Page 2 - MWC 09-9-2021s
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Planting Wheat for Grazing                                                            The Midwest Cattleman · September 9, 2021 · P2

                                   By Paul Beck
         Wheat is a great resource  is the goal. Profitability of
      for Oklahoma farmers and  grazing depends on achieving
      ranchers, it can be used for  the earliest forage produc-
      grazing only, grain produc- tion and maximizing forage
      tion only, or as a dual-pur- during the fall and winter,
      pose grazing and grain crop.  so planting dates can be as
      Ideal planting dates are dif- early as the end of  August
      ferent depending on the in- into early September.
      tended purpose of the crop.           When fields are planted
         The best grain crops are  earlier, soil temperatures are
      usually  planted  much  later  higher and soil moisture is
      in the fall, around mid to  usually limiting, therefore…
      late October. Dual purpose            •Higher     soil    tempera-
      (grazing and grain) crops are  tures limit the length of the
      planted in mid to late Sep- emerging shoot (coleoptile) of                                                       Wheat grazing. Photo-OSU
      tember. Because it is a dou- the plant so planting depth
      ble cropping system, seeding  should be less than 1 inch.             worms, are a bigger issue  cooler  than  clean-till,  mois-
      rates, planting dates, and    •In clean till fields hard              for  early planted wheat, so  ture retention is often bet-
      fertilizer management are  rains can cause the seed bed               scouting and control are im- ter, and there are less prob-
      compromises between the  to crust over hindering emer-                portant.                          lems with soil crusting. The
      needs for fall forage produc- gence of the wheat plant.                 •Seeding rates for early  cooler soil temperatures will
      tion and grain production in          •Earlier seeding makes it       planted wheat are recom- slow seedling emergence for
      the spring.                        difficult to control cool season   mended  to be higher than  late fall plantings but can be
         When wheat is used only  broadleaf and grassy weeds,               later planted wheat at 1.5  of benefit for early planted
      for grazing through the fall  so rotation of crops or seed-           (90 pounds per acre) to 2 (120  wheat.
      and winter and as a graz- ing dates becomes necessary                 pounds per acre) bushels per         Recent research showed
      ing or hay crop in the spring,  to clean up these issues.             acre.                             that fall forage production
      planting dates are much ear-          •Insect pests, such as            In no-till with good residue
      lier than if grain production  grasshoppers and fall army             cover, soil temperatures are                    continued on page 12

                                                                                                                    TERRITORY MANAGERS                                                                                           Gary West  731-335-3023
                                                                                                                  Jeff Anslinger  816-244-7340
                                                                                                                  Logan  Kennedy 417-592-1764
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