A combination of wet soils and strong winds can lead to lodging even if roots systems are healthy; however, plants with damaged or restricted roots are more susceptible to lodging.
Heavy corn rootworm feeding on unprotected root. Corn rootworm damage reduces a plant’s structural support and makes it more susceptible to lodging.
Figure 1 - Yield loss associated with root lodging at different corn devel-opmentstages in a 3-yr Ohio State University study (Lindsey et al., 2021).
Brace roots are important for stabilizing the plant under high winds and recovery after lodging has occurred. Lodging risk is increased when high winds occur before brace roots have fully developed or brace root development has been inhibited by dry soil conditions.
Lindsey, A.J., P.R. Thomison, and P.R. Carter. 2021. Has Corn Response to Root Lodging Changed Over Time? Pioneer Agronomy Research Update. Vol. 11. No. 7. Pioneer. Johnston, IA.