Tips on growing oats for forage
Optimum-planting time for forage oats is from late March to Early April. Planting too early or too late can reduce forage yield.
The recommended planting rates are 25 – 50 kg KEY: / ha dryland and 50 – 75 kg / ha irrigated. Planting rates should be adjusted for germination, seed size and percentage establishment in the field.
Avoid planting into warm or hot soils – soil temperature above 25 C will reduce emergence
Oats seed is best sown at 3 cm depth in row spacing of 7inches into moist soil in a well prepared seedbed
Ensure the crop receives adequate fertilisers and weed control. Nutrition requirements and fertilizer rates are similar to those recommended for wheat, for establishment and a top dressing will ensure good re-growth after grazing.
If possible, the first grazing should occur when secondary roots are well established and before the stems begin to elongate. This will ensure that plants are not uprooted when grazed and that the plants are at maximum palatability.
Where possible only graze down to the height of the lowest stem node – about 12 – 15 cm above ground level. Avoid hard grazing as this can remove the growing points and delay regrowth.
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