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Better Frost Decisions Project

Better Frost Decisions is an extension and communications project that aims to assist farmers in frost-prone areas to make better-informed decisions that will help them to better manage (and reduce) the risk of, and impact from frost.

Better Frost Decisions is part of a national GRDC investment through the project “Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future”, with Mallee sustainable Farming MSF being responsible for implementing this project across the Southern Region. This is a short, sharp project that will run from September 2020 to June 2021.

The Better Frost Decisions project recognises the strength and outreach of local farming systems groups from across the Southern Region, and so will be aiming to reach as many farmers and advisers as possible through this valuable network.


The ultimate aim for the Better Frost Decisions project is to provide growers and their advisers from frost-prone areas with the knowledge, confidence and ability to implement the latest, best management practices to minimise the impact of frost on their profitability.

Better Frost Decisions will provide the mechanism to help growers and their advisers make better decisions that will help to reduce the threat and impact from frost, particularly in relation to;
1. Pre-season planning
2. In-season management
3. Responses to frost events during the growing season

Better Frost Decisions will support a range of local grower events that will allow growers, advisers and researchers to share knowledge and experiences that will help facilitate the following;
1. Sharing the latest research, knowledge, decision-making tools and experiences relating to the practical management of frost
2. Allow growers and advisers to develop strategies to better plan for, and manage frost risk across localized landscapes, farm and paddock scales
3. Responding to frost events, including crop phenology (identification), management options in response to frost damage
4. Provide the opportunity for farmers and their advisers to provide direct feedback to the GRDC in relation to frost-related research priorities that are specific within local farming districts


The Better Frost Decisions team looks forward to working with growers and advisers through the local farming systems group network. The project team comprises the following key experts and support members;

Research and technical experts

1. Kenton Porker, Crop Phenology, SARDI
2. Peter Hayman, Risk Management and Climatic influences, SARDI
3. Michael Moodie, Risk Management and on-farm research, Frontier Farming Systems
4. Mick Faulkner, on-farm frost risk management and frost identification, Agrilink Ag Consultants
5. Ben Biddulph, Frost phenology, frost management and identification, DPIRD
6. Kelly Angel, Frost risk management and on-farm research, BCG

Project Management

1. Tanja Morgan, Project Leader, Mallee Sustainable Farming tanja.morgan@msfp.org.au
2. Jay Cummins, Project Facilitator, Mallee Sustainable Farming jay@iafd.org


The Better Frost Decisions project will conduct three main events:

Spring Frost Response Field Days (September-October 2020)

The Spring Response Field Days will be presented both “out in the paddock” and by way of an on-line virtual field day. These field days will feature practical researchers and advisers who will lead a range of discussions relating to frost identification, responding to frost events, frost risk management and importantly practical Q&A sessions. Local agronomists will provide input into current frost risk strategies complemented by practical grower case studies. These field days will be coordinated and promoted through the farming systems group network, and will run for approximately 90 minutes.

Technical Experts Forum (February 2021)

The Technical Experts Forum will be held as a one-day technical “train the trainer” workshop on the on Monday February 8th 2021 in Adelaide (with a live streaming option also available on-line). The workshops will provide the latest research including phenology, crop flowering and plant breeding aspects, the importance of frost risk mapping and developing on-farm frost risk management strategies.

Grower Frost Risk Neighborhood Forum (February-March 2021)

These grower forums will provide the opportunity for growers to discuss, review and contemplate the practical management options that they can implement in relation to reducing the risk of frost on farm. The forums will also introduce whole-farm frost risk mapping tools, and crop variety selection/sowing time frameworks across the different frost risk zones on their farms.


Growers can contact their local Farming Systems contact (refer to list above), whilst advisers and consultants can contact Dr Jay Cummins jay@iafd.org


What Mallee Farmers think about frost

Better Frost Decisions
Mallee Farmer Case Study: Lachie Singh, Alawoona SA (September 2020)

Better Frost Decisions
Mallee Farmer Case Study: Darryl Summerton, Pinnaroo SA (September 2020)

Better Frost Decisions
Mallee Farmer Case Study: Kevin Bond, Mannum SA (September 2020)

What is frost and contributing factors Dr Ben Biddulph

Identifying Frost: what to look for (GRDC)

Frost damage in canola (NSW) GRDC

Managing Frost Risk, Andrew Hansen, Coomandook SA

Frost experiences southern Victorian Mallee, Simon Cook, Hopetoun, Victoria


Frost Assessment and diagnosis

When, where and how to look for frost damage

Frost identification in cereals overview

Comprehensive Frost Identification Guide for Cereals

Comprehensive Frost Identification Guide for Canola and Pulses

GRDC Frost Tips and tactics (WA)

Management pre and post frost events

Frost mitigation in southern Victorian Mallee; Ross and Simon Cook Hopetoun

Common Frost Q&A’s

GRDC National Frost Initiative overview

Frost Identification: the back pocket guide

Managing Frost Risk (WA) Grower Case Studies GRDC