Frost response in lentil. Part 1. Measuring the impact on yield and quality

Audrey Delahunty1, Eileen Perry2,3, Ashley Wallace4, James Nuttall4

1Agriculture Victoria, Cnr of Koorlong Avenue and Eleventh Street, Irymple, Victoria, 3500,, 2Agriculture Victoria, Cnr Midland Highway and Taylors Street, Epsom, Victoria, 3498, 3The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3000, 4Agriculture Victoria, 110 Natimuk Road, Horsham, Victoria, 3400


Radiant frost limits production of lentil in southern Australia, reducing grain yield, causing deformation of grain and reducing grain quality.  Increased understanding of the impacts of frost at different growth stages and severities are important factors to enable effective management to limit financial losses.  Frost chambers were used to apply frost treatments to field-grown lentil (cv. PBA Jumbo 2) to define the response of yield components to frost exposure at different growth stages and intensities.  Lentil crops differentially affected by frost also provided a backdrop for testing the utility of remote sensing to detect damage.  Lentil was most susceptible to frost during the pod filling stage, when every degree hour below zero, reduced yield by 2%.  This compared to a response at flowering, where a threshold of 31° (<0°C) was reached prior to yield reduction, and after which yield declined at 3.8% per °  Importantly, the current methodology effectively created a backdrop of lentil differentially effected by frost which could provide utility to breeding and agronomic programs to characterise in-field frost damage.


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 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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