Frost resources available to guide grower decisions
Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 18 Sep 2018
Following significant frosts in Western Australia, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) advises that information and resources are available to help growers identify and manage frost-affected crops.
GRDC acting Managing Director Dr Steve Thomas says the organisation is acutely aware of the impact frost can have on farming businesses, and this is why frost research, development and extension (RD&E) continues to be one of the GRDC’s highest priority areas for investment.
“Frosts on the weekend and last month have affected a wide area of WA’s central, eastern and southern cropping areas, with temperatures as low as minus three degrees centigrade recorded on the weekend. Many crops were exposed to sub-zero temperatures for a number of hours,” Dr Thomas said.
“Due to seasonal conditions, many crops in the affected area were not as advanced as they sometimes are at this time of year.
“Nevertheless, the frosts were significant and the extent of the damage will only be known in coming weeks.”
A range of resources to help growers identify and manage frosted crops are available on the GRDC website:
- Frost Identification Guide, produced by DPIRD with co-investment from GRDC, available at https://grdc.com.au/CerealFrostIDGuide
- Frost - Frequently Asked Questions, a DPIRD publication produced in collaboration with GRDC at https://grdc.com.au/frost-faq
- The GRDC YouTube frost playlist which includes segments about the emotional cost of frost and managing the effects of frost https://www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-Video-NationalFrostInitiativePlaylist
- GRDC Managing Frost Risk Tips and Tactics at https://grdc.com.au/ManagingFrostRisk
- More information on frost management can be found via the GRDC’s suite of GrowNotes™ publications available at https://grdc.com.au/grownotes
Frost resources are also available on the DPIRD website at https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/frost/frost-tools-and-support and https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/frost/management-options-frosted-crop.
Dr Thomas says the GRDC invested $3.8 million in 31 frost RD&E investments last year and is investing a similar amount this year.
“Frost is a high priority in the GRDC’s new five-year RD&E Plan, which places greater focus on RD&E that delivers transformational impact on grain grower profitability,” he said
“The GRDC is in the process of developing a new frost investment strategy to deliver on the key investment target to ‘Minimise the impact of spring radiation frost on grain yield and stability’. A ‘cross functional team’ has been established to facilitate this.
“The development of the strategy will include consultation with national and international experts to ensure GRDC accesses all available knowledge to address the problem.
“In the meantime, the GRDC is investigating what immediate assistance can be provided to growers, including the provision of workshops in affected areas.”
Kylie Dunstan, GRDC Head of Corporate Affairs
0428 864 934
(To arrange interviews with Dr Steve Thomas, GRDC Acting Managing Director)
Dr Juan Juttner, GRDC Senior Manager Genetic Technologies
02 6166 4500
Natalie Lee, GRDC
0427 189 827
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