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

  • In September 2017, six department research officers presented at the biennial Australian Agronomy Conference in Ballarat, Victoria.

  • 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

  • The national project, Determining yield under frost – one degree at a time, aims to determine the relationship between the level of floret sterility (FS) and yield loss in wheat.

  • The Screening of frost tolerance in cereals project screens wheat and barley varieties in frost prone areas across Australia with the aim to provide a ranking value for growers and advisors to iden

  • Harvesting a frosted crop brings another layer of complexity to an already busy time of year.

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

  • 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

  • Western Australia's (WA) climate has changed over the last century, particularly over the last 50 years. Average temperature has risen about 1°C.

  • Mottled pods

    Of the pulses, field peas are more vulerable to frost due to thin pod walls and exposure of flowers to frost. 

  • Plants affected at flowering develop wilted upper foliage

    Narrow-leafed lupins tolerate frost in early growth stages but are susceptible when growing rapidly from flowering to early pod fill.