First Hollow Stem Update – 3/18/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater (Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Values can fluctuate from one sampling to another due to environmental variation associated with, among other factors, the winter storm on February 2-4. Additionally, varieties differed widely in their FHS response following this cold period.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red. The overall average represents the mean FHS for the varieties measured within a date.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red. The overall average represents the mean FHS for the varieties measured within a date.

Additional resources available:

Acknowledgements

Tyler Lynch, Senior Agriculturalist

Israel Molina Cyrineu, Graduate Research Assistant

Cassidy Stowers, Undergraduate student

Ephraim Muyombo, Undergraduate student

Lettie Crabtree, Undergraduate student

Teresa Swantek, Undergraduate student

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