Grains Research and Development

Cultural management for weed control and maintenance of crop yield


RFT Description RFT No. PROC 9174839: Request for Tender for Cultural management for weed control and maintenance of crop yield
Release Date Monday 9 January 2017
Closing Time 5pm ACT local time, Monday 6 March 2017
Offer Period Tenders will remain open for acceptance by the GRDC for a period of 6 months after the Closing Time.
Deadline for Submission of Tenderer Enquiries 5pm ACT local time, Monday 27 February 2017
Document Contact and Enquiries Attention: Wendy Bosci
Grains Research and Development Corporation
Fax: (02) 61664599 Email:
Electronic Lodgement of Tenders Tenderers must submit their responses electronically through the Grains Investment Portal at


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.

Herbicides remain the primary method of weed control in cereal crops because they are very cost effective, hence why farmers are reluctant to adopt integrated weed management (IWM) until they have a serious herbicide resistance problem. When resistance exists, farmers generally change to other modes of herbicide action (including herbicide-resistant crops); however, when resistance to multiple modes of action exists, farmers are forced to adopt more radical nonchemical or cultural control options.

Crop competition is widely accepted as an important tactic for suppressing weed growth and maintaining crop yield. Agronomic choices influence crop competition, including crop species and cultivar, row spacing, crop density and row orientation. All these tactics have been shown to impact on the control of in-crop weeds. For wheat, while cultural factors such as row spacing, seeding rate, row orientation, nutrient placement, time of sowing and swathing/time of harvest are known to contribute to effective weed management, these management tactics have not been studied extensively in factorial combinations in different environments to demonstrate their relative contributions in a farming system.

While significant effort has been focused on competitive agronomy in wheat and other cereals, much less effort has gone into crops such as canola. To advance this research, it is expected that more data will be needed on existing genetic variability of competitive ability in canola x agronomic region x agronomic practice. Using a limited number of diverse canola genotypes validation data could be collected on the existing genetic variability of competitive ability x agronomic region x agronomic practice. Adopting a holistic systems approach should deliver more practical information to growers on likely outcomes of specific agronomic IWM strategies. Growers can then make informed investment decisions.

By 2025, a 20% increase in growers effectively using cultural weed management tools which reduce current economic losses and minimise control costs based on the 2016 GRDC Farm Practices Survey.

This GRDC investment is to:


1)     By 15 December 2017, a written report delivered to GRDC proposing the planned experimentation on weed competitive cultural management practices using statistically valid field trial designs including proposed target weed species.

The report will include:

a)     Trial designs developed in consultation with SAGI.

b)     Detail including at least 4 crops and 5 trials, with at least 2 crop competition factors per trial in each region, per year, for 5 years addressing the major knowledge gaps as specified in Table 1 of the Supporting Documentation.

c)     Justification for crop competition factors and crops to be studied.

d)     Proposed methodology including measuring input costs, impacts on weeds, weed seedbank and crop yields.

e)     Local practice including herbicide use will be required as a control treatment.

Integration of other non-herbicide management tactics is desirable (e.g. harvest weed seed management), however herbicide integration is to be used where relevant. The report will be submitted to the GRDC for approval prior to any further work occurring.

2)     Undertake and report on regionally specific cultural management practice field trials, with first delivery by 15 December 2018 and completion by June 2022, which optimises weed competitive agronomic management tactics to manage at least 2 major weeds species (in at least 4 crops and 5 trials with at least 2 crop competition factors per trial in each region per year for 5 years) according to trial designs developed in Output 1 and approved by GRDC.

a)     Delivery of details of the impact on at least 2 major weeds and crop yield of at least 2 crop competition factors in 4 crops per region is expected by January 2020.

b)     At least 5 trials per region per year with a trial in each subregion.

3)     By 15 December annually, report trial results into the Online Farm Trials database (

4)     In conjunction with GRDC, develop key messages for growers, agronomists and consultants to facilitate adoption of the management tactics developed in Output 2, to encourage crop sustainability; commencing in March 2020 and completed by June 2022.

