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

Test Nitrate Levels Before Feeding Failed Crops

Mon, 01 Aug 2022 12:23:23 CDT

Test Nitrate Levels Before Feeding Failed Crops The harvest of fall crops will not go according to plan this season for some Oklahoma producers due to extreme summer heat and drought. For crops like corn that are not harvested for grain, repurposing the plants as forage might be an option.

When feeding a failed field to livestock, producers should first test for nitrate toxicity in crops, such as corn, sorghum or sudan. Alex Rocateli, Oklahoma State University Extension forage systems specialist, said crops intended for grain production may have been fertilized more, stimulating the plant to absorb more nitrates. Herbicides and pesticides might also have been applied.

“Look at the chemical label to make sure there isn’t a grazing or haying restriction for what you had applied,” Rocateli said. “Then sample (the crop) and send it to analysis for nitrate concentrations. County educators can help sample the crop properly, analyze it and interpret the results.”

Rocateli said farmers can graze corn but should not turn hungry cattle onto drought-stressed corn stalks that may contain nitrates. Feed cattle good quality hay before introducing them to the crop but do not overgraze the field.

When the corn is grazed down to a height of 15 inches, remove the cattle from the field. Rocateli said most of the plant’s toxicity is present in the lower stalk, and the last 12 to 15 inches should not be consumed by livestock.

“If the plants are drought stressed and receive rain, wait five to seven days before grazing or cutting for hay,” he said. “After rain, the nitrate concentration will spike before the plant metabolizes it.”

Other methods of feeding failed crops to animals include green chop, silage and baling the field for hay. Rocateli discusses these options on SUNUPTV, OSU Agriculture’s weekly television show.

OSU Extension uses research-based information to help all Oklahomans solve local issues and concerns, promote leadership and manage resources wisely throughout the state's 77 counties. Most information is available at little to no cost.



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Feeder Steers and Heifers Higher, Steer and Heifer Calves Higher at OKC West - El Reno  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 18:17:46 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2 p.m. August 10, 2022  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 14:39:05 CDT
  • Sky is the Limit for Hereford Juniors at Faces of Leadership  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 14:11:15 CDT
  • August 10, 2022, Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 14:05:27 CDT
  • Megan Bradley, Leedey, Okla. Wins National Anthem Singing Contest  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 13:17:39 CDT
  • Blaine County Producer Meeting Coming Up August 11  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 13:13:56 CDT
  • Oklahoma Ag Mediation Program Offered Free of Cost to Agriculture Community  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 13:06:26 CDT
  • Preventing Spread of ASF and More with Alicia Gorczyca-Southerland  Wed, 10 Aug 2022 11:10:05 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 Oklahoma City Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2022 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.