102649 Maize Stalk Lodging: Field Tests of a New Device for Measuring Stalk Strength.
Poster Number 332-923
Devices have now been developed for measuring stalk strength and stalk flexural stiffness in the field. Preliminary field tests were performed at three locations and involved both maize and sorghum. These tests indicated that stalks could be tested at rates of 120-180 stalks per hour. A relationship between strength and stiffness was found for both maize and sorghum ranging from R2 = 0.49 (sorghum, green stalks) to R2 = 0.78 (maize, dry stalks).
A field experiment is now in process to determine the broader relevance of the testing device. The experiment consists of 72 varieties grown at 10 locations across the United States. Stalk strength and stiffness will be measured immediately prior to harvest for 20 stalks per location. This data will be analyzed to determine differences (if any) in the strength of each hybrid, location effects on strength, and the stiffness-strength relationship. Once validated, this device could become a valuable breeding tool for increasing stalk strength.