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Effect of clipping small grains on composition and yield of forage and grain

Hubbard, V.C., Harper, H.J.
Agronomy journal 1949 v.41 no.2 pp. 85-92
chemical composition, grazing, crop yield, forage, chemical constituents of plants, small cereal grains, Southwestern United States
Twenty-four varieties of rye, barley, wheat, and oats, fall and spring sown, were moderately and severely clipped at intervals during the fall, winter, and spring of one to six years to determine forage production, chemical composition at various stages of growth, and effect of clipping on grain production. Severe clipping on the average produced slightly less forage and appreciably lower grain yields than moderate clipping. Moderate clipping to March 15 normally resulted in as high or higher grain yields were obtained from nonclipped checks. To avoid a reduction in grain yield clipping or grazing should be continued when dissection of the stem reveals developing spike at a height at which it may be lost by clipping or grazing. Cereals were not affected so adversely by severe clipping in favorable as in unfavorable growing seasons. Winter oat and winter barley varieties did not tolerate clipping so well as rye or most of the wheat varieties tested. Recommended winter wheat varieties commonly grown in Oklahoma and Texas, moderately clipped until March 5 and 15, produced average yields of approximately 0.75 to 1.75 tons of green forage per acre. Small grain clippings harvested in 1942-43 and 1943-44 were analyzed for nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium. The nitrogen content of rye and Cheyenne wheat was reduced by drought in the spring of 1943. Drought and cold weather reduced the phosphorus content of all small grain clippings in February 1943 and November 1943. The phosphorus content of rye clippings was 100% higher during the moist spring 1944 than in the dry spring of 1943. The calcium content of small grain clippings was not affected by variations in the moisture content of this soil. Small grain forage from plots severely clipped had a chemical composition similar to that from moderately clipped plots.