Albert Lea Seed House Oat Production Guide - Page 20

Pre-Harvest Glyphosate- As of April 2015, Grain Millers, Inc. will seek to purchase and encourage the production of oats where glyphosate is not used in pre-harvest applications. This is done with the intent to buy 100% glyphosate free oats when the grain delivery infrastructure can supply enough identity preserved oats. This position on the use of glyphosate as a desiccant is driven by functional performance attributes of finished products manufactured from oats known to have been treated with glyphosate and by customer demand.  This policy in no way suggests any health or food safety concerns as reviewed and regulated by both the US FDA and/or CFIA Health Canada. Harvest After oats have properly matured, they need to be harvested in an efficient manner. As the crop dries, kernel shattering will become a bigger issue. Efficient harvest will help protect yields and test weights. The two most popular harvesting methods are swathing the oats, then using a pickup head, and straight/direct cutting the oats. Harvest method decisions should be based on the operation and farm, and prevailing weather conditions, as one is not necessarily better than the other. Avoid de-hulled kernels when harvesting. If conditions are very dry, widen concave and slow cylinder speeds to prevent de-hulling and kernel breakage. Perform reverse of the adjustments if threshing quality is poor. When adjusting for better threshing quality, make small adjustments at a time, then check performance. Repeat until threshing at desired quality. Increasing fan speed has been known to provide heavier test weights and higher milling quality oats. Swathing When looking to swath oats, grain moisture and maturity level is not as crucial. Swathing provides a window as the grain can dry and finish final development within the swath. Swathing is also encouraged in situations of high levels of weeds present, as it allows the weeds to also dry down and not become part of the harvested grain. While drying will occur in the swath, the oats should not be cut until they are below the 35% moisture mark. The optimal point is in the 20 – 25%. If grain bin aeration is available the oats should be picked up at approximately 14%. If no aeration is available wait till the oats are around the 13% to prevent problems with high moisture. It is important to remember Grain Millers purchasing specification on oat moisture is 13.5%. Swathing can help with harvest if maturity is uneven across the field. By swathing down the oats they will dry and can be harvested at a more consistent grain moisture. Another benefit is if the field has a fair amount of weeds swathing will help them dry and ease harvest. The biggest risk of having oats in a swath is rain. Excess rain on a swath will decrease quality and food grade potential. Damage and discoloration of the hull is not as big a concern as groat condition and color. Sprouting will be one of the most noticeable quality reductions, along with groat staining and discoloration. If darkened or stained kernels appear in the grain stream, we recommend dehulling several of the kernels to observe the groat condition, looking for staining, darkening, and/or sprouted groats. Straight Cutting Oats need to be fully mature and dried before straight cutting. The best time to straight cut oats is a grain moisture of approximately 14 – 15%. Harvest should only be done at this point if aeration is available immediately to bring the moisture content of the grain down to a safe storage level. If no aeration is available, it would be best to wait for a grain moisture of about 13%. It is important to remember Grain Millers specification on oat moisture is 13.5%. 20