DPIRD leads the management program of the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) National Frost Initiative. The Initiative is an integrated program which addresses genetic, management and environmental approaches to mitigate the effects of frost. The objective is to provide the Australian grains industry with targeted research, development and extension solutions to manage the impact of frost and minimise seasonal profit variability.
Tools and advice
DPIRD has a number of support tools and advice available:
- Frost Identification Guide for Canola and Pulses
- Frost Identification Guide for Cereals
- Frequently asked questions
- Harvesting frost affected crops
- To minimise the impact of frost:
- Flower Power – to identify the optimal time of sowing
- Managing inputs such as fertiliser and sowing rates
- DPIRD’s network of 175 weather stations will aid mapping the accuracy of frost events to assist industry and research assessments.
- Frost risk maps are produced July to October each year for growers and advisors to observe the severity and occurrence of frost events for the south west land division. These maps aid in strategic monitoring of crops for frost damage and help inform salvage options.
- Historic frost risk maps have been compiled for the years 1975 - 2021 showing the occurrence and severity of frost events for each month (July, August, September and October). The August, September and October data has then been combined to show occurrence and severity over these sensitive months in one map. These maps can be viewed below or follow the links on the right panel.
- The Seasonal climate information - frost risk maps. Frost risk maps show the average number of low temperature events occurring in the months when crops are at most risk of frost damage (July-October). Historical frost maps can also be viewed and are updated annually.
- 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.
Research and development
In collaboration with GRDC, DPIRD are investing in:
- genetic research to rank commercial varieties frost susceptibility and identify improved sources of tolerance
- agronomic research on how different management practices change the severity, duration and impact of frost.
Farm business risk management
- Multi-peril crop insurance and weather derivative products provided by the private sector
- A one-off $2500 rebate available for advice and assessments to help farmers prepare and apply for a new insurance policy that assists with the management of drought and other production and market risks and is available from the Australian Government's Managing Farm Risk Programme (free call 1800 837 857)
- Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) allow farmers who earn less than $100 000 in off-farm income to deposit funds, tax free into FMDs for use in later years
A range of support services are available to growers affected by frost:
Rural Financial Counselling Service WA
- Free, confidential and mobile counselling is provided by professional rural financial counsellors for financial information, options, decision support and referral services (free call 1800 612 044)
- Regional Men’s Health Initiative
- Free service to improve the health and wellbeing of men in rural WA. Professional resilience officers and community educators are available for those who need short term support (phone +61 (0)8 9690 2277)
- Farm Household Allowance
- Funded by the Australian Government, the allowance provides farm families in hardship with access to a household support payment, regardless of the source of hardship (phone 13 23 16)
Growers are encouraged to report any frost observations to DPIRD via its free PestFactsReporter app to assist in department analysis and research endeavours.