Frosty conditions allow vital BCG frost work to advance

BCG’s Frost Trial has been a focus for BCG’s research team, with recent frosts allowing for data to be collected. The trial is looking at the economics of grazing, grain production and salvage hay production to paint a picture of the financial outcomes of different frost management decisions.

BCG researcher Genevieve Clarke is leading the work, jointly funded by The Yitpi Foundation and Hugh DT Williamson and is optimistic about the results of this year’s trial: “We’ve had 20 days where the temperature dropped below zero at canopy height as of 16th September. While the data is not yet available the impact of frost is clearly visible on emerged heads in early sown spring wheat and ungrazed plots.”

The team have been undertaking flowering assessments to capture flowering dates and how grazing might hold back development, pushing things into a lower-risk frost window: “What we are seeing so far is that recovery from late grazing has been quite good considering seasonal conditions. We are seeing a delay in flowering from grazing but are predicting the loss of the primary tiller due to grazing late may impact yield given the dry seasonal conditions,” Genevieve said.

Genevieve led a discussion regarding the trial at BCG Members’ Field Day this month with 90 farmers in attendance enjoying the opportunity to walk through the trial and see first-hand the visual difference between treatments.

“Being able to show growers these trials is an important and enjoyable part of our research and extension efforts. By engaging with growers, it increases the reach and longevity of our research.”

When heads are further advanced and filling, BCG will undertake frost induced sterility assessments to determine the level of impact on grain development across the treatments, adding further value to the research.

For more information on this trial contact BCG Research and Extension Officer Genevieve Clarke on 0422 988 088.

Above: The bottom section of this wheat exhibits frost damage due to this section being at a vulnerable stage when frost occurred.

Above: This wheat has been frosted while still in the sheath.

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