New publication on wheat variety fall forage yield and first hollow stem dates

A new K-State Research and Extension publication, Wheat Variety Date of First Hollow Stem, Fall Forage Yield, and Grain Yield 2016, MF3312, is now available. It is online at:

This publication evaluated the fall forage yield, date of first hollow stem, and grain yield of current varieties in dual-purpose vs. grain-only systems at the South Central Experiment Field near Hutchinson.

Fall forage yield potential is an important trait in dual-purpose systems because it sets the potential beef production from wheat grazing in the fall, winter, and early spring. Approximately 100 pounds of beef can be produced for every 1,000 pounds of wheat forage produced in an acre. Forage production is dependent on variety selection, planting date, seeding rate, and especially on fall precipitation and temperature.

Date of first hollow stem is an important trait in dual-purpose systems. Terminating grazing at the right time is essential to maintaining the crop’s grain yield potential. Grazing past first hollow stem can decrease wheat grain yields by as much as 1 to 5 percent per day. Depending on environmental conditions, varieties with a shorter vernalization requirement might reach first hollow stem up to 30 days earlier than varieties with a longer vernalization requirement. An early occurrence of first hollow stem reduces the grazing window into early spring. In photoperiod-sensitive varieties, date of first hollow stem is dependent on temperature and day length.

Grain yield following grazing is another important variety-specific trait in dual-purpose systems. Varieties that rely mostly on fall-formed tillers to produce grain yield generally show a greater yield penalty from grazing than varieties with a good spring tiller potential.


Romulo Lollato, Wheat and Forages Specialist

Gary Cramer, Agronomist-in-Charge, South Central Experiment Field

Jane Lingenfelser, Assistant Agronomist, Crop Performance Testing



Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Agronomy Graduate Research Assistant

Rafael Maeoka, Agronomy Visiting Scientist

Brent Jaenisch, Agronomy Graduate Research Assistant