SOWMAN: Sowing management for minimizing the risk of frost and heat damage

De Li Liu1, Felicity Harris1, Bin Wang1, Eric Koetz1, Peter Martin2, Aaron Preston1, Graeme Sandral1, Michael Cashsen1, Tim Sides1

1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia

2 Howqua Consulting, 48 Fulham Road, Alphington, Victoria, Australia


Extreme temperature damage to Australian grain crops remains the major production constraint with estimated losses of $1,100M per year. Thus, it is crucial to reduce such losses to improve food security for Australian and international consumers. NSW DPI developed a computer based decision support called SOWMAN to help farmers select the most appropriate varieties at sowing for minimum risk of frost and heat damage. SOWMAN is based on a phenology model that integrates varietal response to vernalisation, temperature and photoperiod and their interactions. The phenological parameters of up to 163 varieties were fitted using multiple regression analysis, based on over 13,000 sowing-flowering observations. The parameterised variety models are established as site-specific models (SSMs) and generic models (GMs). GMs can be used when site specific field observations for a variety are unavailable. SOWMAN is currently applicable to southern NSW and can be applied to other regions when observed sowing-flowering data are available for model validation.



The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2015 - 2017 Conference Design Pty Ltd