PATTERNS IN LODGED WHEAT
Report by Judy Arndt, posted April, 2001
Lodged (randomly downed) grain in the Edmonton area has a few similarities with the downed grain in crop circle formations. Although not organized in circles, there are repeating internal patterns. Stem node damage is similar to that found in some crop circle formations.
The photos in this report were taken in a wheat field south of Beaumont. This instance of lodging occurred during the period of rapid growth when the seed heads were filling out. The farmer, Andre Goudreau, says the crop goes down every year in this field in the same place. With his permission my husband, Mike Arndt, and I took photos and collected some plant and soil samples.
We also took a look at lodged grain in numerous other fields in areas around of Edmonton--Devon, Leduc, Wetaskawin, Morinville. We found two kinds of lodging:
Central Alberta had a late, cool, wet spring which delayed planting. July was wetter than normal with frequent thunderstorms, windstorms and hail. All of these factors can contribute to lodging. However, in the fields we looked at we saw no bruising, breakage or other evidence of hail damage.
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