THE Grains Research and Development Corporation has gone back to basics in solving the frost issue.
Opening the GRDC research update in Ballarat, chairman of the corporation's southern panel David Shannon said two new projects would begin this year to provide base data to guide future investment into frost research.
Mr Shannon said one project was a two-year frost situation analysis to quantify the severity, timing and frequency of frost event in different agro-economic zones across Australia.
He said it would look at historical data analysis and simulation modelling.
Mr Shannon said the other project was a three-year study to generate frost tolerance data which related specifically to crop yield.
"It would quantify varietal performance with frosts," he said.
"When you look at glasshouse work on individual varieties to determine the percentage of damage from frosts, it doesn't necessarily give us a feel of how they will perform in the field.
"There is some compensatory effects from plants in the field.
"So we are trying to get a feel on the differences we are seeing in current varieties and hopefully that will give some leads as to what germplasm we need to get back into breeding programs to improve frost tolerance."
Mr Shannon said frost cost the Australian grain industry $360 million a year.
Since 1999, the GRDC had invested $13.5 million into frost-related research.