Frost damage being noticed in crops in Victoria and South Australia

Cameron Penny, Warracknabeal, in a paddock of Elmore variety wheat. He said the crop still had good potential and is hoping for a solid October rain to allow it to achieve its full yield potential.

Cameron Penny, Warracknabeal, in a paddock of Elmore variety wheat. He said the crop still had good potential and is hoping for a solid October rain to allow it to achieve its full yield potential.

SEASONAL conditions have turned sour in northern Victoria and eastern South Australia, with frost the major culprit.

While farmers in the northern Mallee in Victoria are still hopeful of average yields, there is unease about the severity of frost damage.

Further south, crops in the southern Mallee and northern Wimmera remain fresh but some growers are looking to the sky for a final rain.

Simon Craig, an agronomist with Farm 360 based in the northern Mallee, said there was heavy frost damage in his local area and across the Murray River into the far western Riverina.

“I expect we will see some barley paddocks with 50 per cent losses due to frost,” he said. “The field peas and lentils have dropped their flowers so they will also be hit hard, I’d expect up to 80 per cent yield loss in some of the peas.”

Mr Craig said there had been several frosts, but farmers felt a frost which at face value seemed innocuous had done the worst damage.

“It was not that cold in terms of minimum temperatures but it was cold for a long time and it seems to have been the one that has knocked the crop about,” Mr Craig said. 

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