Survey to shape frost tool

The West Australian

Australian grain growers and advisers are encouraged to take part in a confidential survey to help shape the delivery of frost tools and resources which best meet the needs of growers in their region.

Frost is estimated to cost the Australian grains industry about $360 million annually in direct and indirect yield losses, and particularly affects western and southern cropping regions.

GRDC National Frost Initiative steering committee chairman Peter Roberts said the online survey would inform the development of Frost Check - which would be a one-stop-shop source of information to support paddock planning, rapid frost recognition and management responses.

"It is important to understand grower and adviser needs for frost information, and how this information is valuable in grower decision-making," he said.

Mr Roberts said the feedback from the survey, available at www.survey monkey.com/r/K65PZ7K, would help ensure Frost Check was easy to use and relevant to grower needs.

"People who complete the survey will go in a draw for a prize," he said.

Mr Roberts, who is also the chairman of the GRDC western regional panel, said Frost Check would incorporate research outcomes from the GRDC National Frost Initiative and other GRDC frost investments.

Frost Check, which is being led by Climate and Agricultural Support director Melissa Rebbeck, will include resources to help growers rapidly assess and respond to frost damage such as:

·Information about frost alert equipment strengths and weaknesses.

·Pictures, clips and podcasts to assist in identifying frost damage.

·Guidelines on using seasonal climate forecast tools to help predict when frost is most likely.

·Decision support information for calculating the costs and benefits of management options.

·Support for advisers to help them interpret data.

Frost Check will also include farm planning resources including:

·How to implement mapping and planning to reduce exposure to/damage from frost.

·Information to help growers choose crop types and varieties.

·Decision support for implementing practices to mitigate the risk of frost damage.

·Guidelines for calculating local frost and heat risk windows.

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