What is crop lodging?
There are two types of crop lodging in the UK; root lodging and stem lodging, Both can damage the yield and profitability potential of the crop.
Root lodging is the most damaging and the most prevalent type of lodging in the UK.
- Anchorage strength depends on spread and depth of the crown roots.
- Regions of the crown root surrounded with a rhizosheath provide anchorage.
- Deep roots are only for water. Wide spread & depth increases anchorage strength. More tillers = more crown roots = greater anchorage
- Most anchorage strength development occurs between GS 30-39
Root lodging occurs if plant leverage is greater than anchorage strength
Stem lodging can reduce stem strength by 50% as it gets closer to harvest due to grain fill.
- Shortening/strengthening of lower internodes is important – these break when stem lodging occurs
- Gibberellins are produced at the nodes to initiate cell elongation above that node
- PGRs have greatest effect on node immediately below the growing point
- PGR applied with fungicide at GS32 (targeting Leaf 3) needs to work quickly to shorten/strengthen lower internodes
- PGR applied with fungicide at GS30/31 (targeting Leaf 4) needs to work quickly under variable conditions to shorten/ strengthen lowest internode and encourage rooting
Quick, reliable PGR activity is important for lower internodes