The provision of grower and breeder information on the frost susceptibility of wheat in Australia
The frost susceptibility of Australian commercial cereal crops, in particular wheat and barley, has become an economically devastating issue for growers. The relative risk to frost damage of the currently available varieties is obtained through testing varieties in a series of field experiments at locations susceptible to frost events (FEs). The experimental design, measurement protocols and resultant data from these frost expression experiments (FEEs) are complex due to the unpredictability of the timing and severity of FEs, and the maturity of the plants at the time of the events. Design and protocol complexities include the use of multiple sowing dates and the recording of plant maturity. Data difficulties include a high degree of unbalance, and in the instance of multiple frosts in a FEE, there is a longitudinal aspect. A linear mixed model analysis was adopted to accommodate these characteristics of individual FEEs and the multi-environment trial analysis of 17 FEEs. Finally, an approach is demonstrated for dissemination of results that are of use to both growers and breeders.