OSU Extension First Hollow Stem Update Reinforces Imperative Removal of Cattle from Wheat FieldsFri, 24 Feb 2017 16:51:44 CST
As of late, wheat farmers with cattle grazing their wheat pastures around the state have been strongly encouraged by Oklahoma State University Extension to check their fields for signs of First Hollow Stem in their wheat crops.
First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8Ē or the diameter of dime) of stem below the developing grain head. While there is little effect to wheat crops grazed prior to this growth stage, any grazing allowed beyond this point could result in significant reduction of crop yields.
State Small Grains Specialist David Marburger, has been keeping track of his test plots across the state, looking for initial indications of FHS. In recent observations of his plots in Stillwater and Chickasha, last conducted Friday, February 24th, Marburger reports there is already several wheat varieties that have achieved this stage of growth and suggests producers examine their own fields as soon as possible and remove cattle accordingly.
Marburgerís records indicate all but two wheat varieties in the Stillwater plot have reached FHS. Conversely only two varieties in the Chickasha plot have achieved FHS, although, growth measurements are not trailing by a truly significant amount.
The differences in the data of these plots, would suggest wheat crops in the vicinity of Stillwater are more likely to be at FHS and therefor cattle should be moved off pasture quickly, or farmers run the risk of damaging their net yields.
To see Marburgerís full update on the Stillwater plot, click here.
To see Marburgerís full update on the Chickasha plot, click here.
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