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K-State Agronomy eUpdates

Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

agronomy@ksu.edu

Extension Agronomy

First hollow stem update: February 26, 2016

Cattle should be removed from wheat pastures when the crop reaches first hollow stem (FHS). Grazing past this stage can severely affect wheat yields (for a full explanation, please refer to Agronomy eUpdate article “Optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pastures: First hollow stem” in the Feb. 5, 2016 issue).

Despite the warm temperatures observed the week of Feb. 20-26 in most of the wheat growing regions of Kansas, most varieties in our replicated trial near Hutchinson still have not reached FHS. Many varieties are still in the early stages of stem elongation (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. This stem has barely any visible elongated hollow stem, and is still far from FHS. Photo by Romulo Lollato, K-State Research and Extension.

The average length of hollow stem is reported in Table 1. As of Feb. 26, the more advanced varieties have between 0.41 and 0.52 cm of hollow stem and therefore are not yet at FHS, which occurs at 1.5 cm (about a half-inch). More advanced varieties are WB4303, WB-Redhawk, WB4458, Overley, Gallagher, WB-Cedar, and 1863; but none has yet reached FHS.

From a FHS perspective, producers grazing wheat in the south central region of Kansas do not have to worry about removing cattle from wheat pastures at this point, but are encouraged to check for FHS in their own fields. Reports from Jeff Edwards, former Oklahoma State University Small Grains Extension Specialist, indicate that several varieties had already reached FHS on February 23 at Stillwater, north-central Oklahoma. Thus, producers near the southern board of Kansas who currently have cattle on wheat and intend to harvest the crop for grain are encouraged to check for FHS from a non-grazed area of their fields on the next few days.

Table 1. Length of hollow stem measured on Feb. 23, 2016 of 23 wheat varieties sown Sept. 26, 2015 near Hutchinson. The critical FHS length for purposes of cattle removal is 1.5 cm.

Variety

Hollow stem length

 

cm

1863

0.41

Bentley

0.31

Danby

0.33

Doublestop CL Plus

0.31

Duster

0.31

Everest

0.35

Gallagher

0.42

KanMark

0.38

LCS Chrome

0.29

LCS Mint

0.27

LCS Pistol

0.35

LCS Wizard

0.34

Overley

0.43

Ruby Lee

0.38

SY Flint

0.34

SY Wolf

0.35

T158

0.30

TAM 114

0.33

WB4303

0.52

WB4458

0.45

WB-Cedar

0.41

WB-Grainfield

0.39

WB-Redhawk

0.48

Variety

P < 0.01

LSD (0.05)

0.11

 

The intention of this report to is provide producers a weekly update on first hollow stem of different wheat varieties in the current growing season. Producers should use this information as a guide, but it is extremely important to monitor FHS from an ungrazed portion of each individual wheat pasture to take the decision of removing cattle from wheat pastures.

 

Romulo Lollato, Wheat and Forages Specialist
lollato@ksu.edu

DooHong Min, Forage Agronomist
dmin@ksu.edu

Rafael Maeoka, Assistant Scientist
maeoka@ksu.edu

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Graduate Research Assistant
adeolive@ksu.edu

Brent Jaenisch, Graduate Research Assistant
bjaenisch5@ksu.edu

Gary Cramer, Agronomist-in-Charge, South Central Experiment Field
gcramer@ksu.edu