East Anglia: Half of winter oilseed crop has lodged

An estimated half of the winter oilseed crop has lodged, according to estimates by consultants Adas.

East Anglian oilseed rape specialist Grainseed has pointed out that lower biomass varieties with strong stem stiffness and high resistance to lodging had stood up to the weather challenge.

Neil Groom, who is the Eye-based technical director, said that there had been a high degree of lodging around the country. “Unsurprisingly with high rainfall and high winds that have been an unwanted characteristic of this year’s spring and summer weather, we are seeing much more lodging this year than we have seen for many years.

“And there are very obvious varietal distinctions. It has been the low biomass varieties with high ratings for stem stiffness and lodging risk, such as Es Astrid, Es Alienor, Es Cubic and Es Agatha, that have literally stood the test of time.”

He said that lodging can cause significant and costly problems in terms of crop management. “Lodging doesn’t just cause problems with harvesting; there’s the issue of canopy health, speed of grain dry down and ease of desiccation management. Lodged crops take a lot more time and effort and cost a lot more to combine and to dry down. Crops that have lodged create high humidity within the canopy and this encourages disease such as alternaria and botrytis. Sclerotinia will also keep spreading in lodged crops by plant to plant contact.


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“I have seen some crops here in the ‘dry’ Eastern Counties, generally taller hybrids, that lodged at early flowering and where the pods in these crops are rotting in the field.”

The popular low biomass conventional Astrid has ‘8’ ratings for both resistance to stem lodging and stem stiffness and a height of 142 cms and it is standing really well in the field this year. Alienor, which has become more popular because of its very early maturity and vigour, also has 8 ratings for resistance to stem lodging and stem stiffness and a height of 147 cms. Cubic is the same as Astrid but with a height of 144 cms,” he added.

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