Device to Determine Susceptibility to Root Lodging
For Information, Contact:
Jay Bjerke
Commercialization Manager, Engineering
Web Published:
Researchers have developed a device that can be used to measure root lodging susceptibility in corn.

Development Stage:
The device has been tested under a variety of soil conditions and plant maturity levels and has been shown to distinguish between strong and weak corn hybrids.  ISU is seeking partners interested in commercializing this technology.

Corn is one of the most important and valuable crops grown in the US.  Because of its significance to agriculture, corn breeders strive to develop corn hybrids that are agronomically sound, with traits such as insect and disease resistance, tolerance for heat and drought, and high yield.  Mechanical harvesting of corn also demands that plants be uniform in growth rate, stand establishment, and size. In order for corn plants to stand tall and withstand various mechanical forces applied to the stalk, such as wind, rain, or harvesting equipment, it is important for the plant stalk to have good mechanical properties and be firmly anchored in the soil by its roots; traits such as stalk lodging and root lodging are related to the plant’s mechanical properties. Stalk lodging is breakage of the stalk below the ear while root lodging is where a plant leans away from the vertical access at a 30 degree angle or greater. Researchers have now developed a device that can be used to can be used to measure a corn hybrid’s susceptibility to root lodging earlier in the development of cycle of a new hybrid when fewer plants may be available for testing.  This device pushes on a corn stalk to simulate root lodging; it measures the vibration as force is exerted on the stalk and breakage occurs, and records the data. Thus, accurate comparisons among hybrids without the need to wait for wind or other environmental event to measure lodging are enabled. In addition, this handheld device is portable and easy to use, making it suitable for routine field testing.

• Enables testing for root lodging susceptibility earlier in the corn hybrid development cycle
• Allows for quantitative measurement of root lodging susceptibility and hybrid to hybrid comparisons
• Hand held and portable for easy field testing
Determination of corn plant susceptibility to root lodging
Patent Information:
*To see the full version of the patent(s), follow the link below, then click on "Images" button.
Country Serial No. Patent No. Issued Date
United States 12/577,329 7,987,735* 8/2/2011

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