Grazing and frost

Reduce impact of frost

The key message is to graze early (at the crop four-five leaf stage or even earlier) and graze hard for a short period. Fourteen days grazing delays flowering by about seven days. Grazing after first node (GS31) will significantly delay flowering and reduce crop yield. High stock numbers are often required. Trials in southern WA and SA have shown grazing wheat crops in winter to delay flowering can reduce grain yield losses from spring frosts by extending the flowering date. Additionally these crops can provide extra fodder for livestock.

This management tactic can be used as a tool to:

  • manipulate a crop’s flowering time after seeding
  • reduce the amount of crop biomass, which will reduce frost incidence
  • compact the soil, which increases the soil heat bank capacity.

Read the Managing frost risk tips and tactics fact sheet for more information.