As the cold mornings continue, and forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology say frost will be a regular occurrence next week, landowners are preparing their properties for the upcoming months.
For Marty Colbert, Nhill, croppers throughout the Wimmera-Mallee area continue to try and figure out the best ways to tackle it in innovative ways.
"Crops are not really in the danger zone right now but where work on measuring frost will be a major factor will be about September through to say mid-October," he said.
Despite the need to not worry at the moment, Mr Colbert said farmers should prepare for that spring window if the long-term forecast continues to be cold.
"Last year was okay for frosts, but this year, with the way the weather cycles are, I believe 2022 could be a really bad year for frost, and that crunch time will be around September for croppers."
Mr Colbert said there are a lot of questions as to why varying levels of frost occur, but producers have made concerted efforts to understand why it happens.
Military-grade drone technology has been vital for Mr Colbert to track weather activity on his property and has seen some success in figuring out the trajectory where frost lands.
"I have trial sites measuring not just the temperature, but also how long it was cold for, and the impact it has for the crop, simply because there is varying levels of impact from nothing to extreme," he said.
"We all know that cold air falls down, much like when you open a fridge and cold air falls to your feet and those cold air masses that go across a paddock and come off the hills if you are in a lower area.
"You do get more damage in the low areas from frost, and I want to develop a way to make sure I crop in the right areas, so I use a thermal drone map to figure where the cold air masses are."
Study results from the first year of similar technology at the new Frost Learning Centre at Farrell Flat, 150 kilometres north of Adelaide, have found thermal cameras and drones were the most effective way to measure the actual plant temperature.
But in the short term, farmers need not worry about the current cold mornings.
James Murray, senior manager of research at the Birchip Cropping Group said crops should withstand current frost.
"Frost on grain crops in July in northern Victoria is not unusual, therefore not overly alarming," Mr Murray said
"Later in the season, when crops are more advanced, [frost will be] problematic, but we are far from that at present.
"It creates a bit of an interruption to herbicide applications ... but will generally be manageable."
And while research continues, Mr Colbert said there is a frost "holy grail" out there for farmers and researchers to find.
While more conclusive evidence needs to come through, he says finding specific light bands taken from the air by drones may lead to showing early signs of frost impact, which could alter cropping operations for the better.
"This is a one-in-a-million chance of happening, but in a few weeks' time if we get a big rain, that water could go down stems of young plants, freeze, and can cause some damage," Mr Colbert said.
"But at the moment frost right now is inconsequential for croppers."
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