Plant growth regulators are used for wheat production in many other parts of the world. While there are still issues with export market approval, there’s starting to be more awareness and application of PGRs in Canada.

Chlormequat and ethephon-based PGRs are both commercially available in Canada, however the U.S. does not have an import tolerance established for chlormequat.

While these products are useful in saving a crop at risk of lodging, the best growth regulator for wheat is one that’s approved in all markets, says Graeme Jones, an agronomist from New Zealand who helped set a previous world record for wheat yield.

It’s nitrogen.

“If you have a very thick crop. Putting more nitrogen is only going to make the situation a whole lot worse and you’re going to spend a lot more money on growth regs,” he explains in this Wheat School lesson.

Yield losses from lodging can exceed 30 percent, he notes.

“If you put nitrogen on it, and you wished you hadn’t, growth reg is the only thing you can do to help stand it up.”

“My advice would be to delay nitrogen, and use that as your growth reg…with good nitrogen management and good growth reg management, we shouldn’t tip our crops over,” continues Jones.

Jones joined Shaun Haney to discuss how to prevent lodging, the value of PGRs and more in the Wheat School episode above.


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