Postgraduate Profiles

Bonny Stutsel

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Thesis: Frost temperature dynamics and rapid post event identification of frost damage to wheat

Spring radiation frost that occurs during the reproductive stage of wheat growth cost growers millions of dollars in lost yield. The annual average cost across the Australian Wheatbelt is estimated at $360 million. There is also the hidden cost of management strategies such as delayed sowing and planting more tolerant but less profitable crops. Paradoxically despite higher average winter minimum temperatures attributed to climate change, frost frequency has increased in southern grain growing regions, presenting further management challenges for farmers.

This project will use emerging technologies such as Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) using fibre optics and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) fitted with a thermal camera to evaluate techniques that will provide farmers with a better understanding of frost dynamics at the paddock scale and new tools to conduct post-event damage assessment to support better decision making.

Why my research is important

The research has significant outcomes for industry and growers through improved understanding of how frost occurs and where best to place loggers. It will also provide the grain industry with a better understanding how they can embrace or better understand the limitations of disruptive technology such as drones and thermal mapping of post-frost crop damage.

Funding

Fibre optic splicing

Oct 2015

Oct 2018

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