How does prolonged wheat stocker grazing affect financial returns?

With hay provides terribly tight in Oklahoma and winter nonetheless right here, each wheat stocker producers and cow-calf producers are in search of forage sources to get by till stockers are offered or grass greens up for grazing. One temptation is to proceed grazing dual-purpose wheat later than is really helpful by Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service specialists. This can be a temptation to be resisted!

Previous analysis demonstrates vital financial losses from grazing winter wheat previous the physiological development section known as first hole stem. Relying on climate and placement, first hole stem normally seems round March 1 however in heat winters it happens in February. Analysis by Fieser and others reported a 1% loss in wheat grain yield from grazing simply someday previous first hole stem. Even at that seemingly innocent loss, an evaluation by DeVuyst and others present web losses of about $1 per acre together with each cattle acquire and wheat grain loss.

Nonetheless, the Fieser analysis evaluated losses on stockpiled wheat forage, a moderately unusual administration apply in Oklahoma. Alternatively, analysis by Redmon and others evaluated losses from extra conventionally managed wheat grazing. Their outcomes present a 5% common loss in wheat grain yield from simply someday of prolonged grazing. Within the report by DeVuyst and others that equates to over $11 per acre in misplaced web returns after contemplating the worth of cattle positive factors and wheat grain losses.

Grazing for seven days previous first hole stem has considerably worse financial outcomes. Grain yield reductions vary from 6% (Fieser et al.) to 33% (Redmon et al.). Utilizing these estimates of grain yield loss, DeVuyst et al. report financial losses starting from virtually $4 to $75 per acre. Taylor et al. mixed the 2 datasets and report wheat grain lack of 18% with a ensuing financial lack of $35 per acre (DeVuyst et al.).

No matter prior administration, the information clearly present that grazing previous first hole set is just not economically advisable in twin goal wheat programs. Added cattle positive factors don’t justify misplaced wheat grain yield. Producers are inspired to examine wheat incessantly as temperatures heat and wheat is actively rising to keep away from grazing previous the primary hole stem.


DeVuyst, E.A., R. Sahs, Ok.W. Taylor, F.M. Epplin, G.W. Horn, and J.T. Edwards. 2023. “The Impact of Prolonged Stocker Grazing on Wheat and Stocker Income” Oklahoma State College Cooperative Extension Service. Pending.

Fieser, B.G., G.W. Horn, J.T. Edwards, and E.G. Krenzer, Jr.  “Timing of Grazing Termination in Twin-Objective Winter Wheat Enterprises.”  The Skilled Animal Scientist 22(2006):210-216.

Redmon, L.A., E.G. Krenzer Jr., D.J. Bernardo, and G.W. Horn.  “Impact of Wheat Morphological Stage at Grazing Termination on Financial Return.”  Agronomy Journal 88(1996):94-97.