Extension Agronomy eUpdate (March 2, 2023)

Tips for safe and successful prescribed burning this spring. The prescribed burning season in Kansas has started. The outlook for potential wildland fire in Kansas is above normal for parts of Kansas (see recent eUpdate article https://bit.ly/3kn35gM). This article discusses reasons for conducting a prescribed burn and ways to have a safe and successful prescribed burn when much of the state in a heightened state for wildfires. In addition, there are some online tools and resources that will be useful when planning a prescribed burn.

Optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pastures: First hollow stem. The unique climate characteristics of the US Southern Great Plains allow producers to use wheat as a forage and grain crop (dual-purpose), potentially increasing overall profitability compared to grain-only or forage-only systems. Date of grazing termination is an important factor in determining wheat’s recovery potential and ability to produce grain. First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pastures to protect grain yield potential.

First hollow stem update – March 2, 2023. Cattle should be removed from wheat pastures when the crop reaches first hollow stem (FHS). Grazing past this stage can severely affect wheat yields. For a full explanation, please refer to the eUpdate article “Optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pastures: First hollow stem” in this issue.

Wheat Variety Fall Forage Yield Comparison for 2022-23. 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.

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