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Oats (Avena sativa)

  • Description :
    • A winter annual used extensively across the RSA for grazing purposes.
  • Climate :
    • Subtropical / temperate
  • Moisture Requirements :
    • 300 mm + required over the growing period.
    • In the summer rainfall regions, establish on soils with good water retention characteristics or where supplementary irrigation is available.
  • Soil Preference
    • Widely adapted to most soil conditions.
    • Avoid water logged soils.
  • Sowing Rate
    • Winter rainfall :
      • Rows : 30cm : 40 – 50 kg / ha
      • Broadcast : 70 – 90 kg / ha
    • Summer rainfall (dryland winter production) :
      • Rows : 30cm : 40 – 50 kg / ha
      • Broadcast : 50 – 75 kg / ha
  • Planting Time :
    • February to March
  • Planting Method :
    • Plant on fine, well prepared seed bed with sufficient subsoil moisture particularly in the summer rainfall regions during winter
  • Management :
    • It is advisable to plant oats as part of a balanced fodder flow programme.
    • Rye and triticale should form part of this programme
    • Generally oats is more palatable than triticale
    • Winter and intermediate cultivar types are available, this will affect performance, particularly with regard to time of planting.
    • Guidelines for fertilization are similar to those applicable when planting dry land wheat in the summer rainfall regions during winter.
    • At planting – 30 kgN/ha is recommended. Should plants show yellowing later, 40 – 50 kgN/ha is then recommended as a top dressing preferably following spring rains.
  • Advantages
    • Highly palatable
    • Quick to establish – grazing available in 4 – 6 weeks - depends on time of planting and production region.
  • Limitations
    • Not really suited for hay, silage or foggage
 
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