This small grain is not particularly winter hardy. Spring-planted oats are used for green manure, while fall-planted oats provide winter-killed ground cover. The residue is incorporated before the early planting of vegetables. Oats are particularly useful in rotations with vegetable crops because they grow quickly and are easily killed. They are also useful as a nurse crop with legumes, such as hairy vetch and peas, for forage, erosion control and weed suppression.
Work land to provide a weed-free seedbed. For spring seeding, provide about 40 lb/ac of nitrogen fertilizer. For fall seeding or when using oats as a nurse crop with legumes, no additional fertilizer is required.
April for green manure, mid-August-September for winter cover.
2007 price: $8.00/32lb.bu
Mid April-mid May and again August-September
Time Until Control
Local farm seed dealer. Seedway. Use spring oats for all planting dates. Feed oats produced “on farm” are acceptable if they contain no seed-borne diseases and weeds. There are many varieties of certified “forage oats” that produce more spring growth than oats grown for grain. Varieties recommended for New York state include Blaze, Rodeo, and Prairie.
Plant with legumes such as Field Peas.
Soil crusting from heavy rain can stop emergence.
Use clean seed if buying from farm.
Nurse crop with peas and vetch. With Legumes for forage. Killed winter cover for early planting.
Soil crusting after heavy rain will affect the stand and it may require reseeding. Check for winter survivors that need managing in spring.
Incorporate spring sown oats or winter survivors before seeds are set (mid-June). Oats incorporate more easily than rye.
The root systems of oats are not effective at breaking up compacted soils.
|Management Goal||Planting Time|
|Increase Organic Matter||Early Autumn|
|Increase Organic Matter||Spring|
|Reduce Weeds||Early Autumn|
|Stabilize Soil Aggregates||Early Autumn|
|Stabilize Soil Aggregates||Spring|
|Summer Erosion Protection||Spring|
|Winter Erosion Protection||Early Autumn|
|Winter Manure Application||Early Autumn|