Frost's untraditional push into coastal areas

Frost's untraditional push into coastal areas

Cropping
YORKES FIRST: Ian and Nathan Allen cut Scepter wheat for hay for the first time ever this year, after frost damaged their crops near the coast on southern Yorke Peninsula.

YORKES FIRST: Ian and Nathan Allen cut Scepter wheat for hay for the first time ever this year, after frost damaged their crops near the coast on southern Yorke Peninsula.

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Frost has hit a lot of SA crops this season, even on the coast.

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THE Allen family on southern Yorke Peninsula were faced with two unusual firsts this season - frost on their coastal country and cutting cereals for hay.

Nathan Allen farms with father Ian, uncle Trevor and cousin Daniel in the Warooka/Yorketown district, cropping wheat, barley, canola and lentils alongside a self-replacing Merino flock.

The family have never seen frost damage before and definitely didn't expect it in paddocks so close to Flaherty's Beach.

"There was damage in those paddocks last year, but we weren't necessarily thinking frost until harvest," Nathan said.

"In some spots the yield monitor was sitting on zero, when normally that block would average about 3 tonnes a hectare."

This year they caught the damage early and decided to cut the 80ha of Scepter wheat for hay.

"There were rises that weren't affected, but we thought if we were getting the header out, we may as well do the whole block and capitalise on good hay prices," he said.

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They plan to bale it in a fortnight and sell it all.

"We don't have a lot of shed space, and that's allocated to our vetch hay," he said.

Nathan said one benefit of hay cutting was ryegrass control before seed set.

He said they would probably grow barley there next year, which they believed was slightly more frost tolerant.

"We are also considering getting some weather stations to better recognise frost events and make better decisions across all our properties," he said.

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