Clipping small grains to increase subsequent grain yield
Wheat is commonly grown as a dual purpose crop especially in the Southern Great Plains where the forage is grazed then allowed to mature into a grain crop. In Arizona, clipping a crop planted in October may increase tillering and grain yield. A trial was conducted at the Maricopa Ag Center where various small grain varieties were planted on October 12, 2015, cut for forage on January 10, 2016, and allowed to go to grain and compared with the same varieties planted on December 3, 2016 and not cut for forage. No differences in grain yield due to planting date and clipping were detected. However, the October 12 planting with clipping had larger kernels, greater grain protein, and higher stem density. The income from the sale of the forage was $99/acre based a yield of 2639 lb/acre and a forage value of $75/ton. The added cost per acre to produce this forage included $29 for water (6.27 inches of water at $55/acre-ft) plus $34 for fertilizer (50 lb N/acre of urea at $433/ton). Therefore, even though grain yield was not increased by planting early and clipping, a net increase in revenue of $36/acre was realized from the sale of the forage.
- planting date