Frost Risk Fact Sheet

image of the GRDC Frost Risk Fact Sheet (March 2009) cover page

The risk of frost varies between years as well as across landscapes, so growers need to assess their individual situation throughout each year. The variability in the occurrence and severity of frost means a package of risk management strategies, and not just one, needs to be adopted.

Key Points

  • Frost damage is not always obvious. Inspect for frost damage through the season especially five to seven days after areas are considered to have been frosted.
  • Canopy temperature is of importance rather than temperature at the weather station, the difference can be as much as 5oC or greater.
  • A package of risk management strategies needs to be applied including choice of crop and variety, manipulating soil and canopy temperature, matching inputs to yield potential in frost risk areas and sowing time.
  • Some frost damage can be unavoidable even with best management practice in place.

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