October 4, 2019 | By Rupp Seeds
Stalk lodging, by definition, is breakage of the stalk below the ear. Severely lodged corn leads to increased harvest losses, increased harvest time, increased drying cost, and may result in volunteer corn the following year. Annual yield losses due to stalk lodging in the U.S. range between 5 to 25%. In addition to yield loss, grain quality may also decline as a result of stalk lodging.
There are three main causes of late-season stalk lodging. Severe weather is major cause. High wind and heavy rain can devastate a corn crop in a matter of minutes. Another major cause is insect feeding such as European corn borer. The third major cause of stalk lodging is stalk rot. Stalk rot decreases the corn plant’s ability to resist external stress by weakening the stalk tissue and results in more susceptibility to stalk breakage.
The incidence and severity of stalk rot depends on the susceptibility of the corn product, the presence of the stalk rot organism, and an environment conducive to disease development.
Learn more of the factors that cause lodging and how you can manage harvest to help minimize loss in this issue of SeedSCOOP.SeedSCOOP - How Corn Standability Can Affect Harvest Plans