Got Flat Wheat?

Lodging learnings from recent storms…

Midwestern Ontario has experienced some intense storm bands in recent days.  In recent travels areas north of London (mostly OCCC Area 2), we have seen the impacts of the storms create lodging.  Did your wheat Lean?  Did your wheat Lodge?  Areas generally more to the south have a crop that is more advanced and was a little thinner from spring drought.  Lodging not as wide spread.  Conversely, there is still a fair bit of green in the canopy in Area 2.  Stems are bit green, and heads are filling, lodging appeared in many areas.

As we have seen in years past, there seems to be an interaction of four key factors, not usually one independent root cause when the thunderstorms roll.

CROP DENSITY – seeding date, seeding rate, thicker crops are more lodging prone. Check out our stand assessment calculator Stand Assessment Calculator – C&M Seeds (

VARIETY – some just have better stand ability, even with/without PGR use.

PGR – plant growth regulators are effective tools, proper rate and staging are very influential.

FERTILITY – loamy soil with strong background fertility lead to lush crops with greater chance to lodge.

What can we do now?  Not much.  Some that has just “leaned” will rebound prior to harvest.  Areas that are “right flat” will remain flat, and cause maturity and grade issues.

If less than 5% of your crop is flat, impacts should be minimal on yield and grain grade. 

If 25% of your crop is flat, it will be worthwhile to harvest the good areas separate from the flat areas.  It will be annoying for the combine operator, but it will protect grade on majority of crop.

If more than half of your crop is flat, it would be smart to make an advance plan.  Grade discounts are very likely.  Be prepared.

The lodged areas will have risk of higher disease, sprouting, and likely receive grade discounts.  In a year where Ontario has a big wheat crop, grade penalties will be severe.

Check out a previous Wheat News Plus article about lodging from 2021. What the Flat!

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