Frost's lost cost
COSTING the national grains industry more than an estimated $360 million on average each year, frost remains a funding priority for the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The GRDC is about to embark on new frost-related research, development and extension (R,D&E investments), in addition to an existing stable of frost research projects.
Significant yield losses caused by frost in the southern cropping region last year have underlined the importance of continued investment to address the issue.
Two new projects to commence this year will provide the industry with an accurate source of background data to inform future frost research and management decisions, as well as access to wheat and barley frost tolerance data relating to the impact on yield.
A two-year frost situation analysis project will quantify the incidence (severity, timing and frequency) of frost in different agro-ecological zones through historical data analysis and simulation modeling, enabling the grains industry to improve current risk management tools.
A new three-year project to generate frost tolerance data that specifically relates to yield will provide growers and advisers in the southern and western regions with essential information upon which to make varietal selections as part of their overall frost risk management process. This data will be made available through crop variety guides and GRDC’s National Variety Trials (NVT) program.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon said these new areas of research will complement existing R,D&E initiatives.
“Frost is a major issue that the grains industry continues to grapple with and so it remains a high priority in terms of GRDC investment,” Mr Shannon said.