Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barley Lodging

 The barley is ripening as the temperatures reach the eighties and nineties this week.
I found an example of lodged grain in our barley field. Our fields are standing very well, overall.
If the stalk has fallen down and can't get up, even when the sun is shining, it is lodged. This commonly happens in low spots indicating a heavy crop, but can be a problem throughout a field. Lodging occurs when ripening heads of small grains endure a heavy rain or severe wind. The straw cannot hold the head and bends causing an internal break in the structure near the head and/or near the ground.
Above:  Lodged grain is slower to mature, difficult to swath, never dry enough to meet harvest standards and generally a pain to deal with. 
Above:  The lodged spots in GriggsDakota are few and small this season. That could change on any windy or rainy day.
Strength in the straw, referred to as stalk strength is very important when choosing small grain seed varieties.  

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