9 March 2001


KEEPING cereals standing is critical for profitable production. Yield losses alone from lodging can slice £130/ha off the income of an 8t/ha crop. Additional quality losses plus extra combining, drying and cleaning costs can remove a further £250/ha.

As well as that, individual variety weaknesses, high plant populations, early drilling and heavy final yields all increase lodging risk. But with this seasons mixed bag of crops, how do you assess which ones might lodge?

To help you get a handle on these decisions, Syngenta and farmers weekly have teamed up to bring you this easy-to-use lodging Crop Health Check.

Lodging itself is determined by two factors – the agronomic risks in individual fields, and the inherent weaknesses of the variety being grown. Crop Health Check provides you with a simple measure of both.

To use it, simply consider each field in turn and score each of the agronomic risk factors listed according to the points value given. Then, total the scores to identify whether the crop is at high, medium or low lodging risk.

Finally, look up your variety in the table to identify its main lodging weakness.

Findings of both steps can be used to improve the precision of plant growth regulator use.

Dont let lodging limit your crop

profits. Follow our crop health check

to gauge risks field by field.

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Over the past four years, Syngenta, in conjunction with Harper Adams University College, has conducted detailed investigations to identify lodging weaknesses in all the main varieties of winter wheat – root anchorage, stem strength or crop height.

Using this, it is possible to tailor PGR programmes according to precise variety needs.

Moddus with its triple action, has been shown to give powerful protection against all three lodging weaknesses. Application during tillering (GS25-30) increases root mass and length. Application at GS31-32 increases stem thickness and strength. And application during stem elongation (GS33-37) reduces crop height.

Based on this, variety-specific Moddus recommendations have now been developed.

Step One – Identify agronomic risks


Risk 1: Field lodging history

a) Crop never lodges 1 point

b) Some lodging most years -1 point

c) Severe lodging most years -2 points

Risk 2: Drilling date

a) Before 20 September -3 points

b) Between 20 September and 30 September -2 points

c) Between 1 October and 15 October 0 points

d) After 15 October 1 point

Risk 3: Spring plant population

a) Low (less than 150 plants/sq m) 1 point

b) Medium (150 – 250 plants/sq m) 0 points

c) High (250+ plants/sq m) -1 points

Risk 4: Estimated yield potential

a) Less than 7t/ha 1 point

b) 7-8t/ha 0 points

c) 8-10t/ha -1 points

d) More than 10t/ha -2 points

Total score

Score -2 to -8 High lodging risk

Agronomic factors indicate field has high lodging risk and PGR application is almost certainly worthwhile. Identify specific variety weakness to ensure PGR is targeted to maximum effect.

Score -1 to 2 Average lodging risk

Agronomic factors indicate medium lodging risk. PGR may be especially important in lush, forward crops. Check specific variety weakness to ensure PGR is only used where needed the most.

Score 3 plus Low lodging risk

Crop unlikely to lodge. But check specific variety weaknesses in cases where extra insurance required.

Step two – Identify variety weaknesses

Specific lodging risk factor

NIAB Crop Stem Root

Rating height base anchorage

strength strength

Equinox 9 *** *** ***

Buster 9 ** ** **

Claire 8 * ** **

Consort 8 *** * ***

Hereward 8 *** ** **

Madrigal 8 *** ** **

Riband 8 * ** **

Malacca 8 ** *** *

Shamrock 8 *** ** **

Brigadier 7 *** ** *

Savannah 7 ** ** **

Eclipse 7 ** ** **

Abbot 6 ** ** **

Hussar 6 ** * *

Rialto 6 * ** **

Soissons 6 * * **

Wellington 6 ** *** **

Charger 5 ** * *

Reaper 5 * ** **

Higher than average lodging risk from this

Medium lodging risk from this characteristic

Lower than average lodging risk from this

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