Lodging occurs when the crop falls over and does not return to a standing position. Crop lodging can be very costly to producers and can pose many challenges during harvest. For instance, it is common to see secondary growth on the flattened crop extending maturity and diminishing grain quality.
For the past couple of years, harvest in some parts of the Prairies has been interrupted by heavy snow fall, leaving millions of acres for producers to deal with in the spring. If you’re a grower who has been in this situation, you know that a lodged crop can take twice as many resources to harvest than a standing one.
Not only is it a challenge to take off the field, a lodged crop can have a significant reduction in value. If the crop lodges at ear emergence, yields can be reduced by up to 75 per cent. Although later lodging has less effect on yield, it can impact grain quality, harvest speeds and drying costs.
Continue reading to learn more about crop lodging and what can be done to avoid it, so you are not caught with your plants down.