Grains Research and Development

Development of crop management packages for early sown, long season wheats in the Southern region

RTF Description RFT No. PROC-9174837: Request for Tender for the Development of crop management packages for early sown, long season wheats in the Southern region.
Release Date Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Closing Time 5:00pm ACT local time Friday, 27 January 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 5:00pm ACT local time Friday, 20 January 2017
Document Contact and Enquiries Attention: Denni Greenslade
Grains Research and Development Corporation
Fax: (08) 81988402 Email:
Electronic Lodgement of Tenders Tenderers must submit their responses electronically through the Grains Investment Portal at

Development of crop management packages for early sown, long season wheats in the Southern region (PROC-9174837)

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.

Over the past four decades growers have tended to plant their wheat crops earlier, while the rate of development of the most popular cultivars has become faster. It is likely that any earlier sowing will advance flowering excessively and reduce yields with the currently available wheat cultivars. Opportunities for sowing before mid April are relatively frequent, but new slow developing cultivars are required. Initial data from the GRDC project CSP00178 shows that long season wheats sown in March or early April have an average yield advantage of about 15% over spring types sown later across the southern region. This yield advantage, plus a general emphasis on early sowing and greater use of dual purpose cereals has driven much interest in long season spring and early maturing winter cultivars. Breeding companies are developing long season cultivars with suitable disease resistance and quality traits, potentially adapted across the southern region.

The GRDC seeks to understand crop management packages for early sown, long season wheats that optimise productivity, profit and risk, in the southern grains region, specifically Victoria and South Australia. Long season wheats will be of greatest benefit to mixed farms due to their grazing potential, and large farms with extensive cropping programs because of the logistical benefits of early sowing. In the long term, up to 20-30% of the wheat area across the southern region might be planted to long season cultivars on average. This proposed three and a half year investment, starting early 2017, will deliver field experimental data over three seasons and knowledge for the development of management practices for early sown long season varieties and advanced breeding lines close to release, which are needed to reduce the risk of crop failures and ensure rapid adoption. The indicative GRDC budget is up to $1.66 million.

By June 2020, growers and advisers in the southern region, specifically Victoria and South Australia, have access to sound agronomic knowledge and supporting data allowing them to exploit early sowing opportunities with long season wheats, including an understanding of the optimum time of sowing for new cultivars, risks and impact of drought during vegetative stages, potential threats from weeds, disease and pest, opportunities for grazing, and nitrogen management and crop density recommendations. The initial target is the adoption of 120,000 ha long season wheat cultivars across the southern region by 2025.

This outcome will depend upon the release of well-adapted cultivars, along with validation and extension activities conducted by other GRDC projects, grower groups, seed companies and other third parties to deliver crop management practices to growers and advisers.

Application period

The application end date for this investment is 5pm AEST on the 27th January 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 AEST on the 20th January 2017. All responses to requests will be published on the GRDC website.

Selection criteria

The successful applicant will need to address the following selection criteria:

1. A clear and thorough plan to achieve the project outputs

a)      method to be used (including anticipated statistical analysis capacity)

b) proposed milestones

c) proposed locations of field experiments to deliver project outputs

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

e) budget (defining the funds sought from GRDC in each year of the project and the potential cash and/or in-kind investment from all parties)

f)       project structure, including collaborators and management arrangements

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

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 (if relevant)

3. Demonstrated track record of the project team

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

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 GRDC standard Two Party or Multi-party Research Agreements

7. Possible risks (likelihood and consequences) and the quality and effectiveness of risk controls


Tender applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria.

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

2. The organisation must trade in Australian currency.

3. 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;

e)     becoming incapable of managing its own affairs for any reason;

f)      taking any step resulting in insolvency under administration (as defined in section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001);

g)     any action being commenced to bankrupt or wind-up its affairs; or

h)     entering into a compromise or arrangement with, or assignment for the benefit of, any of its creditors, or any analogous event.

4. The organisation must be located with the research region of Victoria or South Australia.


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 – Contracts Administrator South via email or use the online support function available.

Application evaluation

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

Questions and Answers

Added 6 January 2017:


In the description from the portal it states that GRDC seeks to understand crop management packages for early sown, long season wheats that optimise productivity, profit and risk, in the southern grains region, specifically Victoria and South Australia. It is however not clear whether this project is focussing on low, medium or high rainfall areas? Please could you clarify this point?


The objective of this project is to define the optimal sowing times and management practices for long season/winter cultivars across potential early sowing dates in the different production environments of the southern region. Ultimately, the GRDC is looking for sufficient data on early sown wheats across the various rainfall zones to assess the likely benefits. If an applicant believes there is greatest potential for adoption and/or there is a major lack of knowledge within a particular rainfall zone, they should state the evidence for this within the application, and may accordingly choose to allocate the majority of the research activities to the relevant areas.

An initial analysis of rainfall patterns suggests there are greater opportunities of early rain and hence, early sowing of wheat in high rainfall zones. However, there is a counter argument that the benefits of early sowing will be greatest for growers in low rainfall areas where cropping areas are large, logistical pressures at sowing are high, and the opportunities for grazing winter wheats has not been exploited. In addition, some agronomic and phenological data exists for long season/winter wheats in the high rainfall zones where adapted cultivars have been available for a period of time, but no significant effort has been made in the medium-low rainfall zones where suitable cultivars are not currently available.

Added 11 January 2017:


Will GRDC consider modifications to outputs e.g. moving components from one output to another?


GRDC will consider proposals for minor changes to investment outputs where the tenderer believes these will add to the effectiveness of the investment in achieving the overall outcome, and/or reduce costs. Any proposed modifications to outputs and their benefits/implications should be clearly outlined in the tender application.