Grazing effects on yield and quality of hard red and hard white winter wheat
Six hard red (2137, Jagalene, Jagger, OK101, Stanton, and Thunderbolt) and six hard white (Burchett, Lakin, NuFrontier, NuHills, NuHorizon, and Trego) winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties were evaluated for grain yield and quality in southwestern Kansas in 2004 and 2005. Cattle commonly graze wheat in this region from late November to mid March in a dual-purpose system. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with split-plot treatment arrangement. Main plots were grazed or ungrazed, and subplot treatments were wheat varieties. Yield was not affected by color. Yield was reduced 23% when grazed beyond wheat jointing. NuHorizon yielded less when grazed. Test weight was 4 kg m–3 greater among red varieties in 2004 and 4 kg m–3 greater among white varieties in 2005. Grazing did not affect test weight. Color and grazing did not affect protein concentration. White varieties sprouted more than red varieties, but Burchett sprouted less than Stanton. Grazing did not affect sprouting. Kernel diameter was 0.1 mm greater among red than white varieties. Grazing reduced kernel diameter 0.1 mm in 2004. Kernel hardness was 4% greater among white than red varieties. Grazing increased kernel hardness 3% in 2005. Seed weight was 5% greater among red than white varieties. Grazing reduced seed weight 4%. Both red and white wheat can be used in a dual-purpose system with no substantial affects on yield or quality. Producers should select varieties on the basis of their system and environment because certain varieties responded better to grazing and environmental conditions than others.