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Fall Oats an Alternate Forage Option . Dr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension Specialist. Jim Baltz Instructional Design Specialist. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Learn Objective. The growing and feeding of a fall cereal grain can be a viable forage resource

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fall oats an alternate forage option
Fall Oatsan Alternate Forage Option
  • Dr. Mike HutjensDairy Extension Specialist

Jim BaltzInstructional Design Specialist

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

learn objective
Learn Objective
  • The growing and feeding of a fall cereal grain can be a viable forage resource
  • With drought concerns in 2012,. fall oats can be an emergeny forage crop of dairy cattle.
  • Guideline on growing and harvesting oat silage will be presented.
fall oat forage selection
Fall Oat Forage Selection
  • Maturity rating is important
    • Early-season
    • Mid-season
    • Late-season
when to plant fall oats
When to Plant Fall Oats?
  • Mid to Late July
    • Use forage-type cultivar (such as ForagePlus Oats)
  • Late Planting: Beyond 1st week of August
    • Consider using earlier-maturing, grain-type cultivars
key factor to consider
Key Factor To Consider
  • Be aware of the potential for herbicide carryover
  • Availability of oat seed
  • Rain and soil moisture status
  • Early freeze vs. an adequate growing period
illinois weather median date of 28 f freeze based on 1981 2010 averages
Illinois WeatherMedian Date of 28°F FreezeBased on 1981-2010 Averages
  • Oct 1 to 10
  • Oct 11 to 20
  • Oct 21 to 31
  • Nov 1 to 10
late planted oats 12 august
Late Planted Oats: 12 August

Yields of DM for four oat cultivars planted on about 12 August; data represent 2-year means from a study conducted at Prairie du Sac, WI (Coblentz and Walgenbach, 2010).

Fall-Grown Oat Forages: Cultivars, Planting Dates, and Expected Yields by Wayne Coblentz and Mike Bertram, University of Wisconsin Forage Team

yields of four oat cultivars planted on july 15 and august 1
Yields of four oat cultivars planted on July 15 and August 1

Data represent 3-year means from a study conducted at Marshfield, WI (Coblentz et al., 2011). Dane, Ogle, and Vista are grain-type cultivars that have early, mid, and late maturity ratings, respectively. ForagePlus is a forage-type cultivar that matures more slowly than Vista.

Fall-Grown Oat Forages: Cultivars, Planting Dates, and Expected Yields by Wayne Coblentz and Mike Bertram, University of Wisconsin Forage Team

oats vs wheat
Oats vs Wheat

Yield comparisons of (2) winter wheat and (4) oat cultivars across three harvest dates during 2006-2007 at Prairie du Sac, WI (Coblentz and Walgenbach, 2010). Cultivars were established on 11 August 2006 and 13 August 2007.

Fall-Grown Oat Forages: Cultivars, Planting Dates, and Expected Yields by Wayne Coblentz and Mike Bertram, University of Wisconsin Forage Team

standing dm concentrations
Standing DM Concentrations

Standing DM concentrations for fall-grown oat forages harvested on 5 dates throughout the fall at Marshfield, WI (Coblentz et al., 2011). All forages were planted on August 1, and means represent 3-year averages. The red horizontal line (▬▬) represents the minimum concentration of DM for satisfactory silage fermentation (30%).

Fall-Grown Oat Forages: Cultivars, Planting Dates, and Expected Yields by Wayne Coblentz and Mike Bertram, University of Wisconsin Forage Team

slide14

Concentrations of NDF from oat forages planted on August 1 and harvested on five dates throughout the fall at Marshfield, WI (Coblentz et al., 2012).

Fall-Grown Oat Forages: Unique Quality Characteristics by Wayne Coblentz and Mike Bertram, University of Wisconsin Forage Team

fiber composition of selected cereal grain forages nrc 2001

Forage NDF ADF Lignin Lignin

(Headed) ------------- % of DM ------------- % of NDF

Oat silage 60.6 38.9 5.5 9.1

Barley silage 56.3 34.5 5.6 9.9

Triticale silage 59.7 39.6 5.8 9.7

Wheat silage 59.9 37.6 5.8 9.7

Fiber composition of selected cereal-grain forages(NRC, 2001)
nutrient comparison nrc 2001
Nutrient Comparison(NRC, 2001)

%DM %CP %ADF %TDN

Corn Silage 35 8.8 28.1 68.8

Oatlage 35 12.9 38.9 56.8

Haylage 39 20.0 37.0 56.6

Oat Hay 92 9.1 36.4 55.9

Hay 88 20.2 31.2 58.9

take home messages
Take Home Messages
  • Seed 3 bushels per acre in a “good” seed bed
  • Plant a grain type, early season oat in mid August
  • Harvest in the boot stage
  • 2 to 3 tons of dry matter per acre with high levels of sugar possible
  • Wilting of the silage may be needed (>30% DM)
  • Add an inoculant to improve fermentation
slide18

Check out our online dairy courses at http://online.ansci.illinois.edu/and Illini DairyNETat http://www.livestocktrail.illinois.edu/dairynet/

Dr. Mike HutjensDairy Extension Specialist

Jim BaltzInstructional Design Specialist

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign