Oats have numerous uses in food; most commonly, they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into fine oat flour. Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. Think about how well they grow in Scotland and Ireland, both of which have oatmeal named for them. To reduce harvesting delays the grain can be direct harvested at a moisture content above 12% and then placed under aeration to maintain quality or passed through a grain dryer to reduce its moisture content to a level that can be safely stored. Oats are an ideal late summer cover crop where winters are cold enough to kill it; the dead residue forms its own winter mulch, which is usually well rotted by spring. Requires: cultivator, seeder, harvester with a header for grain. Most growers compromise the two and cut in the flower or bloom stage. Harvesting oats is usually done by direct heading of standing grain as soon as the crop is ripe which will help reduce grain shedding. Statistics Canada forecast Canadian all-wheat production this year at 35,739,800 tonnes, up 11% from the 2019 outturn at 32,347,800 tonnes. Care must be taken in harvesting milling varieties to minimise the amount of dehulled grain. Timing when to cut your oat or forage crop is always based on a compromise between yield and quality. Most people plant spring oats, but if you’re in the south, you may opt to sow in the fall. The recommended time to harvest forage cereals is at the soft dough stage. (after using a special harvester) Special characteristics: leaves straw which can be collected – you can either sell it or use for animal bedding (pigs and cows). to more than a ton, depending on the farm equipment. The harvested yield of oats forage increases rapidly with increasing maturity until early dough stage. Check the moisture content of the oat hay. Cut the oat grass stems with the plant heads intact, using a scythe or sickle. When harvesting mature seed by hand, this is most efficiently done by s process called threshing. Winter oats may be grown as an off-season groundcover and ploughed under in the spring as a green fertilizer, or harvested in early summer. Both of these farm implements will cut the crop adequately, while the windrower deposits the cut oats into a single continuous storage pile along the field. When you squeeze a kernel, there should be no milky fluid left (its still in the milk stage then). Many oat growers spray glyphosate to … Harvesting and Storing. I don't have any tractor equipment to harvest oats. A sharp knife or garden sickle will work fine. Although it may be easier to swath later, the swaths of a ripe crop may not interlock well enough to withstand disturbance from strong wind. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. Swathing can begin when grain moisture content is below 35% - when grain is at the medium dough stage, hard but can still be dented with the thumbnail. Farmers can feed the oat hay immediately or store it for winter forage. You may use the grasses for forage and the cleaned oat heads for human food after you’ve processed the oats. They also can be used for pasture; they can be grazed a while, then allowed to head out for grain production, or grazed continuously until other pastures are ready. A shortened version of the URL, helpful when communicating the URL over email or verbally. Oats are also an ingredient in many cold cereals, in particular muesli and granola. If a mower is used, a farm rake is then employed to form the windrows. If the goal is to harvest high quality feed, then small grains for forage should be harvested in the flag leaf to boot stage. Tie the stalks into bunches with twine and let them dry for about two weeks in a location that is protected from rain. For baled hay the moisture content should be no more than 22 percent. Oats , I like to lay them down soon after headed out , if you let them go to long they will produce too much seed, which dont hurt if you are grinding them into a feed ration. During threshing, a handful of oat stalks are beaten back … Oat is ready to swath when the panicle has turned yellow or brown and the least mature kernels have turned a cream colour (Figure 5.5). Harvest the grains when the stalks are just beginning to go from green to brown, using a scythe or other tool. Oats are a cool-weather crop and don’t mind cloudy, rainy weather. 3. Plus many of the fields are too small to get a tractor in so I had to do it all by hand. For lactating dairy cattle, oat forages should be harvested as the first grain heads appear in a field (late boot stage). Harvest once the seed heads are dry. Oat hay is ideal for young livestock if cut when oats just begin to head out. David Weisberger at Iowa State says that planting time is important for a number of reasons: Heat stress at anthesis results in a greater potential yield loss than heat stress at tillering, jointing or grain filing Oats will be between 2 and 5 feet tall when they are mature. When the same oat cultivars were planted on July 15 th , all grain-type cultivars could be ensiled directly by October 1 st , but ForagePlus was not sufficiently dry until November 1 st (data not shown). Young oats can be turned under anytime. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Agriculture and Food division is committed to growing and protecting WA's agriculture and food sector. So I guess that could compensate for their low yield. This later harvesting results in much higher dry matter (DM) yields but of slightly lower energy and much lower crude protein levels than at the vegetative stage. When the seed heads come out, I begin testing them to see if I can squeeze some “milk”, or the white liquid from forming seed heads. Avoid swathing too early as the grain is not fully developed and will result in small pinched grain. Pete cutting down the straw with my Dad's 100+ year old scythe. Oats yield the best protein content if cut in the boot stage, but it yields more tonnage if harvest is delayed until the flower stage about a week later. I am also growing my oats for the 1st time, they seem to have all grains inside (they are hulless oats), but their yields seem to be fairly low. Harvesting . The lower protein feeds work best for dairy or breeding cattle operations. If a compromise is desired, small grains should be harvested in the early dough stage. To harvest the oats, cut the seed