Growers urged to act now on frost damage

Author: Tristan Price | Date: 11 Oct 2012

The Grains Research and Development Corporation is urging growers in the southern cropping region to check their crops for frost damage, with recent cold snaps taking their toll.

Andrew Rice, GRDC Manager Regional Grower Services – South, said farmers should check for frost damage as soon as possible so they could identify affected crops and work to soften the financial blow.

“Growers should check crops for damage immediately, as delay will limit their options to reduce financial losses from frost damage,” he said.

“There are a large number of reports of frost damage in cereals and canola in parts of central, southern and northern New South Wales. 

“Given the widespread occurrence of very low temperatures in late September and early October across the southern region, damage is likely to be widespread but dependent on local topography with low lying areas most at risk.”

There are a range of options that growers can use to reduce financial losses with frost-affected crops. Options include; cutting for hay, grazing, direct heading canola rather than windrowing, reducing yield estimates for crop insurance, and reducing exposure to forward sales of grains.

Don McCaffery, a Technical Specialist (Pulses and Oilseeds) with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, said the impact had been severe in some parts of the state, and that growers need to be vigilant as cold conditions continue.

“Frost has caused direct yield losses of up to 80 per cent in individual canola crops in localised areas of central and southern parts of the state, although the results of frost damage are not quick to show in cereal crops,” he said.

For more information on frost damage and what steps to take when it occurs, see the GRDC’s Back Pocket Guides for;

The Bureau of Meteorology also provides a forecast map that measures frost potential, as well as a retrospective map.

ENDS

Media releases and other media products can be found at www.grdc.com.au/media

For media interview, contact Andrew Rice, 0427 965 469

For further information:

Tristan Price, Porter Novelli
03 9289 9555 / 0400 363 006

Region South, National, North, West