BCG Main Field Day to discuss frost identification and management


Seasonal conditions in 2017 have been conducive for frost events in the Wimmera and Mallee, with the slow moving high systems tracking over south eastern Australia.

At the BCG Main Field Day on 13 September, BCG senior research officer Kelly Angel and Think Agri consultant Kate Burke will discuss how to identify frost damage and management strategies to reduce frost risk.

Ms Angel explained that there were incidents of frost causing damage in 2016, but the seasonal conditions of 2017 have meant that there have been more clear cloudless nights.

“I heard stories in 2016 of headers entering paddocks, harvesting a strip, and moving on to better paddocks, they didn’t realise the relatively mild October event had caused so much damage. Paddocks with high and low ground ranged from 5t/ha to no grain yield,” she said. 

Being able to identify if a frost event has occurred and what damage it may have caused can greatly assist in management decisions and logistics.

Research has suggested that frost has become one of the most significant risks to broadacre grain production.

Ms Angel said there are several factors that have made modern cropping systems more prone to frost including earlier sowing dates and the uptake of mid-season varieties more likely to flower during the most frost prone months if sown in early windows.

“Monitoring crops after a frost – particularly from late booting until late grain fill when they are most susceptible – will ensure any damage is identified early and management decisions can be made accordingly.”

BCG has been part of the GRDC ‘national frost initiative’ since its inception in 2014 with a particular focus on management strategies in the areas of stubble, seeding rates and direction and nitrogen management and its impact on frost severity.

“Being part of a larger national program means data from different agroecological regions can be compiled, giving greater strength to outcomes” explained Ms Angel. 

Attendees to the BCG Main Field Day will also get the opportunity to look at a range of wheat, barley, pulse variety and management trials, hear about emerging chemistry, yellow leaf spot and spot form of net blotch management

Other topics to be discussed on the day are emerging weeds and their management, a farmer-built shielded sprayer, alternative capital funding for farm businesses, the economics of controlled traffic farming and fire prevention and management during harvest and much more.

The 2017 BCG Main Field Day will be held at Curyo on September 13 from 9am. Entry is free for BCG members and $50 for non-members. Breakfast, available from 8.15am, and lunch are available to purchase on-site. For more details contact BCG on (03) 5492 2787 or visit

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