heads from the stalks as high up as possible. They were planted very densely. Oatmeal is chiefly eaten as porridge, but may also be used in a variety of baked goods, such as oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, and oat bread. There are fungicide products you can use, as long as you aren’t spraying right before harvest time. After that, the animals will produce manure. This separates the stem of the plant from the oats. You can cut the stalks anywhere along the length, but the higher up you cut, the less straw you’ll have to deal with when you are threshing. University of California Davis: When to Cut Oats; Marsha Campbell Mathews; Nov. 5, 1999, North Dakota State University: Oats as a Feed for Beef Cattle; LaDon Johnson and Stephen Boyles; Oct. 1991, University of California Cooperative Extension: Sample Costs to Produce Oat Hay; Rachel Long, et al; 2005, University of Missouri Extension: Making and Storing Quality Hay; Jimmy Henning and Howell Wheaton; Oct. 1993. This lump will form the head which emerges just before the flower stage. Farmers today use a machine called a combine to harvest the oats. Cutting early will give you the highest feed value of the hay or silage, while late cutting results in the best overall yield. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines. The oat plants finally begins to grow in the spring when the weather is warmer. Hay bales range from 50 lbs. 1. The bottom line is to get oats in early (it gets hot in Iowa, and oats are a cool season crop). As you watch the oats grow and develop seed heads, gently touch a few of them to see if they’re damp or dry. Delays can lead to significant lodging and shedding due to crop movement in the wind. Starting in January 2021, Richardson will be tightly regulating which oats it accepts to ensure that tainted oats, like the kind used in […] Oat should be swathed when kernel moisture content is between 30% to 36% to avoid negative impacts on groat yield and test weight (May et al 2005). Oat hay can have dangerous levels of nitrates under certain conditions. These conditions include extreme stress on the oat plant such as hail or drought. Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review. Monitor the oat crop for the proper harvest time. This oat hay produces a high protein feed suitable for cattle, horses and sheep. Harvesting Homegrown Oats. In contrast, if high yields are the goal, then harvest should occur in the late dough stage. The boot stage occurs when you can feel a lump near the end of the stem. This is the most economical method if the grain moisture is uniform (less than 12%). If you want tonnage let them go a while .I prefer not to let either crop get too far along due to grain can be a issue for some people in their hay. It is better to swath early to prevent losses from shedding and lodging, but not when the ground is wet after rain. Once, they’re dry to the touch, it’s time to harvest the oats. OTTAWA — Statistics Canada on Aug. 31 in its Production of Principal Field Crops, July 2020, report, said Canadian farmers were expected to harvest more wheat and oats this fall compared with 2019 but less canola. Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. The leaves should be starting to turn brown, and the oat kernels should be in what is called the “dough” stage. Oats grow to maturity in 60 days under ideal conditions. Mid to late Spring is the time to harvest – I usually see the distinctive shape of the oat seed head come out in April and May (see photos). The oat crop is grown specifically for hay instead of harvested for grain. Harvest your oats when you expect at least 24 to 48 hours of rain-free weather. Growing oats without pre-harvest glyphosate can be risky because rain in late August and early September can damage the quality of the crop. Haul the hay bales to the storage area such as a barn or building, or stack the bales outdoors in a hay yard. Only 4-6 seeds per stem. High protein oat hay, cut during the boot stage, is fed to feeder cattle being fattened for slaughter. Higher up is better, as you will have less straw to mess with when threshing the grains. A test weight any lower than 30 lb/bushel indicates that the harvest contains . First harvest the varieties that are likely to shed or lodge. Oat. Bale the hay using a tractor and hay baler. As oats are evaluated by processors for milling quality, the important characteristics of good oats are generally high test weight, bright groat color, high groat percent, low oil content, and high protein and beta-glucan content. This oat hay produces a high protein feed suitable for cattle, horses and sheep. Usage: as food for: horses, chaff for compost. Young oats can be turned under anytime. Use a hay probe and moisture meter to test moisture, or take a sample to the county extension office. To harvest your oats, just cut the seed heads from the stalks. Oats are mature when the stalk and seeds are gold and dry. The oat hay commonly lies in windrows in the field during the drying process. 2. shriveled oats with little potential for both germination and nutrition. On that harvest date, all three grain-type cultivars within the study (Dane, Ogle, and Vista) had greater than 30% DM until approximately two weeks later. Also, milk to early dough stage oats makes excellent silage. Depending on when the oats were planted, they usually are harvested in the mid-summer and onwards. Harvesting oats is usually done by direct heading of standing grain as soon as the crop is ripe which will help reduce grain shedding. This may cause considerable delays to the harvesting operation and increase the risk of head loss or grain being discoloured by early summer rains. Cut them just above the ground. Cut the oat hay with a windrower or sickle mower. Oats are an ideal late summer green manure if your winters are cold enough to kill it; the dead residue forms its own winter mulch, which is usually well rotted by spring. The oats are planted in the spring of the year and cut and harvested for hay in the early summer. Below is a video I took showing the process for all of this. While the direct heading of grain is the cheapest method of harvesting, the danger is that there may be long periods of high relative humidity in which the harvesting of dry grain is not possible. 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