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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 - March 18, 2022

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 in this issue “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 19 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 30 stems monitored per variety. The average length of hollow stem is reported for each variety in Table 1. As of March 15, 2022, no variety had reached first hollow stem yet but most varieties had started to elongate their stems.
 

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 30 stems split per variety. Photo by Romulo Lollato, K-State Research and Extension.

 

Table 1. Length of hollow stem measured on March 9 and 15, 2022 of 19 wheat varieties sown mid-September 2021 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). Value(s) in bold indicate the highest FHS group.

 

First hollow stem (cm)

 

Variety

3/9/2022

3/15/2022

 

AP Exp#1

0.2

0.3

 

AP Roadrunner

0.7

1.0

 

AP18AX

0.6

0.6

 

AM Cartwright

0.3

0.5

 

Crescent AX

0.4

0.8

 

KS Ahearn

0.3

0.3

 

KS Hatchett

0.1

0.5

 

KS13DH0041-25

0.2

0.5

 

LCS Atomic AX

0.5

0.6

 

LCS Chrome

0.2

0.5

 

LCS Helix AX

0.3

0.4

 

LCS Julep

0.2

0.3

 

LCS Photon AX

0.4

0.5

 

LCS Revere

0.2

0.2

 

LCS Runner

0.2

0.2

 

LCS Steel AX

0.3

0.3

 

LCS Valiant

0.2

0.3

 

Plains Gold Ray

0.3

0.4

 

Zenda

0.5

1.2

 

Average

0.3

0.5

 

Min.

0.1

0.2

 

Max

0.7

1.2

 

 

While no variety had reached first hollow stem as of March 15, 2022, all varieties had started to elongate the stem at different rates and there were statistical differences among the varieties evaluated. Zenda and AP Roadrunner are the ones with the most elongated stems to date. We will report first hollow stem during the next few weeks 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:

Jorge Romero Soler, Visiting Assistant Scientist

Gaston Olano de Leon, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Nicolas Brahian Davila Diaz, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Wallas Mendes da Silva, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Guilherme Sueiro, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Jean Lucas Mendes Castro, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Giovanna Moreira, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Mariana Mota, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Malik Nkrumah, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant

Lucas Henrique Conti Affonseca, Visiting Undergraduate Assistant