Dan’s Cow-Calf Corner Correcting Two Myths about Nitrates in Forages

Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist — Oklahoma summers often bring “high pressure domes” that cause 100 degree days and no rain. The resulting heat stress can cause nitrate accumulation in summer annual forage crops. Producers are very cautious about cutting or grazing the droughtstressed forages and for good reason. However, when the first drought-easing thunderstorm comes along, cattlemen are anxious to cut the forage or turn in the cattle on the field that has just received rain. (Myth number 1). This practice can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. As the plant starts to grow and…

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