VIDEO: When to Move Grazing Cattle Off Wheat

K-State Research and Extension wheat production specialist Romulo Lollato explains the factors involved in making a decision on when to move cattle away from grazing in a wheat field that will be harvested later.

Lollato notes that winter wheat goes through dormancy in the winter before it turns productive in the spring.

“During this period, we have a huge opportunity to graze the winter crop, providing a large amount of high quality, high protein forage to beef cattle in this region,” Lollato said.

He notes that the appropriate time to terminate grazing is at the point known as the first hollow stem, or when there is a developing hollow stem under the wheat head.

“That is the optimal time to move cattle from wheat pastures to maximize cattle growth, because they were able to harvest a large amount of biomass without penalizing grain yield too much,” Lollato said.

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K-State Research and Extension video by Dan Donnert