Understanding frost and heat stress extremes in the Western Australia wheat belt

Research objectives

Quantify the extremes and impact of frost and heat stress on the Western Australia wheat belt.

Link with the frost and heat-stress projects underway in South Australia and Victoria to improve understanding of frost and heat stress across southern Australia.

Project duration

2010 – 2013

Progress to date

We have examined trends in springtime temperatures for the Western Australian wheat belt.

The past 50 years has seen a general warming in spring across the wheat belt, but the changes have been mixed.

Locations with stronger warming show a decline in frost risk, while risk has increased where warming has been smaller.

We have designed experiments for grain areas of Western Australia, and set up an APSIM model to study temperature extremes and analyse the risk associated with its occurrence.

We will also test options for avoiding frost and heat risk.

Research contact

Dr Ian Foster

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

ifoster@agric.wa.gov.au

Phone: 08 9368 3333

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