Local wheat producers are invited to a Pre Planting Wheat meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at the 4-H Building at the Finney County Fairgrounds. This will be a very informal, roundtable type discussion designed to address producer questions and review some the latest research and variety tests from the university.

Also, another great fall gathering is planned at the Kansas State Southwest Research and Extension Center in Garden City on Aug. 27. This annual fall field day promises something for beef and crop producers.

The field day begins at 8 a.m. with registration, coffee and doughnuts and an opportunity to have a first look at agricultural product displays. The program begins at 9 a.m., with three separate tours beginning at 9:15 a.m. Those tours will be repeated at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m., and seminars that begin at 1:15 p.m.

The field day is free and open to the public, and includes a lunch sponsored by various companies. The center is located at 4500 E. Mary St.

Tour topics include: Switchgrass Varieties Under Irrigation; Skip-Row and Solid Planting of Corn and Grain Sorghum; When Does it Pay to Manage Volunteer Glyphosate-Tolerant Corn in No-Till? Grain Sorghum Nitrogen Rate and Timing Effects on Grain Yield and Biomass; Grain Sorghum with Resistance to Postemergence Grass-Control Herbicides; Controlling Glyphosate-Resistant Kochia; Plant Population Effects on Nonstructural Carbohydrates in Sorghum; Update on Spider Mite Management in Corn; Dectes Stem Borer Distribution in Soybean; Yield vs. Irrigation Amount: A Five-Year Summary; and Grazing CRP Animal Performance.

Topics for the afternoon seminars include: Converting CRP Land to Crop Production; Rumen-Protected Choline Supplementation and Reproductive Performance of Beef Cows; Low-Input Storage of Wet Distillers Grains No Bags, No Forage, Just WDGS; and Core Hour Laws, Safety, Labels and Environmental Concerns.

More information about the field day is available by calling 276-8286.

Summer annual forages

Many summer annual forages typically grown in Kansas may be cut multiple times. (The one exception to this rule is forage sorghums which are excellent as silage or green chop but very poor for haying or grazing.) With reasonable care, the other common summer annual forages sudangrass, hybrid pearl millets and even sorghum-sudangrass hybrids can produce two and even three cuttings with excellent feed value.

Sudangrass and hybrid pearl millet are well suited for haying and grazing, and while they also may be ensiled or green chopped, these are less-efficient options. In order to maximize quality, hay should be cut before heads emerge. If these crops are allowed to grow until head emergence before cutting, they will produce more tonnage but feed quality will be substantially reduced.

Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids may be successfully used for hay, but they have thicker stems than sudangrass and pearl millet. As a result, it is very important to crush or crimp the stems of sorghum-sudangrass hybrids to allow for rapid drying. Sudangrass and hybrid pearl millet produce superior quality hay compared to sorghum-sudangrass hybrids as they have smaller stem diameters and their composition is typically 50 percent or less stem.

When planning on multiple cuttings, raise the cutter bar high enough to allow for rapid regrowth, typically six inches for sudangrass and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and eight inches for pearl millet. To further stimulate growth and hay forage quality (protein), apply 30 pounds of nitrogen per acre after harvest. If yields are especially high, it may be advisable to apply up to 50 pounds per acre.

Finally, after baling, to ensure hay quality is maintained, move bales to proper storage as soon as possible.