5)     By 2022, collation and evaluation of all trial results on competitive tactics for crops from each region to update the Integrated Weed Management Manual.

Application period

The application end date for this investment is 5pm ACT local time on 6 March 2017 as advised on the Grains Investment Portal and all applications must be submitted via the portal prior to this closing date for consideration.

All requests for further information or clarification in relation to this investment should be made in writing to prior to 5pm ACT local time on Monday 27 February 2017. All requests and responses to requests will be published on the GRDC website.

Selection Criteria

1.         A clear and thorough plan to achieve the project output, specifying:

a)         method to be used (with reference to research needs identified by the GRDC review by Widderick et al. (2015) and Table 1 in the Supporting Information)

b)         proposed milestones

c)         proposed locations of field experiments (if required to deliver project outputs)

d)         staffing (including relevant skills, experience and availability of key personnel and proposed subcontractors)

e)         budget (defining the funds sought in each year of the project and the potential investment from all parties)

f)          project structure and management arrangements


2.         A plan for how the project will contribute to achievement of the outcome, specifying:

a)         expected steps to deliver the outcome (pathway to market)

b)         relevant assumptions in relation to each step of the pathway to market

c)         identification of target users of the project outputs (who will the project directly deliver to e.g. grower, adviser, plant breeder, pathologist, the GRDC)

d)         specific information, products and/or services to be delivered to target users

e)         potential for the development of commercial IP


3.         Demonstrated track record of the project team, including:

a)         relevant achievements of the project leader in providing leadership, co-ordination, management, monitoring and evaluation and the timely delivery of high quality outputs

b)         relevant technical knowledge and experience of all key personnel (including proposed subcontractors) in the research area

c)         relevant achievements in the delivery of commercial IP (if relevant)

d)         ability of the project team to collaborate with the relevant research organisations and industry personnel to build on the research (national and international) already undertaken in this area


4.         Freedom to operate in regards to the provision of the project outputs to GRDC or a third party if required:

a)         Research Organisation intellectual property that is required to deliver the project outputs and any restrictions that may impact on the provision of project outputs to GRDC or a third party, if required

b)         third party intellectual property that is required to deliver the project outputs and any restrictions that may impact on the provision of project outputs to GRDC or a third party, if required

c)         other intellectual property that may impact upon the delivery of project outputs to GRDC or a third party

d)         the approach to be taken to overcome any restrictions identified


5. The cost effectiveness and value for money of the tender response.


6. Compliance with the tender requirements and draft Contract.


7. Quality and effectiveness of risk controls.

Eligibility Criteria

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.


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 hand 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 Wendy Bosci – Contracts Administrator Crop Protection via email  or use the online support function available.

Application evaluation

Applications will be considered by a selection committee and the successful applicant will be informed within four weeks of the application closing date.

Questions and Answers

Added 9 Jan 2017


What GRDC regions does this tender apply to?


This tender applies to the Western and Southern regions only.

Added 13 Feb 2017


a ) The project seems to run from 2017 to June 2022. The first year is the planning stage where trial plans are designed for approval by the GRDC. However, the project requests trials over 5 years.

b) Detail including at least 4 crops and 5 trials, with at least 2 crop competition factors per trial in each region, per year, for 5 years addressing the major knowledge gaps as specified in Table 1 of the Supporting Documentation.

2018 to June 2022 is only 4 growing seasons. Does the GRDC intend for the trials to start in the first year?
Or where the five years of trial work for the Eastern States, in those regions where summer cropping is possible?


GRDC has recently moved to a continual investment cycle, which means that projects can start at any time during the year (i.e., not necessarily 1 July 2017). GRDC will be expecting 5 seasons of data.

Added 1 Mar 2017


Does GRDC have an established contract with SAGI, or do individual projects coordinate with SAGI and budget for their time?


GRDC has an established contract with SAGI so tender does not need to allocate funding for SAGI time. However, the winning tender will need to allocate time and coordinate with SAGI on trial design and analysis.