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Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region
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Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart
Systems for prediction of fertilizer requirements take account of the complex biophysical and economic context within which our crops are grown. They involve an understanding of the current nutritional status as impacted by soil type and past history of application, crop specific response functions, yield expectations including likely climatic constraints as well as input costs and prices and the potential for residual value of applied fertiliser. Much has changed in recent times with cropping systems and sequences in the Western Region meaning that the context surrounding input information for fertilizer decisions has changed. We need to continuously update our understanding of the factors that connect fertilizer use to crop profitability. This is particularly relevant at times like the present when systems and crop sequences are rapidly evolving and input costs and prices are volatile.
This GRDC investment is to:
• By 30 June 2022, complete a program of research and generate new knowledge and understanding of N within the farming system with a focus on:
• Direct measurement of the quantities and fate (including plant uptake) of N immobilised and mineralised from the soil organic pool, different types of stubble (species, amount, management, fallow), residual N fertiliser, legume-derived pools (including different species).
• Assessment of changing N mineralisation rates due to increasing summer/autumn rain in the Western Region and the impact on crop N requirements.
• The economics of N decision making in Western Region farming systems.
• By June 30 2022, update and make available the Select Your Nitrogen (SYN) model incorporating new knowledge from output 1.
• By June 30 2022, complete a series of experiments and generate new knowledge to determine the impact, including economics, of repeatedly applying low rates of P at crop establish. The research should focus on wheat, canola and lupins.
• By June 30 2022, complete a series of experiments and generate new knowledge to understand P availability and measurement thereof within the soil profile.
• The extent, impact and ways to correct P deficiency in sub-soils.
• By 30 June 2018 complete a technical and economic review and present GRDC with a report on the suitability of soil test methods to predict K responsiveness for the key soils in key environments across the Western Region.
• By 30 June 2022, complete a series of experiments and generate new knowledge and understanding of K in the dominant soil types in Western Region. The research will focus on:
• Understand K transformations and the fate of soil and fertiliser K.
• Physiology of plant uptake of K and K use efficiency in wheat, canola and barley.
• K movement into and through soils including the extent and depth of K leaching.
• The extent, impact and ways to correct K deficiency in sub-soils.
• The economics of K application in Western Region farming systems.
• By June 30 2022, at least one (1) post-doc researcher and two (2) PhD students have completed projects.
• Research topics can be N, P, K or trace elements.
• Annually, for the life of the project, upload all field trial results to the Better Fertilisers Decisions Cropping database.
• By June 30 2022, at least seven peer reviewed journal articles published communicating the results of the research in outputs 1 to 7.
• Annually, for the life of the project, deliver extension and training to increase the skill of at least 600 growers, advisers and industry professionals. As a minimum this will include;
• Presentations at field days and Updates workshops in Perth and regional areas.
• At least three workshops per annum delivering technical knowledge to advisers.
• At least five workshops per annum extending research outputs to growers.
• By March 2018, and each subsequent year, an Annual Progress Report detailing the key findings of the project for the reporting period.
• By June 2022, a Final Technical Report amalgamating the key findings, new knowledge and conclusions of the project to provide an overall interpretation of the work.
Tenderers must familiarise themselves with further information found at https://grdc.com.au/Apply/Current-Tenders/ Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region including terms and conditions of participation, required form of response and draft contract.
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.
July 2017 to June 2020
By portal submission only at https://access.grdc.com.au/