Frost

With every second year, on average, delivering frosts significant enough to wipe out tens of millions of dollars of Western Australian crops, it is no surprise that the state’s grain growers place frost management at the top of their research, development and extension priority list.

The occurrence and severity of frost is spatially variable with the frost ‘window’ widening and the number of frost incidence increasing. The average loss from frost is conservatively estimated as $400M per annum. The Grains Research and Development Corporation’s National Frost Initiative coordinates a $4M per annum program of genetic, environmental and management approaches to deliver solutions for the grains industry. The department coordinates the management node of this initiative. The focus is on cereals, particularly wheat, as this is the dominant winter crop in all regions and thus underpins the sustainability of farm enterprise and farming systems.

Articles

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides up-to-date information about the coming season and its potential impacts on cropping and agriculture.

  • Flower Power is an online tool to predict wheat flowering times of up to three different varieties at the same time and the risk of frost or heat stress in your location.

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) plays a major role in addressing the impact of frost on WA growers through a combination of on-farm research and development ac

  • Frost occurs on clear nights in early spring when the air temperature drops to 2°C or less.

  • Frost is difficult to manage. It has a significant economic and emotional impact on the whole community.

  • Taking experimental measurements can be labour intensive and time consuming, in addition the methods chosen must be repeatable (regardless of operator) with small degrees of error.

  • As part of the National Frost Initiative (NFI), in 2014 and 2015 the Advancing profitable farming systems - frost risk management project investigated the impact of farming practices and products o

  • Image 1: Frost damage at booting vs healthy head

    All winter grains susceptible to frost. Wheat is more susceptible then barley at flowering, but it is not known if barley and wheat have different frost susceptibilities during grain fill.

  • Frost risk occurs virtually every year across southern and eastern agricultural regions. Actual occurrence of frost is determined by location and landscape factors as well as climate.

  • A new guide has been published to assist cereal growers to identify frost damage and consider crop management decisions.