August-planted oats can yield two to three tons of dry matter per acre, but it’s almost imperative the crop be planted this week to get enough growth before frost.
Mike Hutjens and Jim Baltz, both with the University of Illinois, have posted an 8-minute You-Tube video on the fall seeding oats.
The take home messages:
• Oats can yield two to three tons of dry matter per acre, more than double that of other fall seeded small grains or winter wheat.
• Oats in the boot stage, when it should be harvested, can be high in moisture. Planted in mid-August, it likely won’t dry down to 30% dry matter until November 1.
• Oatlage is fairly high in fiber, often 60% neutral detergent fiber, but that fiber is highly digestible. Oatlage has high sugar content of 10 to 15%, and makes an excellent dairy feed. Protein often runs 12% to 13%.
• When ensiling, use a research-based inoculant to improve fermentation.
The YouTube video can also be viewed here.