Cereals growers have a new tool to help manage yield and quality losses attributed to plant lodging.

Syngenta Canada announced this week that it has received registration for Moddus, a plant growth regulator (PGR) that helps strengthen stems to reduce lodging risk in wheat, barley, and oat crops.

Crops that lodge may suffer lower yields due to poor grain fill and lost grain. As well, growers often have to contend with delayed harvests, heavier workloads, increased grain cleaning, drying and storage costs. Lodged crops may also be more susceptible to disease infection, which impacts quality.

“We know that lodging means major headaches and reduced income,” says Eric Phillips, Syngenta Canada’s fungicides and insecticides product lead, in a press release announcing the product registration. “With Moddus, we are providing a solution that improves harvestability, lets growers push for higher yields and ultimately, get more in the bin.”

Moddus contains trinexapac-ethyl, an active ingredient with years of proven use in managing cereal crop lodging around the world, notes Phillips. The new PGR works by redirecting the plant’s production of gibberellic acid, a hormone responsible for growth, to reduce cell elongation. This results in plants with shorter, thicker stems and improved overall standability, says Syngenta.

Phillips adds that lodging can occur under both favourable, high moisture conditions, or in severe weather, such as heavy winds. Lodging is also influenced by variety selection, soil type, fungal diseases and fertility (nitrogen) rates.

Moddus will be available for the 2021 growing season.

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