Effects on Arable Crops

The weight of ash on leaves affects plant survival, increases harvesting costs, and reduces yield. Lucerne and pea crops, regardless of stage of growth, would either fail or have poor yields from ashfalls of 10 mm (0.4 in) or greater. These plants have abundant delicate leaves and stems which are easily damaged by ash, which can reduce the rate of photosynthesis and make the crop susceptible to lodging (bending of the stalk of a plant so that it falls over).