11 January 2002

Lodging losses

to top £80m?

LATE drilling, thin crops and a significantly smaller crop area saw total losses to cereal lodging dip to a five-year low in 2001. But that still cost growers £8.5m and losses this year could top £80m, warns plant growth regulator supplier BASF.

The much larger crop area, higher proportion of thick, early-drilled crops and lush, forward growthall mean total lodging losses could match the severe lodging years of 1997 and 1998.

BASFs estimates are based on a survey of crop consultants, which showed lodging averaged 2.5% in wheat and 3% in barley last year. When the value of lost yield, extra drying and slower harvesting are considered, that cost growers £150/ha and £160/ha respectively.

Similar calculations show lodging in 1997 and 1998 cost growers £110m and £74m, says the companys Stefan Hafner. Despite mid-winter frosts, which have checked lush, forward growth, he anticipates a repeat this year.

"It is going to be a year for protecting the current crops high yield potential with a programme of plant growth regulators. New 5C Cycocel followed by Terpal will only cost about £14/ha this season – a small price to pay as an insurance against lodging losses." &#42

LATE drilling, thin crops and a significantly smaller crop area saw total losses to cereal lodging dip to a five-year low in 2001. But that still cost growers £8.5m and losses this year could top £80m, warns plant growth regulator supplier BASF.

The much larger crop area, higher proportion of thick, early-drilled crops and lush, forward growthall mean total lodging losses could match the severe lodging years of 1997 and 1998.

BASFs estimates are based on a survey of crop consultants, which showed lodging averaged 2.5% in wheat and 3% in barley last year. When the value of lost yield, extra drying and slower harvesting are considered, that cost growers £150/ha and £160/ha respectively.

Similar calculations show lodging in 1997 and 1998 cost growers £110m and £74m, says the companys Stefan Hafner. Despite mid-winter frosts, which have checked lush, forward growth, he anticipates a repeat this year.

"It is going to be a year for protecting the current crops high yield potential with a programme of plant growth regulators. New 5C Cycocel followed by Terpal will only cost about £14/ha this season – a small price to pay as an insurance against lodging losses." &#42