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  4. »eUpdate 894 February 24th, 2022»Wheat variety fall forage yield comparison for 2021-2022

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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

Wheat variety fall forage yield comparison for 2021-2022

Fall forage yield is an important aspect of dual-purpose wheat production. In this system, wheat is typically sown earlier than for grain only production, at higher seeding rates and with additional nitrogen fertilizer to maximize forage production.

The weather experienced during the fall is crucial to determine average level of forage yield, with warm and moist weather typically resulting in greater forage yield than cool and dry weather conditions. Management practices that also maximize forage yield are early sowing, higher seeding rates, placement of in-furrow phosphorus fertilizer with the seed at sowing, and fall nitrogen fertilization.

While the weather is typically the largest player in determining fall forage production, followed by management, there are also differences among wheat varieties in forage production potential. Thus, every year, the K-State Wheat Production Group compares the forage yield of several commonly grown wheat varieties and upcoming lines. This test is usually performed in the South Central Experimental  Field near Hutchinson, Kansas (Figure 1), and the forage sampling occurs sometime during December (Table 1).

At the sampling conducted on December 15, 2021, there were significant differences among varieties in terms of forage accumulation. Average forage yield was high (2715 lb dry matter (DM)/a) and with a wide range (from 2119 to 3752 lb DM/a). The varieties that exhibited the highest forage yield were KS Ahearn and KS Hatchett. LCS Atomic AX also had high forage yield with over 3,000 lb DM/a. The high forage yield was function of the combination of an early sowing with good moisture conditions (Figure 1).

Another important aspect of dual-purpose wheat production is how long each variety can be grazed in the spring. This is measured as the date for first hollow stem, and varieties can differ in as much as 20-30 days in achieving first hollow stem in the spring. The Wheat Production Group at K-State uses this very same trial to measure first hollow stem during late February and early March, so keep tuned to the eUpdate for more information on this developmental milestone.


Figure 1. Dual-purpose wheat trial near Hutchinson, KS. The trial was sown on September 21, 2021, with 50 lbs DAP/acre applied in furrow. Weeds were controlled the week prior to sample collection, thus control is still incipient in the photo above. Photo by Romulo Lollato, K-State Research and Extension.


Table 1. Fall forage yield of wheat varieties sown under dual-purpose system near Hutchinson, KS. Forage biomass was collected on December 15, 2021. Data is shown in pounds of dry matter per acre (lbs DM/ac). There were significant statistical differences among varieties at the 5% probability level. Varieties are listed in alphabetical order and the bold text indicates highest forage yielding group. Different varieties with overlapping letters in the “Statistical group” column indicates that varieties did not differ from each other.

Variety

Forage DM yield (lb/a)

Statistical group

AP Exp#1

2479

defg

AP Roadrunner

2119

g

AP18AX

2770

cdef

AM Cartwright

2472

defg

Crescent AX

2941

cde

KS Ahearn

3752

a

KS Hatchett

3689

ab

KS13DH0041-35

2829

cdef

LCS Atomic AX

3110

bc

LCS Chrome

2304

fg

LCS Helix AX

2337

efg

LCS Julep

2484

defg

LCS Photon AX

2723

cdefg

LCS Revere

2459

defg

LCS Runner

2273

fg

LCS Steel AX

2798

cdef

LCS Valiant

2517

cdefg

Plains Gold Ray

2564

cdefg

Zenda

2962

cd

Average

2715

 

Min.

2119

 

Max

3752

 

 

 

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

Andrea Gimena Mier, Visiting Undergraduate Scholar

Brahian Nicolas Davila, Visiting Undergraduate Scholar

Jean Lucas Mendes Castro, Visiting Undergraduate Scholar

Guilherme Sueiro, Visiting Undergraduate Scholar

Gaston Olano de Leon, Visiting Undergraduate Scholar

Jorge Armando Romero, Visiting Scholar