GRDC has issued a request for tender: Increasing the effectiveness of nitrogen fixation in pulse crops through improved grower and advisor awareness and knowledge of inoculation and crop management practices in the Southern region (PROC-9175594).
The following is the extract direct from the GRDC regarding the tender.
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.
Applications close at 5:00pm AEST on Friday 20th April 2018.
All requests for further information or clarification in relation to this investment should be made in writing to email@example.com prior to 5pm ACT local time on Friday 13th April 2018.
This proposed investment would be undertaken over a three-year period from 30th May 2018 to 30th June 2021 and will be delivered across the GRDC Southern Region