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Increasing return on investment from canola seed through improved establishment in the Western Region
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Canola is the third most valuable grain crop in Australia. Despite its high potential value, major challenges impacting on grower profitability remain, particularly in the low to medium rainfall zones across Australia. Poor and variable canola establishment post-seeding is a major issue for canola growers across northern, southern and western Australia growing regions, particularly when sowing into deeper moisture and/or warmer soils typical of April sowings across Australia. The improved understanding of canola phenology and sowing time resulting from GRDC Investment has afforded many canola growers the opportunity to plant canola across a wider sowing window without increasing their exposure to frost. However, this change in grower practice has exposed the scale and magnitude of poor canola plant establishment nationally. Even in favourable conditions, canola establishment remains an ongoing issue for growers with consistent reports of 50% establishment even with the use of high-quality, high-germinating seed.
This investment seeks an integrated and holistic approach to address poor canola establishment. Consideration is required of factors by which genetic diversity for secondary dormancy in canola, seedling vigour, field stand establishment are influenced and can be improved through genetic and agronomic/management practices. The investment needs to determine the relationship between secondary dormancy, genetic response of seeds to temperature and to what extent they impact on crop establishment. The role of varietal differences (genetics) in primary and secondary dormancy in canola, the response to temperature and subsequent impact on crop establishment needs to be evaluated, and the question of whether canola cultivars with low potential of secondary dormancy induction can readily germinate will be explored. Additionally, this investment needs to characterise ideal growing environments for canola seed production (especially temperatures during grain filling) and evaluate agronomic practices that result in improved seed establishment. Crop establishment and early growth are key components in timely sowing and in optimising biomass essential to greater crop yields.
1. The Applicant must be a single legal entity or recognised firm of partners.
2. The Applicant and any proposed subcontractor must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.
March 2020 to March 2023
Tenderers must submit their responses electronically through the Grains Investment portal at: https://access.grdc.com.au