AgMemo - Grains news, October 2018

Page last updated: Thursday, 11 October 2018 - 1:25pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Frost resources available to assist growers

Dowerin field day DPIRD Frost display
Dowerin field day DPIRD Frost display 

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has a range of resources available to assist growers to assess crops and evaluate subsequent management strategies and options on its ‘2018 Frost Trials and Seasonal Information’ webpage.

The Frost Identification Guide for Cereals’, produced by the department with co-investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), features several high resolution photographs and clear explanations to diagnose frost damage in wheat, barley and oats.

Fortnightly frost incidence maps are also available via the webpage, along with a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions brochure.

Minimum temperature information from the department’s network of 175 weather stations across the State is also available for free from the department’s recently upgraded online weather pages.

The 2018 Frost Trials and Seasonal Information webpage includes a link to ‘Management options for a frosted crop’.

The department has several frost research projects underway to better understand how frost affects grains crops, with co-investment from GRDC, to help Western Australian grain growers reduce its impact on crops.

In August and September there were a series of frost events throughout the central, eastern and southern Wheatbelt. To help make informed decisions on salvage options that can minimise the impact of frost, refer to the article ‘Hay or Harvest’.

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Climate resources

Incidence of frost varies strongly across the agricultural region, with greatest occurrence in the central, eastern and southern parts.

DPIRD provides up to date information about the coming season and its potential impacts on cropping and agriculture to assist in making more informed on-farm decisions.

The website provides information on statistical seasonal rainfall forecasts, modelled plant available soil water at the start of the growing season and risk of frost occurring at different locations.

Frost risk maps shows the average number of low temperature events occuring in the months when crops are at most risk of frost damage from 1975-2014.

You can use this map to get a general indication of the likelihood of frost for your area for this season. Historical frost risk maps show the past occurrence of frost risk and these are available from the Seasonal climate information page.

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 according to reduce their financial impact.