance in Australia and a report on chemical vulnerabilities to resistance development prepared by the Independent Consultants Australian Network provide important context for this investment.
The GRDC seeks to develop, promote and deliver a number of high impact communication products and extension activities to raise awareness and build knowledge relating to the risk, occurrence, impact and management of insecticide resistance. This investment should support practice change required to increase the incidence and extent of adoption of sustainable and cost-effective integrated pest management strategies tailored to local farming systems and environment for key insect pests of grain crops in the GRDC Southern Region. Activities must address the current attitudes of growers, advisors and agribusiness and aim to motivate them to implement best practice IPM strategies on-farm.
By April 2020, at least 300 grain growers and advisors across the GRDC Southern Region will have access to the required knowledge and skills and be motivated to implement a range of appropriate integrated pest management strategies aimed at delaying the onset of insecticide resistance, minimise any potential impact on beneficial insects and natural enemies and minimise the long-term economic impact associated with insect pest control in Southern region grain crops.
A budget of up to $400,000 is indicated for this investment dependent upon the quality of the application, expected outcomes and the ability to leverage GRDC funds through additional in-kind and cash co-contribution. The GRDC is focused on delivering value to Australian grain growers; therefore, your application must demonstrate fair market value.
Applying for GRDC investments is now done using the GRDC Grains Investment Portal. Once registered, users can visit the Portal anytime.
To register as a user, please visit https://access.grdc.com.au/
- Click on the register button at the top right side
- Complete the Registration Form. Fill in all the fields: your email address, a password and the captcha. Your password must be alphanumeric with at least one special character (i.e. not a letter or number. Click register to continue the process.
- Registration is confirmed by the system sending an email to you, with details to complete the registration process.
- Once the registration process is complete, you can sign in and review all investments open for tender.
Once you have located this investment, you can commence the application process by completing the details for each field available, until you reach “Submit Application” on the last page.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Denni Greenslade – Business Support Team Leader via email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online support function available.
1. The Applicant must be a single legal entity or recognised firm of partners.
2. The Applicant must be financially viable. For the purposes of this condition, “financially viable” means that the Tenderer has not had any of the following events occur in respect of it:
a. a meeting of creditors being called or held within the past five years;
b. the appointment of a liquidator, provisional liquidator or administrator within the past five years;
c. the appointment of a controller (as defined in section 9 of the Corporations Act (2001)), or analogous person appointed, including in respect of any of its property within the past five years;
d. a failure to comply with a statutory demand in respect of the payment of any debt;
e. an inability to pay debts as they fall due or otherwise becoming insolvent;
f. becoming incapable of managing its own affairs for any reason;
g. taking any step resulting in insolvency under administration (as defined in section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001);
h. entering into a compromise or arrangement with, or assignment for the benefit of, any of its creditors, or any analogous event.
3. The Applicant and any proposed subcontractor must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.
4. The Applicant must include in its application details of any known circumstances that may give rise to an actual or potential Conflict of Interest with GRDC in responding to this procurement. The Applicant's response will be taken into account in the evaluation
1 May 2018 to 30 April 2020
By portal submission only at https://access.grdc.com.au/