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Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

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Extension Agronomy

First hollow stem update: March 18, 2020


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 the eUpdate article “Optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pastures: First hollow stem”).

First hollow stem update

In order to screen for FHS during this important time in the growing season, the K-State Extension Wheat and Forages crew measures FHS on a weekly basis in 28 different commonly grown wheat varieties in Kansas. The varieties are in a September-sown replicated trial at the South Central Experiment Field near Hutchinson.

Ten stems are split open per variety per replication (Figure 1), for a total of 40 stems monitored per variety. The average length of hollow stem is reported for each variety in Table 1. While no varieties had reached first hollow stem in our last measurement on March 11, 20 varieties had already reached first hollow stem on March 18, 2020, demonstrating how quickly wheat varieties can grow and develop in the spring once favorable conditions (i.e., warmth, moisture, and nutrients) are present.
 

https://webapp.agron.ksu.edu/agr_social/lib/Filemanager/userfiles/02222017/eUpdate02222017-A02-F01.gif

Figure 1. Ten main wheat stems were split open per replication per variety to estimate first hollow stem for this report, for a total of 40 stems split per variety. Photo by Romulo Lollato, K-State Research and Extension.

 

Table 1. Length of hollow stem measured March 18, 2020 of 28 wheat varieties sown mid-September 2019 at the South Central Experiment Field near Hutchinson. The critical FHS length is 1.5 cm (about a half-inch or the diameter of a dime). The least significant difference for varieties to be considered statistically different was 0.71 cm.

Variety

First hollow stem (cm)

2/25/2020

3/2/2020

3/11/2020

3/18/2020

09BC308-14-16

0.07

0.25

0.62

1.51

AM Cartwright

0.23

0.31

0.60

1.24

AM Eastwood

0.11

0.19

0.41

1.00

Bentley

0.11

0.34

0.68

1.28

Bob Dole

0.06

0.15

0.54

1.04

Doublestop CL Plus

0.06

0.22

0.46

1.75

Gallagher

0.14

0.33

0.58

1.83

Green Hammer

0.05

0.16

0.52

1.93

Guardian

0.04

0.18

0.70

1.47

KS Dallas

0.11

0.29

0.72

1.82

KS Silverado

0.12

0.26

0.72

1.77

KS Western Star

0.11

0.29

0.64

2.04

LCS Valiant

0.07

0.29

0.47

1.27

Long Branch

0.28

0.43

1.15

4.02

Paradise

0.08

0.34

0.60

1.77

Rock Star

0.08

0.27

0.57

1.57

Showdown

0.12

0.32

0.67

2.07

Smith's Gold

0.11

0.28

0.49

0.81

SY Achieve CL2

0.12

0.28

0.70

2.16

SY Wolverine

0.14

0.23

0.66

1.79

TAM205

0.08

0.29

0.78

1.82

WB4269

0.10

0.22

0.53

0.97

WB4303

0.09

0.21

0.51

1.64

WB4595

0.21

0.33

0.68

1.74

WB4699

0.01

0.21

0.51

1.54

WB4792

0.11

0.36

0.86

2.35

Whistler

0.06

0.32

0.64

2.11

Zenda

0.08

0.28

0.63

1.77

 

A total of 20 varieties reached first hollow stem in the period between March 11 and March 18. The only varieties that had yet to reach first hollow stem were AM Cartwright, AM Eastwood, Bentley, Bob Dole, Guardian, LCS Valiant, Smith’s Gold, and WB4269. We will report first hollow stem during the next week again until all varieties are past this stage. Additionally, first hollow stem is generally achieved within a few days from when the stem starts to elongate, so we advise producers to closely monitor their wheat pastures at this time.

The intention of this report is to provide producers an update on the progress of first hollow stem development in different wheat varieties. 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.

 

Contact author:

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

Co-authors:

Kavan Mark, Research Assistant

Roberta Rebesquini, Visiting Assistant Scientist

Renan Oliveira Batista, Visiting Assistant Scientist

Marcos Feliciano, Visiting Assistant Scientist

Andrei Dobner, Visiting Assistant Scientist