IMPROVEMENT OF DAIRY FORAGE AND MANURE MANAGEMENT TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL RISK
Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research Unit
Title: Fall-grown oat forages: cultivars, planting dates, and expected yields
Submitted to: Experiment Station Bulletins
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2012
Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Citation: Coblentz, W.K., Bertram, M.G. 2012. Fall-grown oat forages: cultivars, planting dates, and expected yields. Experiment Station Bulletins. Vol. 14. No. 3.
For the dairy industry, the options for producing a late-summer emergency forage crop are limited, mostly because the growing season is relatively short. Recent work conducted at Prairie du Sac (WI) has demonstrated that some cereal grains (primarily oats) planted in early August will joint, elongate, and produce a visible seedhead before winter, while others, such as winter wheat or rye, remain vegetative (do not joint) until the following spring. If maximizing the production of emergency fall forage is a critical management goal, oat cultivars are preferred selections, and they can be expected to produce a 2:1 yield advantage over wheat cultivars that remain vegetative until spring. Recent research results show that the very late-maturing, forage-type oat cultivar ForagePlus is likely to maximize yields when planting dates are extended as late as the first week of August. However, if planting dates are delayed beyond the first week of August, it is likely that more rapidly maturing grain-type cultivars will produce greater yields before winter than forage-type cultivars. With good management techniques, producers can expect yields of DM ranging from 4000 to 6000 lbs DM/acre, but yields may vary across years and/or locations. Rapid germination and emergence is an important key to maximizing yields. During most years, significant depressions of yield will be observed if establishment is delayed beyond the first week of August, and it is difficult to recommend planting dates later than about August 15, especially within central Wisconsin.