Albert Lea Seed House Oat Production Guide - Page 7

Rust, and one virus, Barley Yellow Dwarf (BYDV). In addition to selecting resistant varieties, damage from Crown and Stem Rust can be reduced with fungicides. BYDV is transmitted by aphids and kills important plant tissue during the season. More information is available on these diseases in the Plant Disease section of this guide. Hull Color When considering the quality of oats for the food industry, the color of the hull has little to no impact. The food industry has little concern for the hull color as long as the groats are large, clean, and uniform. Lodging Resistance Lodging increases harvest problems and can reduce grain yield and quality. Growing conditions, soil nutrient levels, and varietal characteristics all impact the plant’s resistance to lodging. Over-fertilizing can cause oats to grow tall and lodge. Selecting a shorter variety and/or one with greater straw strength can reduce the risk of lodging. Planting Spring oat varieties should be planted early in the season to provide an edge against weeds and weather. To facilitate early planting, seedbed preparation should be planned during the previous year. Fall tillage can help heavy soil warm and dry faster in the spring. Oats can tolerate cooler and wetter soils than many other crops and can germinate at soil temps as low as 45oF or 7oC. 1 Oat seeding normally starts early to mid-March in parts of Iowa through mid-June in northern oat growing regions. Early planting can help provide production benefits later in the season. Late planting will push grain fill into warmer weather periods which can reduce yield and test weight. Peterson, David. “Chapter 4.” Oat Science and Technology. 1st ed. N.p.: ASA/CSSA, 1992. 81. Print 1 Oats should best be planted in narrow rows of about 6-7 inches to help reduce tillering and improve weed competition. Oats should not be planted more than 2 inches deep. The soil should be relatively free of clumps to help promote good seed to soil contact. Planting depth will vary with soil moisture and type. The planting rate per acre is important to optimize yield and quality potential. The goal of the seeding rate is to provide a final stand of 18-25 plants per square foot. A heavier rate may help suppress weeds and reduce tillering, but one must be careful not to overdo it. While it is true that because of advancements in kernel size, many farmers err on the side of seeding at rates that are slightly too low, seeding at rates too high for soil type and fertility will result in poor yields and quality. For conventional cropping systems, seed treatements ma,y be sued to prevent seedborne disease and/or insect pressure from hindering seedling vigor and plant and root development. As with any chemical application, use only products registered for use on oats and apply in accordance with label instructions. Ideally, it is important to calculate the seeding rate using the formula below because individual kernel size can vary greatly among varieties and crop years. Calculating the seeding rate in this fashion ensures an optimal plant population which reduces tillering and improves yield and quality. To accurately calculate seeding rate, use seeds per pound and the following formula: Seeding Rate (lbs/acre) = {Desired Stand ÷ (1 – Expected Stand Loss)}                                  (Seeds/lb.) x (% Seed Germination) Expected stand loss is used in a decimal form (10 percent = 0.1) “Desired Stand” is defined as plants per acre Wiersma, J. J., and J. K. Ransom. The Small Grains Field Guide. N.p.: U of MN E