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Background:

This project will determine the impact of farming practices and products on cereal crop susceptibility to frost in the Southern and Western regions. Growers do not have accurate information regarding which farming practices can be cost effectively applied to reduce the financial impact of frost events in wheat crops within different production regions and under varying levels of frost severity. There is anecdotal evidence to support numerous farming practices and products that have the potential to increase crop tolerance to frost, including nutrition, stubble burning, grazing and sowing direction. Products which change the relative tolerance or susceptibility of the crop or to change the flowering window to manage risk in the cropping program will be evaluated at pilot experimental sites in the western and southern cropping regions and co-located with existing Australian National Frost Program. Practices that change the severity and duration of the frost need large scale plots/trials to cause that change in canopy temperature and will be assessed in PA scale yield trials located in the medium and low production environment in the Western and Southern wheat cropping regions.

Outcome:

Growers in frost-prone areas of the Australian wheat cropping region, implement management practices that minimise the financial impact of frost events.

Intermediate Outcomes:

By 2016, wheat producers and advisors in the Southern and Western cropping regions have access to sound field-based data regarding:

  1. The influence that stubble biomass, composition, orientation, height and structure have upon the duration and  severity of frost events in multiple agroecological zones.
  2. The impact that different putatively protective products have upon the level of damage sustained by wheat exposed to frost
  3. The capacity for flowering time to be shifted after seeding through the use of plant growth regulators and strategic grazing to minimise frost risk
  4. The impact of emerging soil amelioration practices on frost severity, duration and damage sustained by wheat.