Closed ATM View - PROC-9175594

Improved grower and advisor awareness and knowledge of pulse N fixation and inoculation practices in the Southern region

Denni Greenslade

P: 08 8198 8402


Document(s) Contact Name:
Denni Greenslade

Document(s) Contact Phone:
08 8198 8402

Document(s) Contact Email:

Grains Research and Development Corporation
70140000 - Crop production and management and protection
Close Date & Time:
20-Apr-2018 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time)
Show close time for other time zones
Publish Date:
ATM Type:
Request for Tender

Multi Agency Access:
Panel Arrangement:


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.

As well as generating useful income, pulses provide significant benefits to following crops, including nitrogen (N) fixation boosting N supplies to following crops. Pulses are estimated to fix about 120 kg N/h, or more than 220,000 tonnes N across Australia, worth about $220 M each year. However, not all pulses are well nodulated and fix N to their potential, especially on acidic soils. It was recently estimated that N fixation could be increased by 25%. Several past and present GRDC funded projects have produced outputs that require further extension and communication.

In addition to the improved rhizobial inoculants, crop management and inoculation practices are critical to maximising pulse N fixation and yields, and benefits to following crops. Some crop protection and trace element treatments and soil constraints such as acidity may also be possible factors contributing to the underperformance of legume inoculants. Limited tests have shown that certain seed-applied fungicides and trace element products have potential to harm rhizobia and/or inhibit nodulation. Herbicides, particularly soil residues of Group B herbicides, are known to damage legume roots and can potentially decrease infection sites for rhizobia and nodulation. However, such effects are easily overlooked in the field and have not been thoroughly investigated. A recent study showed that field pea crops are sometimes well nodulated, but N fixation is sub optimal. The cause of this poor fixation is not well understood but is currently being investigated under a separate GRDC research & development investment (PROC 9175525). Improvements to rhizobial inoculants, application practices and methods of delivery are also possible, especially when sowing pulses into dry soil. 

This three year communication and extension focused investment aims to extend research outcomes in a practical and applied manner, utilising a range of approaches to realise on-farm impact of related investments in R&D, subsequently improving crop nodulation, N fixation and grain legume yields across the GRDC southern region. The investment will increase awareness and build knowledge of growers and advisors concerning commercial inoculant types, formulations and inoculation techniques, and develop their skills regarding the monitoring and assessment of legume nodulation, and mitigation of any possible impacts of crop protection products and fertiliser treatments on rhizobia survival and effectiveness.

This investment will link closely with other GRDC R&D, validation, extension and communication investments, in support of the sustainable expansion of pulse production across all rainfall zones, thereby enhancing farm profitability and system diversity across the GRDC southern region. This includes extension and communication of the outcomes and findings from a related research, development and validation project currently in procurement (PROC 9175525) that aims to develop and release improved rhizobia strains, and identify enhanced inoculation and crop management practices to maximise N fixation. The successful applicant will work with growers and key influencers to promote best management inoculation and pulse management practices to drive the required practice changes.

By June 2022, Southern region winter pulse crop growers and their advisers will have a high degree of awareness and appropriate knowledge and skills to implement management practices to ensure effective nodulation and improved nitrogen fixation. Growers and advisors will be proficient in assessment and monitoring of nodulation on key pulse crops; have an understanding of commercial inoculant types, formulations and inoculation techniques; and be able to proactively mitigate any possible impact of crop protection products and fertiliser treatments on rhizobia survival and effectiveness.

Coupled with other GRDC investments in pulse crop R&D, validation, extension and communication, this project will support the sustainable expansion of pulse production across all rainfall zones, thereby enhancing farm profitability and systems diversity across the southern region.

A budget of up to $800,000 is indicated for this investment dependent upon the quality of the application, expected outcomes and the ability to leverage GRDC funds through co-contributions. The GRDC is focused on delivering value to Australian grain growers; therefore, your application must demonstrate fair market value. Leverage of GRDC funds through in-kind and cash co-contributions is viewed favourably

This proposed investment would be undertaken over a three-year period from 30 May 2018 to 30 June 2021 and will be delivered across the GRDC Southern Region.

Other Instructions:

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

  • 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 use the online support function available.

Conditions for Participation:

1. The Tenderer must be a single legal entity or recognised firm of partners.

2. The Tenderer 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 Tenderer and any proposed subcontractor must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

4. The Tenderer 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 Tenderer's response will be taken into account in the evaluation.

5. The Tenderer must be a recognised research institution with a proven track record in agronomy, farming systems and/or soil science.

Timeframe for Delivery:

30 May 2018 to 30 June 2021

Address for Lodgement:

By portal submission only at

Denni Greenslade

P: 08 8198 8402


Document(s) Contact Name:
Denni Greenslade

Document(s) Contact Phone:
08 8198 8402

Document(s) Contact Email: