Romulo Lollato with Cattle Grazing Wheat Research Update

(Romulo Lollato) I’m Romulo Lollato, Extension Wheat Specialist with Kansas State University. Today we are here in the South Central Experiment Field near Hutchinson. We’re going to talk to you about some of the applied information that my Research and Extension program wants to bring to you Kansas wheat producers. Today we are going to focus on wheat producers who are dual purpose. So probably focusing on South Central and Southwest Kansas producers who are grazing their wheat early in the growing season until early spring and then go on for grain production. This project where we’re standing in right here, is a project with the intent of bringing you applied information of when the best moment is to remove cattle out of your wheat crop so we’re not penalizing our wheat fields grain yield. And that moment of course is what we call the first hollow stem. So the first hollow stem is when we have about half an inch of hollow stem below the developing grain head, in between the grain head and the crown. In this project as you can see, we are looking at several varieties — we have over 20 varieties here that are planted earlier in mid-September at a higher seeding rate, so about a hundred twenty pounds per acre. We’re actually doing what we recommend for dual-purpose wheat production here; early seeding date and increased seeding rate. We’re coming here at a weekly basis later on during late winter and early spring and we’re collecting biomass out – collecting plants out of these plots, bringing them back to the lab and splitting several stems open and measuring the first hollow stem on these varieties. The intent of this project is really to send you producers applied information of – if you’re planting a given variety, it’s about time for you to start thinking about removing your cattle, otherwise you’re going to start penalizing your grain yields. It’s important to remember, every day that you graze past first hollow stem, that cattle is removing some of the developing wheat heads so you’re penalizing your grain yield in as much as 5% per day. It’s a very high yield penalty there we have for grazing past first hollow stem. Removing cattle out on a given date, that you’re probably hurting your yields. Removing your cattle at jointing, you’re probably hurting your yields. Here, my intent is to send you that information. If you’re here around the region, you know that — and you’re planting a given variety, you know that it’s about time to start thinking of removing cattle. But again, it’s very important for you to be checking it on your own field at an individual field basis because this is going to vary with variety and with field. For net information, follow me on Twitter @KSUWheat or like me on Facebook, K-State Wheat and be aware of the Agronomy eUpdates that we send on a weekly basis. We follow that information for you.

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