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© 2005, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Grazing cattle on winter wheat, often prior to grain harvest, is common throughout the southern Great Plains. Grazing generates about $50 million in income for Texas wheat producers and reduces the risk of growing wheat by providing a substantial income source other than grain. Benefits can be realized by grazing prior to the primary environmental risk period for drought, heat stress, and hail, all of which frequently reduce grain yield while having limited impact on forage production. Cattle also are grazed on winter wheat fields in western Nebraska and the surrounding region. Typically in Nebraska, fall forage would be used to graze cows and reduce winter supplement costs and to lower stocker operation feed costs in the spring. In many cases, wheat is grazed as a forage and also harvested at maturity for grain.