Yield and Quality of Winter Wheat Forage As Affected by Lime
Zhang, H.S.hroder, J.; Krenzer, E.; Kachurina, O.; Payton, M.
Forage and grazinglands
The majority of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) planted in the southern Great Plains is intended for forage or dual-purpose (grazing and grain) production. Up to 28% of Oklahoma wheat fields have a soil pH less than 5.5 (0- to 6-inch depth) and should be limed to sustain forage and grain wheat yields. This study investigated the effects of seven lime rates on fall forage yields and quality of a winter wheat cultivar planted in a field with the initial pH of 4.5. Soil pH was increased as lime rate increased. Forage yields nearly doubled in the first year when lime rates of 1.25 tons/acre and higher were applied. An application of 1.25 tons/acre, half of the rate recommended to raise soil pH to 6.8, was found to be the most economical, as the value from increased forage production is more than double the cost of liming at this rate. The cost of liming at other tested rates can also be recouped if increased forage yields occurred for two or more years. Our results suggest it is economical to lime low pH soils used for forage or dual-purpose winter wheat production.