Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

When Haying Drought-Stressed Summer Annuals, It Pays to be Patient

Wed, 08 Aug 2012 12:42:32 CDT

When Haying Drought-Stressed Summer Annuals, It Pays to be Patient
With forage supplies running short due to the drought, Oklahoma State University Extension Animal Scientist Emeritus Glenn Selk says the temptation to hay summer annuals such as sorghums, millets, and sudan grass hybrids when they green up after a rain may be overwhelming. In an article in the latest Cow-Calf Corner of the Extension newsletter, Selk says it pays to be patient.

A few spotty rain showers may fall even in the midst of heat and drought. They are not the kind to end a drought, but they momentarily cool the air, make the pastures and hay fields look a little greener, and improve farmer and rancher attitudes. In the case of drought-stressed summer annuals such as forage sorghums, millets, and sudangrass hybrids, the rain-shower may be a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Avoid cutting the summer annual hay immediately after a drought-easing rain. Often the highest concentrations of nitrate will be in the first 48 hours after the first rain after an extended heat and drought stress period. Usually it takes the plants at least about a week to return to normal nitrate concentrations if the weather and moisture conditions remain favorable. The drought-stressed plant may again be taking up nitrates from the soil, but not have the enzymes present in great enough quantity to reduce the nitrate on to form amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of plant proteins. With time and good moisture conditions the plant may return to normal metabolism and growth, which in turn will cause reduced nitrate concentrations.

However, in the meantime, producers should continue to check the forage with samples sent to a laboratory for quantitative evaluation or conduct the field test with diphenylamine nitrate kits available at most Oklahoma State University County Extension offices. Once the forage is cut, the nitrate concentration will stay approximately the same until fed next winter. Therefore it is imperative to know the nitrate level before the crop is harvested.

Learn more about nitrate toxicity in cattle by downloading the OSU Fact Sheet PSS-2903 Nitrate Toxicity in Livestock by clicking here.



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2 p.m. Friday, October 22, 2021  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:19:14 CDT
  • Friday, October 22, 2021, Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:15:18 CDT
  • Labor Shortages are the Root Cause of Stagnant Cattle Prices Says Justin Benavidez  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 13:14:24 CDT
  • OSU Inks Head Football Coach Mike Gundy to New Contract  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 13:11:06 CDT
  • Dairy Management Inc. 2020 Annual Report Available Online  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:40:03 CDT
  • Sign Up Now for the 2022 National Farmers Union Women's Conference  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:33:48 CDT
  • OSU Agriculture Honors Distinguished Group During Ceremony  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:54:25 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.