Seasonal climate information provides frost risk maps which shows the average number of low temperature events occurring in the months when crops are at most risk of frost damage from 1975-2014.
The Extreme weather events tool uses data from DPIRD's extensive weather station network to map extreme temperatures, either below or above a specified threshold. It provides real-time information about the location, duration and severity of frost and heat stress events, to help grain growers manage accordingly to reduce their financial impact.
There are a number of options available for managing crops that have been frosted. The following table highlights these options and the pros and cons of each. The suitability of each option will be dependent on the severity of the frost, what can be done at the cheapest cost and give best return on investment and maximising weed control.
|Harvest|| || || |
Grain quality may also be compromised depending on the frost timing. Frost affected grains usually have a lower hectolitre weight and higher screenings. Adjusting header settings and/or grading can be beneficial but check the feasibility first.
If keeping seed for next season, it is important to source seed from least-affected areas to maximise establishment. Seed quality can be tested closer to seeding by DPIRD Diagnostic Laboratory Services for a small charge.
|Hay/silage|| || ||Consider the demand and opportunity for marketing hay, potential for on-farm storage and use of hay from the frosted crop and the likely costs and returns from haymaking. Depending on soil moisture the plant may re-tiller and grain can be harvested.|
|Chain/rake|| || ||Consider weed burden, wind and water erosion.|
|Graze|| || || |
The feed value will vary depending on crop type. Frosted pulse crops will have minimal grain present, so can't be considered ideal for finishing livestock.
|Spray|| || ||Hay freezing the damage crop before grazing will maximise the fodder quality and rotation benefit.|
|Plough|| || ||It will depend on the rotation option planned for next year. A pasture option has different requirements to a crop option where stubble must be prepared.|
|Swath|| || ||More suited to lighter textured soils where erosion may pose a problem for green manuring.|
|Burn|| || ||Consider wind and water erosion risk. Particularly if grazing will occur before burning.|