January 20, 2007

Oats in Kansas

Oats in Kansas
The Northern and Central Plains contribute significantly to oat production, making up almost one quarter (23.5 million bu in year 2002 and 48.0 million bu in year 2003) of the total U. S. production.

North Dakota led this region in oat production during 2002 and 2003, contributing 12.6 million bu in 2002 and 21.2 million bu in 2003, followed by SD, NE, and KS. Pesticides play a significant role against pests in oat production in the region.
Oats is a significant crop in the Northern and Central Plains, especially in North Dakota. It can produce high quality forage, be used as a feed grain, and can be used for human consumption in hot and ready-to-eat cereals and granola bars. Oats also are planted as a companion crop for establishment of various grasses and legumes.

Oats can grow on many soil types, however, medium-textured soils, with good water-holding capacity are preferred over light or poorly drained soils. Spring oats are well adapted to cool and adequate moisture conditions of this region. Seeds generally germinate at 44-45 °F. Spring oats are planted in late February through April across the Northern and Central Plains.

Spring oats is drilled in shallow or no-tillage planting system. Seeds are planted at 3/4 to 1/2 inches deep, depending on soil texture, moisture conditions, and condition of the seedbed. Generally, row spacing ranges from 6-8" wide, but 10-14" is used in the western areas of the region. Oat seeding rates range from 32 to 96 lb/a.

Generally, only certified seed for quality and purity are planted. Seeds are usually treated with fungicide against various seedling diseases and smut. Spring oats are grown in rotation with row crops such as corn, soybean, sorghum, and sunflower to control weeds, insects, and diseases.

Frequently, it is planted between a fall-harvest crop and wheat that is to be planted the next fall. It is essential to harvest oats at the proper stages. Oat for forage should be harvested from the boot to early milk stage. Best silage is produced when oats are harvested at the late-milk to late-dough stages. Oats are harvested for grain when kernels reach 15% moisture.
Oats in Kansas

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