Nearly time for oats |

Nearly time for oats

Richard Snell
Barton County Extension Agent

Oats are an early spring planted crop that I get questions about every year.

There are several reasons why people may plant oats. One is that it makes excellent hay and that is probably our number one usage for them.

Some people like to plant oats as a cover crop for alfalfa or to mix in with an alfalfa planting or to plow down as an organic green manure crop. In the corn belt, they plant oats for feed grain or for even milling quality to go into human food. Our hot, windy days in early summer usually make low test weights and that’s not what they want. Although the standard is considered 32 pounds per bushel, grain buyers want at least 36 pounds and will pay premiums sometimes for 40 pounds per bushel test weight oats.

For forage, some of the better yields have come from Gem, Jerry, Don, Jay, Reeves and INO9201. In our area, where not a lot of oats are grown, you are probably at the mercy of whatever you can get your hands on.

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