Determining yield under frost – one degree at a time

Page last updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2019 - 12:20pm

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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. More specifically, the aims of this research are to compare the performance of wheat varieties at different times of sowing under frost; and to determine appropriate sowing time and variety combinations to maximise yield, while managing frost risk.

Brenton Leske: Providing an overview of the project

Australian wheat and barley frost susceptibility benchmarking research

Preliminary yield data has shown some wheat varieties are able to compensate for loss in grain number, due to frost damage, by increasing grain size and weight. Identifying varieties that have a greater ability to compensate for yield loss could provide an avenue for growers to reduce financial losses due to frost in susceptible areas. As well as FS, viable and non-viable tillers will be assessed from over 30 commercial varieties of wheat.

The project is a collaborative effort between DPIRD, Kalyx, Living Farm and University of Adelaide, with trial sites in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.

This project commenced in 2014 and will run for five years until June 2019. The project builds on the work currently being done under the Screening and Benchmarking project which uses phenotyping methods based on frost induced sterility at flowering.

Recently published results

Brenton Leske's GRDC Research Updates paper Optimising sowing time in frost prone environments is key to unlocking yield potential of wheat presented in Perth in 2017.


Australian wheat and barley frost susceptibility benchmarking research is supported by DPIRD and the Grains Research and Development Corporation through DAW00234: ‘Determining yield under frost – one degree at a time.’

Contact information

Sarah Jackson
+61 (0)8 9368 3615
Dean Diepeveen
+61 (0)8 9368 3101


Kelly Ryan